September was yet another busy month for this year’s Illinois Association FFA major state officers. The month started off with the majors and section officers attending S.T.A.R. — Section Teams Activities and Responsibilities — conferences.
These conferences are meant to help the section officer teams better understand their roles and responsibilities as officers. These conferences are split up into districts with five section teams attending each conference.
Later in the month, majors then went on chapter visits. These visits allow the state and section officers the opportunity to see members from all over their section and the state.
This year’s visits include a lockbox activity, the exploration of opportunities within ag education, and goal cards to help students determine what their core values are and what goals they hope to achieve.
So far, these visits have reached 12 of the 25 sections and made for an amazing few weeks. On these visits the majors have traveled over 10,506 miles and met over 3,800 students.
The last few days of the month were spent looking forward to the upcoming National FFA Convention. This year, Illinois FFA gained 17,832 FFA members. This increase in members has led to Illinois FFA getting better representation at the national level.
Illinois is now able to send 18 delegates to serve on the six national FFA committees. These committees include: Expanding Student Opportunities, Production Agriculture Opportunities, Committee on Nominating Committee, Transparent Communication, Student Perspective on Affiliation and Student Voice Reassessment.
In addition to the increased delegate representation, Illinois has several schools and students that were named national finalists.
The Taylorville FFA Chapter has been named a finalist for the National Chapter Award in the area of strengthening ag.
Lance Morris from the Streator FFA Chapter was named an American Star finalist in the area of ag placement. Tanner Mickey from the Taylorville FFA Chapter was named an American Star Farmer finalist.
National convention also provides a great opportunity to meet and connect with FFA members from all states and backgrounds. Members can attend concerts, rodeos and even a hypnotist all while coming together to celebrate the blue jacket.
The week after national convention, Illinois FFA is hosting its first-ever middle school conference. This conference is meant to provide Illinois FFA’s middle school members with the opportunity to meet and connect with other middle schoolers from around the state.
The Illinois FFA state officer team is looking forward to a great national convention and its new middle school conference. We can’t wait to see our members shine.
Cooper Nelson from the Canton FFA Chapter is the 2023-2024 Illinois Association FFA state reporter.