More than 5,000 FFA members, advisors and guests gathered to elect new state officers, celebrate achievements, fine-tune skills and make connections during the 89th Illinois FFA Convention last week.
“I couldn’t be more proud of the 2016-17 state officer team for their efforts in coordinating a great state convention,” says Mindy Bunselmeyer, Illinois FFA executive director. “They all did an exceptional job.”
The convention program featured keynote presentations by Valerie Earley, National FFA Central Region vice president, and Hoan Do, a former contestant on “American Ninja Warrior” who’s also a student success coach and motivational speaker.
Convention attendees engaged with exhibitors, including colleges and businesses, and enjoyed other activities such as a dance and talent show. Breakout sessions covered topics like decision-making, securing internships, maximizing chapter involvement and perfecting resumes.
Award recognitions consumed a significant portion of the convention agenda. FFA convention attendees celebrated 37 Honorary State FFA Degrees, 471 State FFA Degrees, 125 American FFA Degrees, and more than 50 proficiency awards and 60 team and individual first place Career Development Event awards.
Four FFA members received the Star Award: Logan Loverkamp, Massac County FFA, Star in Ag Business; Devin McGinnis, Farmington FFA, Star in Ag Placement; Maddie Fugate, Mahomet FFA, Star in Ag Science, and Austin Brockmann, Belvidere FFA, Star Farmer.
Five general sessions included a retiring address from each of the 2016-17 major officers: J.C. Campbell, president; Paxton Morse, vice president; Zach Becker, reporter; Corrine Harding, secretary; and Cody Suddeth, treasurer.
The convention concluded with the installation of the new 2017-18 section presidents and the major state officers.
Check out the slideshow below for more highlights.