More than 3,500 Illinois FFA high school students – including members of the Genoa-Kingston and Hinckley-Big Rock FFA chapters – participated in the 2014 Illinois State FFA Convention at the Prairie Capital Convention Center in Springfield.
The 86th annual convention featured a “Planting Your Potential” theme inspired by the 2013-2014 Illinois State FFA Officer team. The three-day event celebrates the organization’s annual successes and includes motivational speakers, recognition of individual and chapter achievement, addresses from retiring officers and election of a new state officer team.
G-K FFA member Travis Hughes received the Vegetable Production State Proficiency Award. Hughes grows 25 different varieties of pumpkins on 5 acres of land. His business exposure and growth didn’t only come from word of mouth; he created a Facebook page. His profits increased 10 fold since the inception of the business. The Vegetable Production Award is sponsored through the National FFA Foundation by Tractor Supply Company and Wilbur-Ellis Company.
H-BR chapter member Elena Halverson was the Heritage Activities Section Winner. The Heritage Activities Award program encourages FFA chapters to inform people about their rights and responsibilities as citizens. Award-winning chapters demonstrate a commitment to increasing citizen involvement in local, state, and federal issues and inspiring individuals to bring their voice – as is granted under the state and federal constitution – to the legislative process. Section winners receive a trip to Washington, D.C., in late June sponsored by the Illinois Farm Bureau.
The Illinois Association FFA is part of the National FFA Organization, formerly known as the Future Farmers of America. More than 17,500 students are in enrolled 326 different FFA chapters in the state of Illinois. FFA is a national youth organization of 557,318 student members – all preparing for leadership and careers in the science, business and technology of agriculture. Visit www.illinoisffa.org for more information.