Mendota FFA members, front row left to right, Sydnee Hansen and Daniela McConville are presented with monetary awards from Mendota FFA Alumni members, back row, Cory Biers, president; Brian Atherton, vice president; Brad Piller, treasurer; and Nick Piller, secretary. Hansen and McConville received their State Degrees at this year’s State FFA Convention. (Photo contributed)
MENDOTA -The Illinois FFA Degree is the highest honor that the Illinois Association FFA can bestow upon its members and is one of four degrees that an FFA member can earn during their high school career.
Local FFA chapters are able to recognize their members with the Greenhand FFA Degree for first year FFA members and the Chapter FFA Degree for members who meet the qualifications and have conducted an approved Supervised Agricultural Experience (SAE) program. The State FFA Degree is the third step on the way to earning the prestigious American FFA Degree, which is awarded by the National FFA Organization every October during the National FFA Convention & Expo currently held in Indianapolis, Ind.
State FFA Degrees are earned by a relatively small percentage of over 17,000 members of the Illinois Association FFA. A full list of qualifications for the State FFA Degree can be found in the Illinois Association FFA Constitution and Bylaws at illinoisffa.org.
The Mendota FFA Chapter had two senior members, Sydnee Hansen and Daniela McConville, both earn their State FFA Degrees. The awards were presented during the 89th Illinois FFA State Convention held at the BOS Center in Springfield, June 12-15. Because the Mendota FFA Alumni recognizes the commitment required to earn these degrees, they have awarded each of this year’s recipients with a $500 endowment.
Hansen, daughter of Dexter Hansen and Matt and Mandi Bauer, earned her State FFA Degree with an SAE in the area of outdoor recreation working for the Illini State Pullers Organization. She will pursue a degree in agricultural engineering at Iowa State University this fall.
McConville, daughter of Dan and Joanna McConville, earned her State FFA Degree with an SAE in the area of turf grass management for her work at 11th Street Nursery. She will head to Illinois State University this fall to pursue a degree in agronomy with a minor in agriculture education.
Over the next five years, the Mendota FFA Alumni has committed to award similar $500 endowments to Mendota FFA members who earn their State FFA Degrees and a $1,000 endowment to members who go on to earn their American FFA Degree. For more information about the FFA or to join the Mendota FFA Alumni, please contact Matt Meyer, agriculture teacher/FFA Advisor at Mendota High School.