Schlesingers receive top FFA honors

Officers of the Mendota FFA Alumni & Supporters met recently with the Schlesinger family to commemorate their honors. Left to right, are Cori Biers, treasurer; Tod Schlesinger; Chris Schlesinger; Alison Schlesinger; Megan Faber, vice president; and Brian Atherton, president. (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. This year, Mendota FFA Chapter Vice President Alison Schlesinger earned her State FFA Degree, which was presented during the 92nd Illinois FFA State Convention. The convention was held virtually this year throughout June and July due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Schlesinger is the daughter of Tod and Chris Schlesinger of Mendota. She maintained records on her meat chickens, her work as a groundskeeper at the Mendota Golf Course and her management of the Mendota FFA Greenhouse. She also received the DEKALB Agricultural Accomplishment Award, sponsored by Monsanto Company. This award is bestowed on one senior each year based on their excellence in academics, leadership and agricultural work experience.

Tod and Chris Schlesinger also earned their Honorary Chapter FFA Degree from the Mendota FFA Chapter. In addition, the entire Schlesinger family was recognized with the Blue & Gold Award, which is presented annually to a family “…for their work with and support of agricultural education and the Mendota FFA Chapter.” Both of Tod and Chris’s daughters were active participants in the chapter and earned their State FFA Degrees. Tod’s unique woodworking projects have been a major highlight of the Mendota FFA Alumni & Supporters Draw Down Auction the last several years. Their support has been greatly appreciated.

Students are able to earn their Greenhand and Chapter FFA Degrees at the local level by completing agricultural coursework, establishing and maintaining a Supervised Agricultural Experience (SAE) project, actively participating in FFA activities, and participating in community service. 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 to qualified high school graduates every October during the National FFA Convention & Expo.

The members and officers of the Mendota FFA Alumni & Supporters recognize the hard work that goes into earning this degree and have committed funds to provide each student earning their state degree with a $500 grant.

The Mendota FFA Alumni & Supporters meets at 7 p.m. on the second Monday of the month from November to April. Membership is open to anyone who would like to support agricultural education and the FFA. To learn more about agricultural education, the Mendota FFA Chapter or the Mendota FFA Alumni & Supporters, please contact Matthew Meyer at Mendota High School.

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