Mendota FFA earns 2021 state convention honors


MENDOTA - Members of the Mendota FFA chapter were recognized during the 93rd annual Illinois FFA State Convention, which was hosted in-person and virtually throughout the state over two weeks this summer.

With a 2021 theme of “Dare to Be,” the convention annually recognizes achievements of Illinois FFA members, elects the major state officer team, and celebrates agriculture. In response to continuing coronavirus concerns, Illinois’ FFA State Association officer team and staff adjusted the convention to honor achievements in-person at three different outdoor venues for smaller groups.

During the convention, the following awards were presented to the Mendota FFA chapter.

Foundation $3,000 Club Award Recipient: The chapter was recognized for coordinating a local campaign for the Illinois Foundation FFA which raised at least $3,000. The chapter’s fundraising total was $3,000.

Diversified Crop Production Placement State Proficiency Winner: Jack Beetz, son of Brooke Beetz of Mendota, is a member of the Mendota FFA Chapter and his FFA advisor is Matthew Meyer. For his Supervised Agricultural Experience (SAE), Jack works on the family farm, Jack Beetz & Sons. They grow commercial corn, soybeans, hay, and seed corn. His responsibilities include spring tillage, planting, tile repairs, harvesting and other projects in the shop. His SAE gave him valuable experience that he will use in his future when he returns to the family farm.

State FFA Degrees: Two Mendota FFA members also received their State FFA Degrees during the convention proceedings. Jack Beetz, who is a recent graduate of Mendota High School, and Elizabeth Schillinger, a member of the class of 2022. Elizabeth is the daughter of Jeff Schillinger and the late Cathy Schillinger of rural Earlville. The State FFA Degree is the third degree that FFA members can earn during their high school career and the highest honor bestowed on a member by the Illinois Association FFA.

The business session was livestreamed May 28. Individual district sessions including State and American FFA Degrees, statewide awards and the 2020-21 Illinois State Officer Team retiring addresses were held June 1, 4 and 9 throughout the state. They took place at outdoor venues including Bloomington, Carbondale and Springfield. Stars Over Illinois awards were presented June 8 in Springfield. National FFA Eastern Region Vice President and Illinois FFA alumna Miriam Hoffman addressed attendees and new officers were elected and installed on June 10 in Springfield.

About Illinois Association FFA

The Illinois Association FFA is part of the National FFA Organization, formerly known as the Future Farmers of America. More than 20,000 students are enrolled in 354 different FFA chapters in the State of Illinois. FFA is a national youth organization of 752,466 student members with a mission of making a positive difference in the lives of students by developing their potential for premier leadership, personal growth, and career success through agricultural education. Visit for more information.

About the Illinois Foundation FFA

Illinois Foundation FFA engages individuals, industry, education, government, and foundations in securing funds to support quality agricultural education and FFA programs in Illinois, including providing awards at the State FFA Convention. To learn more and become involved, visit