Stanford, Ill. –The State FFA Degree is the highest degree that the Illinois FFA Association can bestow upon its members. Olympia’s Josh Kindred and Molly Schempp were among those who received their degree at the 90th Illinois State FFA Convention. Josh is the son of Chad and Kathy Kindred of Armington. His Supervised Agricultural Experience (SAE) focuses on Ag Sales and Grain Production. Molly is the daughter of Darin and Cindy Schempp of Atlanta. Her SAE focuses on Beef Cattle, Ag Communications and Horticulture. This prestigious degree is earned by less than 3 percent of all FFA members each year.
In order to receive the State FFA Degree, members must meet several requirements outlined by the National FFA Organization. Students must have been enrolled in an agricultural education classroom and been an active FFA member for at least two years. Recipients must already hold their Chapter FFA Degree prior to receiving the State Degree, actively participate in the planning and implementing of the chapter’s Program of Activities, and participate in at least five different activities above the chapter level.
Creating the leaders of tomorrow is a vital part of the mission of the FFA. Therefore, members receiving their State Degree must demonstrate leadership through performing ten parliamentary law procedures, giving a six-minute speech on agriculture, and serving as an FFA officer, committee chairperson, or committee member. Members must also have a satisfactory academic record, and complete at least 25 hours of community service in a minimum of two different service activities.
Students in FFA begin creating SAE’s early in their FFA career and continue working on them throughout their involvement in agricultural education. FFA members receiving their State Degree must show a record of having a satisfactory SAE. Members must have earned and productively invested at least $1,000 and/or have worked at least 750 hours outside of scheduled class time.
The National FFA Organization, formerly known as the Future Farmers of America, changed its name in 1988 to reflect the growth and diversity of agriculture. There are more than 600,000 FFA members nationwide. The Illinois Association has more than 18,000 members. The FFA makes a positive difference in the lives of students by developing their potential for premier leadership, personal growth, and career success, through agricultural education.