Superior-Gold Emblem Chapter

For the third in a row, the members of the Marion FFA Chapter recently completed a successful year with a final ranking in the National Chapter Award of “Superior– Gold Emblem Chapter”.  The ranking was based upon the activities of the members of the Marion FFA Chapter over the last 12 months in the areas of Student Development, Chapter Development and Community Development.  In addition, the Marion FFA Chapters application will be submitted to the National FFA Organization for judging at the national level over the summer.

For example, the members of the Marion FFA Chapter hosted an invitational Trap Shooting Contest at the Rend Lake Shooting Complex, a Parent/Member Banquet on April 30, 2011 and an extensive recruitment effort at theMarionJunior High School.

In the area of Community Development, the members presented a PTO tractor safety lesson to grade school students, sold flowers in from the Marion FFA Chapter Greenhouse and coordinated with the Marion FFA Alumni on an Adopt-A-Highway spot.  Finally, in student development, the hosted the Agricultural Career Fair at Marion High School on November 10, 2010, partnered with the Williamson County Extension Service to organize a community garden, and organized athletic and recreation events for members.

Aside from the National Chapter Award Gold Emblem ranking, the members of Marion FFA Chapter competed in numerous events at the Section, District and State Level over the previous school year. The Chapter placed in the top five in ten different Section 24 FFA Contests during the school year; Tractor Driving (1st), Extemporaneous Public Speaking (1st), Prepared Public Speaking (1st), Dairy Judging (1st), Horse Judging (2nd), Envirothon (2nd), Soils (3rd), FFA Creed Speaking (3rd), Agricultural Mechanics (5th) and Parliamentary Procedure (5th).

The members of the Marion FFA Chapter participated in several leadership activities during the previous year.  Eighteen members attended the National FFA Convention from October 20 to October 23, 2010 inIndianapolis,IN.  While at the National FFA Convention, the members participated in the nation’s largest agricultural career fair and attended the business sessions of the National FFA Organization.  The chapter officers attended the Section 24 Leadership Training School in October 2010 hosted by the current year’s Section 24 FFA officers.

Graduated member Jamie Gravatt has been recommended to receive her American FFA Degree at this year’s National FFA convention on October  22, 2011.  Brandon Berger, Zack Farner and Brittany Murphy have been recommended to receive their State FFA Degree at the upcoming State FFA Convention. State Degrees are awarded to members who have completed two years of agricultural classes, required FFA activities, and two years of a supervised agricultural experience program.

Four members of the Marion FFA Chapter, Kaylen Roth, Derek Holland, Preston Lunon and Brianna McConnell, received first place proficiency awards in Section 24 for their Supervised Agricultural Experience Programs.  Brianna placed first in District V and interviewed at the state level in April.

In other activities, members Brianna McConnell and Katie Baltzell attended the Illinois Farm Bureau FFA Youth Leaders Conference inSpringfield,ILfor two days in April.   

Chapter Officers for the 2010-2011 school year were recently elected.  Members elected by their peers to serve in leadership positions for the next year were:  Brandon Berger (President), Kyle Baker (Vice President), Katie Baltzell (Secretary), Delani Graves-Napier (Treasurer), Kristen Horrell (Reporter), and Preston Lunon (Sentinel).

The Marion FFA Chapter continues to be supported by an active and vibrant Alumni affiliate.  The Marion FFA Alumni awarded two $1,200 scholarships to senior members Patrick Johnson and Sydney Motsinger.  In addition, senior member Zack Farner received a scholarship valued at $8,000 for two years to study Agricultural Mechanics atRendLakeCollege.

As the school year ends and summer begins, the members of the Marion FFA Chapter will continue to help the Marion FFA Alumni with their Adopt-a-Highway spot and represent the local chapter at the State FFA Convention in Springfield, ILon June 14-16th, where members will elect next year’s state officers and receive their “Superior-Gold Emblem Chapter” award.