The Marion FFA Chapter received one of its highest honors at the Illinois FFA Convention in Springfield. Marion placed second in the state in the National Gold Emblem program.
“This is the highest we have ever been,” said Marion FFA Advisor Wayne Griffith. “We’ve been ranked the last four years, but we were in the 20s the last couple of years.”
The Seneca FFA Chapter was the state’s top-ranked chapter.
The ranking is based on 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 qualified to be be submitted to the National FFA Organization for judging at the national level over the summer.
Among its activities, members of the Marion FFA Chapter hosted an invitational Trap Shooting Contest at the Rend Lake Shooting Complex, a Parent-Member Banquet April 30, 2011 and an extensive recruitment effort at the Marion Junior High School.
In the area of Community Development, the members hosted a 5K race in February for National FFA Week, sold flowers from the chapter’s greenhouse and presented agricultural education lessons to all the fifth-grade students in the Marion school district.
Finally, in student development, the chapter hosted the Agricultural Career Fair at Marion High School Nov. 10, 2011 and adopted a high-way to beautify the community in conjunction with the Marion FFA Alumni Chapter.
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 eight different Section 24 FFA Contests during the school year; Tractor Driving (1st), Parliamentary Procedure (1st), Envirothon (2nd), Soils (2nd), Agricultural Issues Forum (2nd), Extemporaneous Public Speaking (3rd), Prepared Public Speaking (5th), and FFA Creed Speaking (5th).
The members of the Marion FFA Chapter participated in several leadership activities during the previous year. Twenty-three members attended the National FFA Convention from Oct. 19 through Oct. 22, 2011 in Indianapolis, Ind. 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 2011 hosted by the current year’s Section 24 FFA officers.
Six members of the Marion FFA Chapter, Kaylen Roth, Cayla Passerman, Preston Lunon, Alexis Baugher, Kristin Horrell, and Kyle Baker received first place proficiency awards in Section 24 for their Supervised Agricultural Experience Programs.
In other activities, members Kristin Horrell and Delani Graves-Napier attended the Illinois Farm Bureau FFA Youth Leaders Conference in Springfield for two days in April.
Chapter Officers for the 2012-13 school year were recently elected. Members elected by their peers to serve in leadership positions for the next year were: Kyle Baker (President), Emily Jack (Vice President), Harleigh Krumrey (Secretary), Kristin Horrell (Treasurer), Richelle Nelson (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 Katie Baltzell and Kaylen Roth. In addition, member Delani Graves-Napier received a scholarship from the Illinois FFA Alumni valued at $750 to attend the Washington Leadership Conference this summer hosted by the National FFA Organization in Washington, D.C. Also, Jennifer Blankenship received two scholarships from the Illinois FFA Alumni as well valued at $320 to attend both the 212 Degree Conference and the Illinois FFA Leadership Camp