Members of the Flanagan-Cornell FFA chapter recently attended the 90th annual Illinois State FFA Convention in Springfield, along with more than 5,000 other FFA members, advisers and guests.
“Be Bold” was the theme of the three-day event, which recognizes achievements of Illinois FFA members, elects the major state officer team and celebrates agriculture. Students at the convention were greeted with activities including a career fair featuring colleges and agribusinesses, an evening dance and talent show and an opportunity to engage in the history of Springfield.
The convention’s 2018 service project benefited children through “The Crayon Initiative,” which collects old, used crayons and creates new ones for distribution to art programs at children’s hospitals across the nation. From this service project, more than 13,000 pounds of crayons were collected, which will allow for over 70,000 packs of crayons to be made.
The convention program featured addresses by National FFA Southern Region Vice President Ian Bennett, of Georgia, and from each of the retiring major state officers.
During the convention, the following awards were presented to the Flanagan-Cornell FFA chapter:
• Chapter President Award: Emily Friese was honored for being a Silver Level chapter president for her work this past year as the Flanagan-Cornell chapter president.
• Chapter Reporter Award: Alexis Howell was honored for being a Silver Level chapter reporter for her work this past year as the Flanagan-Cornell chapter reporter.
• Agricultural Sales Entrepreneurship State Proficiency Winner: Karson Kimpling's Supervised Agricultural Experience (SAE) consisted of his business buying and reselling flowers, planters, pumpkins and corn stalks. He expanded his operation to include four sales during the months of September and October. Kimpling credits his SAE for strengthening his sales and interpersonal skills. He is the son of Kyle and Lynn Kimpling, of Flanagan. His FFA adviser is Jessica Collins.
• State FFA Degrees: Madelyn Forney, Emily Friese and Karson Kimpling received their State FFA Degrees during the 5th General Session of Convention. The Illinois State FFA Degree is the highest award received at the state level.
• National Chapter Award: The Flanagan-Cornell FFA Chapter was recognized as being a Gold Chapter for the National Chapter Award, which highlights the chapter’s program of activities done throughout the year. Not only was the chapter a gold ranking chapter, but it was recognized as a National Finalist and was among the top 30 chapters in the state of Illinois.
• 2018-2019 Section President: Karson Kimpling was installed as the president of Illinois FFA's Section 9. The 25 newly installed section presidents are members of the 2018-19 Illinois State Officer Team.