BYB - Susie Thompson-FFA Sec

Susie Thompson, 2015-16 IL Association FFA Sate Secretary (Courtesy photo)

By Emily Hanlin
Ag Communications and Administrative Assistant
Winnebago-Boone Farm Bureau

The gavel dropped at the 88th Illinois Association FFA State Convention on Tuesday, June 14, in Springfield, IL, and the meeting hall came to order. The IL FFA enables its members to explore and develop their agricultural interest. FFA has enhanced the quality of talented employees available to agriculture and its industries. According to the associations website, the annual State FFA Convention is both the opportunity to “show case your organization and to cultivate the future industry leaders.”

To a FFA member, state convention is one of the most exciting events of the year. Susie Thompson, 2015-16 IL Association FFA State Secretary can relate first hand.

“State convention is a three day long extravaganza to celebrate the incredible accomplishments of over 17,000 Illinois FFA Members,” said Thompson. “It’s a time to meet new friends and be reunited with old ones. Convention is my favorite time of the year.”

Thompson had been involved with FFA during her time at Burlington Central High School in Burlington, IL. Her involvement with the association allowed her to strengthen social and leadership skills that gave her confidence to become a leader and role model for the thousands of members of the Illinois Association FFA. She was elected into her current position a year ago at the 87th State Illinois FFA Convention and will be passing the gavel on later in the week.

“Serving this year as state secretary has led me to playing various roles during the year,” said Thompson. “There are regular secretary duties such as taking minutes at meetings and sending out correspondence. Besides the title on our jackets, the five of us state officers were all travelling around the state, meeting incredible people and serving as advocates for FFA and agricultural education. That’s one of the greatest things about our team; it doesn’t matter the title on the jacket or the position you were elected to, the five of us all help each other out and play many different roles throughout our year to allow ourselves to best serve the members of Illinois FFA. As we prepare for state convention, I’m most excited to meet new friends and be reunited with old ones. Throughout our many travels this year, meeting new people every place we went was by far my favorite part of the year.”

The convention started off Tuesday with the first general session themed “BUILD THE NOISE”. Members who attended this session were able to experience a keynote speech by Nick Baker, the National FFA Secretary. Tuesday night the second general session started at 6:30 p.m. and after the National Chapter Award was presented by the Illinois Farm Bureau President, Richard Guebert, FFA members attended the State FFA Dance at the IL State Fairgrounds. Wednesday and Thursdays agendas were jammed packed with educational and enjoyable activities and sessions for members to revel in.

The IIllinois Farm Bureau (ILFB) partners with the FFA year-long to provide members with opportunities to expand their leadership skills and build their legacy. The ILFB is dedicated to creating a strong future for the next generation. “That’s why IFB is so student-friendly,” states the official website, “from creating Agriculture in the Classroom lessons to fighting for fair school funding… from awarding scholarships to fighting against FFA and 4-H budget cuts, Illinois Farm Bureau works to protect the future of our industry for you.”

As for us at the Winnebago-Boone Farm Bureau, we are so thankful organizations like this exist. We see the importance of agriculture education and we also appreciate all of the positive lessons members take away from the FFA organization. Thank you to Susie and all of the other members who have stepped up to serve this organization this year. Your hard work has positively impacted thousands.


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