Orion FFA reaps awards

Amelia Martens
The Illinois Bankers Association award for best activities in Section 3 went to Orion FFA at the convention held earlier this summer in Springfield. With the award are, left to right, Craig Shehorn, Tyler Patton and the Illinois Bankers’ Association’s Gary McCaints.

The Orion FFA Chapter won multiple awards at the 80th Illinois State FFA Convention, which was held from Tuesday, June 10, through Thursday, June 12, at the Prairie Capital Convention Center in Springfield.

Orion was selected to receive the National Chapter Gold Emblem Award, which recognized them for their outstanding program of activities. 

The National Chapter Gold Emblem Award is the highest rank a chapter can receive in the entire state.

Orion was one of the top thirty FFA chapters in the state to receive the award, so the chapter will be advancing to the national competition for the National Chapter Gold Emblem Award.

Out of twelve schools in the section, Orion won the Illinois Bankers’ Award for Section 3.  The award, which is sponsored by the Illinois Bankers’ Association, is given to the FFA chapter with the best program of activities in each of the twenty-five sections.

The Century Challenge Award was presented to Orion for having 100 percent FFA membership among high school students enrolled in agricultural courses. 

FFA is an essential part of all high school agricultural education programs in the United States and is the largest vocational student organization with over 470,000 members nationwide.

The Orion FFA was presented with the $1,000 Club Award for participation in the annual FFA Foundation Collection Drive. Orion collected between $1,000 and $1,999, helping the foundation collect a total of $359,013.20.  This was the 60th year for the Foundation’s support of the FFA.

Orion received four awards for its program of activities, which consists of student development, chapter development, and community development. 

In student development, Orion received the Gold Emblem Award for student involvement in individual contests, leadership training courses and scholarships.  Orion was also recognized as the Section 3 winner for student development programs.

In community development, Orion received the Gold Emblem Award for an outstanding community development program.

Orion also received the Gold Emblem Award in chapter development.

In individual awards, Orion FFA President Tyler Patton received the Gold Certificate for doing an outstanding job during his term as chapter president.  The Illinois Farm Bureau Young Leaders sponsored the award.

Alex Samuelson was granted a scholarship to attend the Washington Leadership Conference.  One of 19 scholarship recipients in the state, Samuelson was able to attend one of the six weekly conference sessions in Washington, D.C., held this summer. 

At the conference, he became acquainted with the National FFA officers, visited the Capitol and historic monuments, and participated in leadership and personal development workshops.  The National FFA Alumni and Illinois FFA Alumni provided the scholarships.

Amelia Martens was named one of 10 Outstanding Chapter Reporters in the state.  Martens was selected to receive the award for her excellent reporting efforts during the past year.  Illinois AgriNews sponsored the award.

Over 3,000 FFA members and guests attended the 80th convention.  FFA chapters and individuals were recognized for their achievements throughout the three-day-long convention.