Scales Mound FFA members with their section plaque for Community Development received on Wednesday, June 12. Members include, from left, Leah Holland, Mason Cocagne, Claire Conrad, Matt Kelly, Morgan Cocagne and Michael Foley. Contributed photos.
Scales Mound FFA members with their section plaque for Community Development received on Wednesday, June 12. Members include, from left, Leah Holland, Mason Cocagne, Claire Conrad, Matt Kelly, Morgan Cocagne and Michael Foley. Contributed photos.
SCALES MOUND-Scales Mound FFA chapter and members earned several honors at the Illinois FFA Convention, held June 11-13 in Springfield. More than 4,000 FFA members, advisors, parents, and guests from across the state participated in the annual convention.

Scales Mound FFA received a gold ranking for its accomplishments in completing the program of activities and earned the section plaque in the community development area. The chapter was also recognized as a national chapter finalist and will have its application sent on for national judging.

The Illinois Farm Bureau and affiliated companies recognized the top chapter presidents. Matt Kelly received bronze recognition at a session on Wednesday, June 12.

Kelly, the son of Jim and Karen Kelly, earned this honor by working with his chapter officer team and the chapter members to complete the tasks on the program of activities. He provided outstanding leadership and served as an excellent role model for the Scales Mound FFA members.

He was also recognized on the stage as a finalist in the State Star Ag Placement competition. Five finalists in this award area advanced through chapter, section, and district competitions.

Selection of the state award winners is based on a personal interview, size and growth of the FFA member's Supervised Agricultural Experience Program (SAE), and their knowledge of the subject area and career pathway. These awards honor FFA members who have developed specialized skills, which can be applied to their future careers.

Kelly will be furthering his education in the fall while attending the University of Wisconsin-Madison Industry Short Course with an emphasis in agronomy and beef management.
Claire Conrad, Matt Kelly and Jared Korte were recognized on stage at the convention, earning their state FFA degrees. The degree is given to the top members of the state FFA association.

To receive a state FFA degree, members must meet the following requirements: received a chapter FFA Degree; been an active FFA member for at least two years; completed at least two years of systematic school instruction in agricultural education at or above the ninth grade level, which includes an SAE; earned and productively invested at least $1,000; worked at least 750 hours outside of scheduled class time or earned at least $1,500 through an SAE; demonstrated leadership ability by performing 10 parliamentary law procedures, giving a six-minute speech on a topic relating to agriculture or FFA, and serving as an FFA officer, committee chairperson, or committee member; must have a satisfactory academic record, certified by the agriculture teacher and the school principal or superintendent; participated in the planning and implementation of the chapter's Program of Activities; participated in at least five different FFA activities above the chapter level; and completed at least 25 hours of community service.

Conrad, the daughter of Alan and Mary Jane Conrad, has raised her show steers and helped on the family farm. She has also documented her hours compiling articles and news as the chapter reporter. She has worked on two area farms compiling hours in beef management and crop production.

Korte, the son of Chad and Jodi Korte, has completed his hours working on the family beef and crop farm and raising his show steer.

Other members attending the convention from Scales Mound were Morgan Cocagne, Mason Cocagne, Michael Foley and Leah Holland.