IL Corn’s roots run deep in Illinois Association FFA
IL Corn positions farmers to create and capture profit opportunities, preserve their independence, and prosper for generations. There’s one overarching investment that never disappoints, and that is the time and resources spent partnering with the Illinois FFA. Here are six areas of involvement IL Corn had with the FFA in the past year:
Sponsor a car for FFA officers
The Illinois FFA officers visit every high school FFA chapter during their tenure and they need a reliable way to get around. IL Corn provides them a highly-visible, cobranded vehicle that runs on clean-burning renewable-energy, corn-based ethanol. It’s flashy in it’s own way!
Sponsor polos for majors and section presidents
In 2022 IL Corn funded co-branded, business casual polo shirts for all majors and section presidents. These bright gold and blue shirts gave a unified presence at large functions like the IL State Fair Ag Day breakfast and made traveling through Washington D.C. an attention-grabbing affair. It doesn’t take many gold-colored polos to pass by a stranger, before they notice the FFA emblem and say “I was in FFA when I was in high school, and, Hey! I see you’re from Illinois!” What an easy conversation starter!
Introduce FFA students to policy and advocacy in D.C.
Speaking of Washington, D.C., it is IL Corn’s privilege to sponsor a group of 36 FFA students on our summer fly-in to Capitol Hill. IL Corn provides travel, lodging and meeting opportunities for the group so they can participate in a similar capacity as our own board members. The students attend policy briefings, congressional visits, and NCGA Corn Congress. High-level officials, like the Secretary of Agriculture, have even paused their day to meet with our FFA group and grab a quick selfie. There are sightseeing opportunities as well as invaluable life lessons collected along the way. such as learning to travel by air and navigating the D.C. metro stations.
Offer internships and internship assistance
Last semester, IL Corn welcomed FFA Section 9 President, Peter Metivier, to our office for a communication internship for high school class credit. Peter worked on marketing and communications during his fall semester while also attending school. In the past, IL Corn has also provided need-based grants for past FFA leaders who have secured professional opportunities in Washington D.C. This housing stipend benefits all of us, by planting our rural roots into the Capitol city.
Create learning and fundraising opportunities, like our water testing program
We look for opportunities to provide discussions in the classroom and create awareness about farm conservation in the state. This past year we rolled out a new Water Testing Challenge for all FFA chapters in Illinois to participate (plans for 2023 are underway). This challenge had them working with farmers to collect samples from different water sources to analyze. The winners of this challenge were grateful to get involved in real agriculture issues and received a monetary award.
Cooperate on other important initiatives like FFA Foundation work
The FFA Foundation works to secure resources for the future of agricultural education and FFA. An IL Corn staff person sits on the Illinois FFA Foundation Board of Directors, helping to guide the future of the organization via fundraising opportunities and incentives for FFA chapters to participate most fully in local resource drives.
It’s easy to see how the FFA motto has lived on through generations of leaders – many of whom sit on our current Corn boards: “Learning to Do, Doing to Learn, Earning to Live, Living to Serve”. IL Corn is a proud supporter of Illinois Association FFA.