Wednesday, August 05, 2009

Newark FFA Chapter Receives National Recognition

INDIANAPOLIS – The National FFA Organization recently selected from a pool of more than 600 candidates nationwide the Newark FFA Chapter of Newark, IL, as a 3-star winner in the National FFA Chapter Award program. The chapter members have been invited to attend the 82nd National FFA Convention in Indianapolis, Ind., Oct. 21-24, 2009, where they will be recognized for this honor.
The award program is a special project of the National FFA Foundation. The National FFA Chapter Award program recognizes FFA chapters for developing and conducting a detailed Program of Activities (POA). Each activity provides opportunities for members to excel in one of three areas: student, chapter, or community development. Every year, chapters are recognized as having earned a one-, two- or three-star rating on their application. The three-star rating is the highest level of accomplishment a chapter may achieve.
The National FFA Organization, formerly known as the Future Farmers of America, is a national youth organization of 507,763 student members – all preparing for leadership and careers in the science, business and technology of agriculture – as part of 7,439 local FFA chapters in all 50 states, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands. The National FFA Organization changed to its present name in 1988, in recognition of the growth and diversity of agriculture and agricultural education. The FFA mission is to make a positive difference in the lives of students by developing their potential for premier leadership, personal growth and career success through agricultural education. Visit for more information.

Monday, August 03, 2009


Here is an update of actions that happened in Springfield about Career and Technical Education and the Agriculture Education Funding. On July 21st the Illinois State Board of Education passed its FY10 budget which was a budget with approximately 50% fewer funds for grants than FY09. Cuts were inevitable for most grant programs. The Agricultural Education line item in the ISBE budget was funded at a 50% level ($1,690,600). The Career and Technical Education line item was funded at 100% ($38,562,100), which is level funding compared to FY09. As indicated by the board, maintenance of effort (matching federal funds) was the key to level funding for CTE. Many other line items (33) were cut altogether (100%).While the good news is the Agricultural Education line item was included in the FY10 budget, the reality is the line item still experienced a 50% cut compared to FY09.
Governor Quinn just announced on July 31 what areas will be receiving additional money at the governor’s discretion. In these additional funds the governor gave more money to the Illinois State Board of Education. Because the board has more money, additional funds have been added to the Ag Ed line item! These additional funds push us to approx. 90% of the previous budget! That's right the Ag Ed Line Item is now Approx 90% funded!
With the CTE (high school) line item 100% funded and the Ag Ed line item 90% funded, Ag Education in Illinois can keep training the leaders of tomorrow for another year!
The Ag Ed line item and the CTE line item were well represented at the budget meeting by teachers, parents and students throughout the process. The sharing of your successes and voicing of your concerns was appreciated. Congratulations to everyone for all of your hard work! Thank-you for many of you who asked about the status of funding at the Kendall County Fair it showed the students that citizens in the Newark area and surrounding communities care about Agriculture Education. However I haven't heard of the status for the College level CTE line item. Please, write to Governor Quinn and thank him for his support of Education and the Ag Ed Line Item!

Newark FFA Member attends Illinois FFA Leadership Camp

Kelsey Oldenburg of the Newark FFA Chapter recently attended the 2009 Illinois FFA Leadership Camp, held at Allerton Park near Monticello, IL from July 29th 0August 1. Kelsey was among the over 300 campers from across the state that gathered to develop leadership skills and learn more about the FFA. Campers participated in a challenge course to develop teamwork, Ag Olympics, FFA power sessions, dance and a large water balloon fight. They also listened to presentations from the Illinois FFA Alumni, Illinois Foundation FFA, Hypnotist Dr. Morton Ford, and guest Speaker Harlan “Butch” Cotter.

FFA Makes a positive difference in the lives of youth by developing their potential for premier leadership, personal growth, and career success through agriculture education.