Local FFA members shine again at state level

Joe Heavner

For the third year in a row, an FFA student from Monroe County has earned the prestigious honor of being named a state FFA officer. This year, Joe Heavner of Valmeyer will serve as the Illinois State FFA Treasurer.

To fulfill his duties, Heavner will take a year off his college studies at Southwestern Illinois College and travel around Illinois giving speeches and participating in public relations events meant to bolster FFA organizations in the state, said Valmeyer FFA advisor Howard Heavner, Joe’s dad.

Joe Heavner served as Section 22 FFA President before attaining this most recent title.

“The agriculture industry has gotten to be big business,” Howard Heavner said, as evidenced by the strong FFA programs at Waterloo and Valmeyer, and the recent introduction of programs at Columbia and Gibault high schools.

“Students and parents see a value in what we teach,” he said, noting much of the FFA activities, particularly parliamentary competitions, focus on communication skills.

“FFA provides opportunity for anyone,” he said.

Members of the Waterloo High School FFA attending the state convention in Springfield. (submitted photo)

Seventy-five percent of FFA students are not farm kids, Heavner said. “But the value of what we teach them extends beyond a career in agriculture.”

Last year, Waterloo High School’s Joel Limestall was named State FFA Secretary, and in 2011, Waterloo’s Chris Steppig also earned a state officer position as reporter.

Joe Heavner was named from among the more than 4,000 participants at the 85th Illinois State FFA Convention at the Prairie Capital Convention Center in Springfield this spring.

Not to be outdone, the Waterloo FFA was named the sixth place FFA Chapter in Illinois out of 322 chapters in the state.

Marissa Modglin

This is based on the National Chapter Award Application, which is designed to award chapters that implement the mission and strategies of the organization.

Other awards presented included:

  • Marissa Modglin of Waterloo was recognized as first place Secretary in the Parliamentary Procedure Career Development Event.
  • Waterloo’s Perry Battin, Rachael Webber and Ryan Gregson received State FFA Degrees. The State Degree is awarded based on each student’s Supervised Agriculture Experience project and their record book. This is the highest level of membership that a state can bestow upon its members.
  • The Valmeyer FFA’s Freshman Parliamentary Procedure Team competed at the state convention and their chairman, Caleb Buchanan, was named first place chairman.
  • Valmeyer’s Kevin Mosbacher, Ben Franke, Kristin Scheibe and Emilee Mosbacher received their Illinois FFA Degrees on June 13.
  • Kevin Mosbacher was also named one of five Star Farmers in Illinois.

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