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Sycamore FFA Attends 94th Annual Illinois State FFA Convention; Presented Awards

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Sycamore FFA Attends 94th Annual Illinois State FFA Convention; Presented Awards
Members of the Sycamore FFA chapter attended the 94th annual Illinois State FFA Convention June 14-16 along with more than 5,000 other FFA members, advisors, and guests. With a 2022 theme of “Initiate,” the three-day event annually recognizes achievements of Illinois FFA members, elects the major state officer team, and celebrates agriculture.
During the convention, the following awards were presented to the Sycamore FFA chapter.

Agriscience Animal Systems Division Winner

Drake Slutz smiling and holding an award

Pictured: Drake Slutz

Drake Slutz was recognized as a top participant in one of the six categories of the Illinois FFA Agriscience Fair. Students gain real-world, hands-on experiences in agricultural enterprises and use scientific principles and emerging technologies to solve complex problems related to agriculture, food, and natural resources. CF Industries sponsors FFA's Agriscience Fair.

Agriscience Social Systems Division Winner

Allyson Yoakum and Lorelei Darlak Holding Awards

Pictured (L to R): Allyson Yoakum and Lorelei Darlak

Allyson Yoakum & Lorelei Darlak were recognized as top participants in one of the other six categories of the Illinois FFA Agriscience Fair which was sponsored by CF Industries.

Forest Management & Products State Proficiency Winner

Cole Roach and supporters holding an award

Pictured (L to R): Pat and Kelsey Roach, Parents; Cole Roach, Recipient; and Kara Poynter, Courtney Wiedenmann, Christian Thurwanger, Advisors

Cole Roach was selected as the State FFA Proficiency Winner in Forest Management and Products. Cole is the son of Pat and Kelsey Roach. He is a member of the Sycamore FFA Chapter, advised by Christian Thurwanger, Kara Poynter, and Courtney Wiedenmann. For his Supervised Agricultural Experience, Cole sells firewood. This past year, Cole sold 162 face cords of wood, which is about 40,000 individual pieces. He plans to continue this project and start saving for college or trade school. Cole says this project has taught him the importance of record-keeping and communication.


Ally Yoakum holding the American Flag

Pictured: Ally Yoakum

Ally Yoakum was awarded outstanding chapter reporter for her work on social media and newsletters. 

Chapter President’s Award Winner

Sarah Ward Holding an Award

Pictured: Sarah Ward

Sarah Ward was presented the Chapter President’s Award for her outstanding accomplishments as immediate past president. 

2022-2023 Section 6 President

Molly Griffey

Pictured: Molly Griffey

Molly Griffey was installed as the President of Illinois FFA's Section 6. The 25 newly installed Section Presidents are members of the 2022-2023 Illinois State Officer Team.

State Discovery Star Farmer Winner

Drake Slutz and supporters holding award

Pictured (L to R): Carol Slutz, Parent; Drake Slutz, Recipient; Kara Poynter, Courtney Wiedenmann, and Christian Thurwanger, Advisors

Drake Slutz was selected as the Discovery Star Farmer and is the son of Brad and Carol Slutz. He is a member of the Sycamore FFA Chapter, located in District 2, and advised by Kara Poynter, Christian Thurwanger, and Courtney Wiedenmann. Drake owns a small flock of Shropshire sheep. His family has raised Shropshires since the early 1980s, making him a third-generation farmer. During the next four years, he plans to expand his flock and is excited to watch his Supervised Agricultural Experience grow.

State Degrees

State Degree Award Winners

Pictured (L to R): Kylee Watry, Jordyn Block, Isaac Ward, Molly Griffey and Ally Yoakum

Not pictured: Samantha Lind


American Degrees

American Degree Recipients

Pictured (L to R): Jaedyn Slutz, Jesse Mantzke, Jared Clausen, Morgan Fidler and Allie Drake

Not pictured: Tyler Ekstrom and Max Griffey


The convention spotlighted the Association’s annual service project, which provided $250 scholarships to 20 FFA chapters planting trees throughout the state. 

Students at the convention were greeted with activities including a career fair featuring colleges and agribusinesses and an opportunity to engage in the history of Illinois’ capital city. The sessions featured addresses by National FFA Western Region Vice President Josiah Cruikshank of Oregon and from each of the retiring major state officers.