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Senators welcome FFA Day visitors

ffaday 041118The Senate welcomed visitors from across the state today representing the Illinois Future Farmers of America. Illinois Association FFA President Joseph Birrittier from Waterloo spoke to the Senate about the importance of agriculture in Illinois and the need for quality agriculture education to ensure the ongoing success of a major state industry.

Birrittier graduated from Waterloo High School in May of 2017 and plans to attend the University of Illinois to major in Agriculture Science Education with a minor in Agriculture Communications.

 

FFA’s 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. Initiated in the 1920s, FFA's primary activities center around agriculture education including scholarships, and leadership and personal development.

Also speaking in the Senate today was Samantha Hasselbring of Cissna Park in Iroquois County, the 2018 Miss Illinois County Fair Queen. She attends Parkland College majoring in elementary education. Her win makes her the official hostess of the Illinois State Fair in Springfield and the Du Quoin State Fair.

According to the Illinois Department of Agriculture's website, marketing Illinois' agricultural commodities generates more than $19 billion annually. Corn accounts for 54 percent of that total. Marketing of soybeans contributes 27 percent, and the combined marketings of livestock, dairy and poultry generates 13 percent. The balance comes from sales of wheat and other crops, including fruits and vegetables.

Billions more dollars flow into the state's economy from ag-related industries, such as farm machinery manufacturing, agricultural real estate, and production and sale of value-added food products. Rural Illinois benefits principally from agricultural production, while agricultural processing and manufacturing strengthen urban economies.

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