Sen. Patrick J. Joyce

SPRINGFIELD – Future Farmers of America chapters across Illinois will soon see more financial assistance thanks to grants that would be paid out through the Future Farmers of America Fund created through legislation sponsored by State Senator Patrick Joyce.

“As lifetime FFA member myself, I am proud to champion legislation that has full support across the board,” said Joyce (D-Essex). “FFA taught me so many valuable lessons that I still hold and apply to my life as a farmer and state senator – and I want to provide those same opportunities for other students across our state.”

House Bill 5400 also allows the Illinois Secretary of State to issue FFA universal specialty license plates. The funds collected from the distribution of the decals will then go into the Future Farmers of America Fund. Anyone can apply for and be issued one of the plates for an additional $25 to their standard vehicle registration fee. For the original issuance, $10 will go to the FFA Fund, and for renewals $23 will go to the fund.

“Illinois FFA is proud of the tradition of providing thousands of Illinois students each year opportunities for premier leadership, personal growth, and career success through agricultural education,” said Mindy Bunselmeyer, Illinois FFA Center Executive Director. “This newly established grant program supported by the sale of FFA universal specialty license plates will allow Illinois agricultural education and the FFA to continue fueling the talent pipeline for the agriculture industry as the number one industry in Illinois.”

HB 5400 is now signed into law and takes effect Jan. 1, 2023.