Central and Wesclin FFAs Earn State Convention Honors

The Swine Production Placement State Proficiency Winner was Zach Kampwerth of Central Breese. Pictured are (L-R) Harley Carlson, advisor; Zach Kampwerth, recipient;and his parents Tanya Kampwerth and Matt Kampwerth.

Members of the Central Breese and Wesclin FFA chapters were recognized during the 93rd annual Illinois FFA State Convention, hosted in-person and virtually throughout the state over two weeks this summer.
With a 2021 theme of “Dare to Be,” the convention annually recognizes achievements of Illinois FFA members, elects the major state officer team, and celebrates agriculture. In response to continuing coronavirus concerns, Illinois’ FFA State Association officer team and staff adjusted the convention to honor achievements in-person, at three different outdoor venues for smaller groups.
During the convention, the following awards were presented to the Central Breese FFA chapter.
-Foundation $3,000 Club Award Recipient: The chapter was recognized for coordinating a local campaign for the Illinois Foundation FFA which raised at least $3,000. The chapter’s fundraising total was $3,000.
-Swine Production Placement State Proficiency Winner: Zach Kampwerth is the son of Matt and Tanya Kampwerth of Bartelso. Zach is a member of the Central Breese FFA Chapter and his FFA advisor is Harley Carlson. For his Supervised Agricultural Experience, Zach keeps records on his job at his family’s farrow-to-finish swine operation.
His responsibilities include daily feeding and watering, managing the pigs in each stage of the process, and operating machinery on the farm. Over the past four years, Zach has developed many skills and understands what it takes to run a successful swine farm. The Swine Production Placement Proficiency award is sponsored by Illinois Pork Producers.
-State Star in Agricultural Placement Finalist – District 5: Tyler Gerdes is the son of David and Stacey Gerdes of Bartelso. Tyler is a member of the Central Breese FFA Chapter and his FFA advisor is Harley Carlson. For his Supervised Agricultural Experience (SAE), Tyler works for a local dairy farm. His duties include mixing feed rations for the cows, administering vaccinations, and milking the cows. Tyler also runs equipment and performs other small maintenance jobs around the farm. He makes sure to work safely when running equipment and working with the cows. Tyler is thankful for the support and help from his parents, employer, and teachers to continue his SAE through high school.
Wesclin’s award included Retiring Advisor Recognition was given to Matt Fisher as a retiring chapter FFA advisor, having served as an agricultural educator for 34 years of his professional career.
The business session was livestreamed May 28. Individual district sessions including State and American FFA Degrees, statewide awards, and the 2020-2021 Illinois State Officer Team retiring addresses were held June 1, 4, and 9 throughout the state at outdoor venues including Bloomington, Carbondale, and Springfield. Stars Over Illinois awards were presented June 8, in Springfield. National FFA Eastern Region Vice President and Illinois FFA alumna Miriam Hoffman addressed attendees and new officers were elected and installed June 10, in Springfield.

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