COUNTRY Financial®, GROWMARK, IAA Credit Union, and the Illinois Farm Bureau are proud to announce the newly launched IAA Family of Companies FFA Alumni Affiliate.
The group will promote knowledge of the agricultural industry and support agricultural education among other association outreach efforts. The group is among a select number of FFA Alumni Affiliate groups formed by companies across the State of Illinois.
Karen Jones of GROWMARK and president of the alumni affiliate said, “Many employees already support FFA in various ways, but the alumni affiliate is a way to reach out to those who may not already have a connection to ag and to strengthen opportunities for those who do.”
In addition to Jones’s presidential role, Rick Halberg of COUNTRY Financial is currently serving as president-elect and will serve as president next year. Other vice president and leadership positions are filled by employees within the different companies.
“FFA has gone from building young farmers to building young leaders,” said Halberg. “We now have a great opportunity to reach further into our communities to share our experience and expertise with local FFA chapters, and help these young individuals as they continue to place themselves ahead of the crowd. I’m proud to be a part of this group.”
Members of the IAA Family of Companies FFA Alumni Affiliate look forward to lending a helping hand to FFA chapters and members in central Illinois. They will be able to serve as judges for various Career Development Events (CDE), provide members with mentorships and job shadow opportunities, and volunteer at other events such as the Illinois FFA Convention and state conferences.
“Today’s FFA members are tomorrow’s employees, members, customers and leaders,” says Jones. “Anything we can do to help support them in learning about agriculture and developing their skills in important and valuable.”
Membership is not limited to previous FFA members. The new group has opened its doors to anyone in the home offices of COUNTRY Financial, GROWMARK, IAA Credit Union, and the Illinois Farm Bureau who have an interest in agriculture and supporting FFA members.