SPRINGFIELD – The 2017-2018 Illinois State Officer Team was elected Thursday, June 15 by delegates at the 89th Illinois State FFA Convention. The officers will be installed Thursday afternoon to serve the Illinois Association FFA for the next 12 months.
The newly elected officers are:
President: Joseph Birrittier, 18, of Waterloo (Monroe County) and the Waterloo FFA Chapter. He is the son of Don and Gina Birrittier and a 2017 graduate of Waterloo High School. “I want to push members out of their comfort zone and maximize their potential to be the true leaders they can be,” Birrittier says. “As I see it, if a band-loving city slicker like me can excel in this organization, anything is possible.”
Vice President: Robert Janssen, 19, of Avon (Fulton County) and the Abingdon-Avon FFA Chapter. He is the son of Chris and Jody Janssen, a 2016 graduate of Abingdon-Avon High School, and is enrolled at Spoon River College in agribusiness management. “As a state officer, I will strive to encourage members as they reach for their goals, push to increase agricultural awareness and understanding, and work tirelessly to promote agricultural education,” Janssen says.
Reporter: Ryan Reeverts, 19, of Byron (Ogle County) and the Byron FFA Chapter. He is the son of Terry and Pam Reeverts, a 2016 graduate of Byron High School, and is enrolled at Highland Community College in agribusiness. “As a state officer,” Reeverts says, “I will do everything in my absolute power to challenge every FFA member in the state of Illinois to be the leaders they wish to be in their own communities.”
Secretary: Dalton Painter, 19, of Newman (Douglas County) and the Shiloh FFA Chapter. He is the son of Tom and Karen Painter, a 2016 graduate of Shiloh High School, and is enrolled at Lake Land College in agricultural business and supply. “I want to be the leader who inspires members and fuels their passion for this organization,” Painter says. “As a state officer, I will ensure that we work as a whole to keep the traditions of Illinois FFA alive.”
Treasurer: Chase Clausen, 19, of Genoa (DeKalb County) and the Sycamore FFA Chapter. He is the son of Jeffrey and Anna Clausen, a 2016 graduate of Sycamore High School, and is enrolled at Kishwaukee College in animal science and agribusiness. “As a state officer, I want to be a positive role model and make a difference in my state,” Clausen says. “I will also strive to leave a positive impression on FFA members everywhere.”
The five officers were elected from a group of 10 candidates selected by a committee in early spring. Each officer puts their collegiate pursuits on hold for one year as they serve the Illinois Association FFA. Officers typically travel more than 20,000 miles visiting FFA chapters around the state, conducting workshops and meetings, representing Illinois FFA in professional settings, and promoting agricultural education. Since 1929, Illinois has elected a State FFA Officer Team.