Farm Progress

Among those chosen to lead the organization are Joseph Birrittier, Waterloo, as president, and Robert Janssen, Avon, as vice president.

Jill Loehr, Associate Editor, Prairie Farmer

June 16, 2017

2 Min Read
2017-18 STATE OFFICERS: From left are Dalton Painter, secretary; Robert Janssen, vice president; Joseph Birrittier, president; Ryan Reeverts, reporter; and Chase Clausen, treasurer.

Five corduroy jackets need a gold-stitch upgrade as FFA chapter delegates from across Illinois elected a new state officer team this week. The Springfield Prairie Capital Convention Center walls could barely contain the excitement as five new leaders emerged out of 10 worthy candidates.

The newly elected officers are:
Joseph Birrittier, Waterloo, president
Robert Janssen, Avon, vice president
Ryan Reeverts, Byron, reporter
Dalton Painter, Newman, secretary
Chase Clausen, Genoa, treasurer

“I can’t believe it,” said a thrilled and stunned Joseph Birrittier, Shiloh FFA Chapter. “I’m humbled, I’m speechless — I just can’t believe it. It will be the year of a lifetime, and I will always remember it.”

Just as the news began to sink in for Birrittier, Robert Janssen tapped into his auctioneer skills and delivered a quick and memorable speech to seal his seat as vice president.

“Thank you Illinois FFA! I won’t let you down,” said Janssen. He had a message for FFA members who are looking for the right role in their chapters. “I was you,” he said. “I want to get those kids who sit in the back of the classrooms and let them see what FFA has to offer them.”  

Ryan Reeverts shares that dream. He hopes to inspire fellow FFA members to overcome any challenge they may face in order to achieve their objectives. “No matter what, you can achieve your goals,” he said.

Dalton Painter smashed his goal this week. “I’m on cloud nine right now,” he says. “This blows my mind.”

Painter set his goals high after attending National FFA Convention for the first time. A fellow FFA member dropped out, and Painter volunteered to take his place. That’s when he decided to dream big.

“If I convey anything to the delegates, it’s to chase after your goals and never let anything slow you down,” he explained.

Chase Clausen followed in his father’s and grandfather’s footsteps when he first put on the corduroy jacket. “My entire family has been involved in FFA, so it was a given when I got to high school,” he said. “I hope my grandpa is looking down on me and smiling.”

What’s next for the new officer team? Collegiate careers are put on hold for a year as they 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.

“It will be really exciting,” Reeverts said. “You’ll never know just what will happen. It will be unexpected.”

About the Author(s)

Jill Loehr

Associate Editor, Prairie Farmer, Loehr

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