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Overview      
Each degree of active membership requires commitment and a lot of hard work, but you don’t have to be a gifted student or live on a large farm or ranch to reach your goals. The FFA degree system is organized so that all FFA members, no matter where you are from, have an equal chance of obtaining each degree of membership including the highest degree of membership within the FFA, the American FFA Degree. However, you must show progress in your Supervised Agricultural Experience (SAE) program to have a realistic chance at attaining this goal. If you are a freshman or sophomore in high school, now is the time to set your goal and create a road map on how you plan to achieve your goals within the FFA.  

Discovery Degree      
The local chapter will award Discovery Degrees to 7th and 8th grade students enrolled in an approved agriculture education class taught by a certified teacher. Junior high members must pay dues and are eligible for all activities, with the exception of those specifically age restricted in the rules.(E.g. Creed Speaking is limited to Freshman Greenhands)
Discovery FFA Degree
To be eligible to receive the Discovery FFA Degree from a chapter, a member must meet the following minimum requirements:
1. Be enrolled in an agriculture class for at least a portion of the school year while in grades 7-8.
2. Have become a dues-paying member of FFA at local, state and national levels.
3. Participate in at least one local FFA chapter activity outside of scheduled class time.
4. Have knowledge of agriculturally related career, ownership and entrepreneurial opportunities.
5. Be familiar with the local FFA chapter’s Program of Activities.
6. Submit written application for the degree

Greenhand & Chapter Degrees      
Greenhand and Chapter FFA Degrees are awarded by the local chapter at appropriate ceremonies. Chapter obtains degree pins and materials from National FFA.
Greenhand FFA Degree
To be eligible to receive the Greenhand FFA Degree from the chapter, a member must meet the following minimum qualifications:
1. Be enrolled in agricultural education and have satisfactory plans for a supervised agricultural experience program.
2. Learn and explain the FFA Creed, motto, salute and FFA mission statement.
3. Describe and explain the meaning of the FFA emblem and colors.
4. Demonstrate a knowledge of the FFA Code of Ethics and the proper use of the FFA jacket.
5. Demonstrate a knowledge of the history of the organization, the chapter constitution and bylaws and the chapter Program of Activities.
6. Personally own or have access to the Official FFA Manual and the Official FFA Student Handbook.
7. Submit written application for the Greenhand FFA Degree.

Chapter FFA Degree
To be eligible to receive the Chapter FFA Degree from the chapter, a member must meet the following minimum qualifications:
1. Must have received the Greenhand FFA Degree.
2. Must have satisfactorily completed the equivalent of at least 180 hours of systematic school instruction in agricultural education at or above the ninth grade level, have in operation an approved supervised agricultural experience program and be enrolled in an agriculture course.
3. Have participated in the planning and conducting of at least three official functions in the chapter’s Program of Activities.
4. A student after entering agricultural education must have: a. Earned and productively invested at least $150 by the member’s own efforts; or worked at least 45 hours in excess of scheduled class time; or a combination thereof; and b. Developed plans for continued growth and improvement in a supervised agricultural experience program.
5. Have effectively led a group discussion for 15 minutes.
6. Have demonstrated five procedures of parliamentary law.
7. Show progress toward individual achievement in the FFA award programs.
8. Have a satisfactory scholastic record.
9. Have participated in at least 10 hours of community service activities. These hours are in addition to and cannot be duplicated as paid or unpaid supervised agricultural experience hours.
10. Submit a written application for the Chapter FFA Degree.
Other requirements may be established by the chapter and/or the state FFA association.



State FFA Degree      
State FFA Degree: This degree is awarded for production, agribusiness, agriculture placement and agriscience programs. Applicants must have graduated the previous school year or currently be a Junior or Senior. Applicants must have completed a minimum of two years of agriculture education at the time they receive the degree. Section must conduct interviews of all applicants and rank all qualified Star applicants. Applications and ranking sheets must be submitted to the Illinois FFA Center by March 1st. A State Review Committee will examine the applications of all recommended candidates for the State FFA Degree and may disqualify any candidate for the degree who does not meet minimum qualifications. All qualified applicants will be notified of acceptance or rejection to the degree by the Illinois FFA Center on/or about April 15th. Awards received are a certificate and charm (pin style) from the Illinois Association FFA and the Illinois Foundation FFA.
State FFA Degree
To be eligible to receive the State FFA Degree from the Illinois Association, the member must meet the following minimum qualifications:
1. Have received the Chapter FFA Degree.
2. Have been an active FFA member for at least two years (24 months) at the time of receiving the State FFA Degree.
3. While in school, have completed the equivalent of at least two years (360 hours) of systematic school instruction in agricultural education at or above the ninth grade level, which includes a supervised agricultural experience program.
4. A student after entering Agricultural Education must have earned at least $1,500 or worked at least 750 hours in excess of scheduled class time in a supervised agricultural experience program.
5. A student after entering Agricultural Education must have productively invested at least $1,000.
6. Demonstrate leadership ability by:
a. Performing ten procedures of parliamentary law.
b. Giving a six-minute speech on a topic relating to agriculture or the FFA.
c. Serving as an officer, committee chairperson or participating member of a chapter committee.
7. Have participated in the planning and completion of the chapter Program of Activities.
8. Have participated in at least five different FFA activities above the chapter level.
9. The member's local chapter must certify that it has held not less than twelve (12) meetings during the preceding twelve (12) month period.
10. Be in the upper 40 percent of the class in scholarship or have an average of a 3.5 on a 5.0 scale or 2.5 on a 4.0 scale in all school subjects during the entire period of application for the State FFA Degree. (Only option eligible is the point system used by the student's school)
11. Have participated in at least 25 hours of community service activities that are not a part of the member’s supervised agricultural experience hours and are in addition to the hours required in Article VI, Section E, Item 4.

American FFA Degree      

As the highest degree achievable in the National FFA Organization, the American FFA Degree shows an FFA member’s dedication to his or her chapter and state FFA association. It demonstrates the effort FFA members apply toward their supervised agricultural experience and the outstanding leadership abilities and community involvement they exhibited through their FFA career.

American FFA Degree recipients show promise for the future and have gone above and beyond to achieve excellence.

American FFA Degree
To be eligible to receive the American FFA Degree from the National FFA Organization, the member must meet the following minimum qualifications:
1. Have received the State FFA Degree, have been an active member for the past three years (36 months) and have a record of satisfactory participation in activities on the chapter and state levels.
2. Have satisfactorily completed the equivalent of at least three years (540 hours) of systematic secondary school instruction in an agricultural education
program, or have completed at least the equivalent of 360 hours of systematic secondary school instruction in agricultural education and one full year of enrollment in a postsecondary agricultural program, or have completed the program of agricultural education offered in the secondary school last attended.
3. Have graduated from high school at least 12 months prior to the national convention at which the degree is to be granted.
4. Have in operation and have maintained records to substantiate an outstanding supervised agricultural experience program, through which the member has exhibited comprehensive planning and managerial and financial expertise.
5. A student after entering agricultural education must have:
a. Earned at least $10,000 and productively invested at least $7,500; or
b. Earned and productively invested $2,000 and worked 2,250 hours in excess of scheduled class time.
Any combination of hours, times a factor of 3.56, plus actual dollars earned and productively invested must be equal to or greater than the number 10,000. Hours used for the purpose of producing earnings reported as productively invested income shall not be duplicated as hours of credit to meet the minimum requirements for the degree.
6. Have a record of outstanding leadership abilities and community involvement and have achieved a high school scholastic record of “C” or better as certified by the principal or superintendent.
7. Have participated in at least 50 hours of community service, within at least three different community service activities. These hours are in addition to and cannot be duplicated as paid or unpaid supervised agricultural experience hours.
8. Applicants must complete and submit the current version of the American FFA Degree application authorized by the National FFA Organization.
 

Honorary Degree      
This Honorary Degree Program is operated under the policies and procedures approved by the Illinois Association FFA Board of Directors and State Officers. Honorary Degrees are provided for in the Illinois FFA Constitution. The Honorary State FFA Degree is the highest Honorary Degree that can be presented by the Illinois Association FFA at the annual Illinois FFA Convention. 

PURPOSE:
 
The purpose of the degree program is to recognize individuals who have rendered outstanding service to agricultural education  and FFA programs.   

CRITERIA OF NOMINATION:
Individuals nominated must have provided exceptional (outstanding) service to agriculture and/or the agricultural education/FFA program. Nominations may also be made by members of both the Illinois Association FFA Board of Directors and Officers, and the State Staff. 

DEADLINE: 
All nominations should be submitted in this nomination form by April 1. 


   
 

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