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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)

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. Star Greenhand pins are available at section proficiency award selection or on request from the Illinois FFA Center.

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.

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.


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. 

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

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. 

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


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