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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      
American FFA Degree: This degree is awarded for production, agribusiness, agriculture placement and agriscience programs. Members are eligible until November 30th, following the fourth National FFA Convention after graduating from high school. The degree recipients are awarded a certificate and American FFA key from the National FFA. Refer to the official application for further information.

American FFA Degree Candidate Selection Procedure


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