SPRINGFIELD — Future Farmers of America chapters across Illinois could soon see more financial assistance thanks to grants that would be paid out through the Future Farmers of America Fund created through a measure championed by State Sen. Patrick Joyce, D-Essex.
“As lifetime FFA member myself, I am proud to champion legislation that has full support across the board,” Joyce said. “FFA taught me so many valuable lessons that I still hold and apply to my life as a farmer and state senator — and I want to provide those same opportunities for other students across our state.”
House Bill 5400 also allows the Illinois Secretary of State to issue FFA universal specialty license plates. The funds collected from the distribution of the decals will then go into the Future Farmers of America Fund. Anyone can apply for and be issued one of the plates for an additional $25 to their standard vehicle registration fee. For the original issuance, $10 will go to the FFA Fund, and for renewals $23 will go to the fund.
“The Future Farmers of America Fund will provide even more access to ag education,” Joyce said.
Supporters of the legislation include the Illinois Association of FFA, Illinois Soybean Association, Illinois Farm Bureau and Illinois Association of Vocational Agriculture Teachers.
HB 5400 passed the Senate Transportation Committee in a unanimous vote and heads to the full Senate for further consideration.