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FFA is dedicated to making a positive difference in the lives of students by developing their potential for premier leadership, personal growth and career success through agricultural education..

The FFA Alumni Association supports and advocates for agricultural education and FFA through gifts of time, talent and financial resources..

The mission of the Illinois FFA Foundation is to provide financial support for the Illinois FFA. When you make a gift to the Illinois Foundation FFA, you are investing in the future of agriculture..

The Illinois Association of Vocation Agriculture Teachers (IAVAT) is a professional organization for agricultural teachers at all levels..

The Illinois Association of Community College Agriculture Instructors (IACCAI) is a statewide professional organization for postsecondary agriculture instructors. .

The Illinois Postsecondary Agricultural Student (PAS) Organization provides opportunities for individual growth, leadership and career preparation. .

The Illinois Farm Bureau & Affiliated Companies Youth Education in Agriculture program offers unique educational programs to Illinois youth in 4-H and FFA. .

The purpose of the Illinois Agriculture in the Classroom Program is to encourage educators to incorporate more information about the agriculture, food, and natural resources system into daily lessons..
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Facilitating Coordination in Agricultural Education (FCAE) is a state project administered through the Illinois State Board of Education that is tasked with improving and expanding agricultural education from pre-k through adult levels..

The Illinois Leadership Council for Agricultural Education (ILCAE) is a voluntary, grassroots agricultural industry group focused on the expansion and improvement of Agricultural Education programs at all levels..

The Illinois Committee for Agricultural Education (ICAE) is a 13-member committee established by legislation and appointed by the Governor to advise both the governor and state education agencies concerning Agricultural Education K-adult..

The Illinois State Board of Education is the state agency responsible for Pre-K through 12th grade education. Its primary mission is state program leadership, planning, approval, funding, and evaluation..

The Illinois Department of Agriculture will be an advocate for Illinois' agricultural industry and provide the necessary regulatory functions to benefit consumers, agricultural industry, and our natural resources.. provides information about the Agricultural Education profession and encourages students to consider a career as an agriculture teacher..

MyCAERT provides teachers with an integrated online system to Plan, Document, Deliver, and Assess Career and Technical Education instruction. .

Information Technology and Communication Services (ITCS) Instructional Materials provides agricultural education publications in a variety of formats. .

The Agricultural Experience Tracker is the premiere personalized online system for tracking experiences in agricultural education. .
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Casey Bolin
District 5 Program Advisor
Sections 21-25
1475 West Whittaker
Salem, IL 62881
Cell: (618) 780-0230
[email protected]
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Marion County Livestock Judging - March 31st

Wednesday, March 01, 2017

*Sent to all contacts.

Coaches, FFA Advisors, and 4-H Leaders,   

I admire the tireless hours and dedication you all put into helping prepare young people that have a passion for agriculture and teaching them about the livestock industry. As you prepare for the spring, I wanted to get the word out about the 4-H and FFA reasons and questions divisions at the annual Marion County Livestock Judging Contest. Many of you have attended this contest before or at least have heard about it, but for those that have not, I will take this opportunity to outline its makeup for you.

The Marion County Contest is hosted by The Austin Family (Steve, Holly, Kane, and Adrian) with the assistance of the Marion County, Illinois 4-H program as well as a number of our friends and peers within the livestock industry. Our family can not thank these volunteers enough for everything they do in helping us pull off such a great event. For anyone who has helped put on a contest before, you know how many people it takes behind the scenes to make it run smoothly. Each year, I feel we have made progress in putting together the best contest possible. We find the highest quality classes we can, and the industry leaders we have serving on our official committees are individuals you will see on national contest committees. After last year, it was widely regarded by many as, if not the highest, then one of the highest quality contests that students have the opportunity to compete in anywhere. I say this not to boast, but to give assurance to those of you who have never been that it is well worth the trip.

               Here are the logistics of the contest:

Date: Friday March 31, 2017    (Flyer attached)

Location: Marion County Fairgrounds – Salem, Illinois  (45 minutes south of Effingham and 25 minutes north of Mount Vernon off Interstate 57; approx. 1.5 hours due east of St. Louis)

Times: Registration begins at 8 am - Contest instructions 8:45 – 9 am – Contest begins 9:15 am

Dress: Professional is recommended for the reasons division, but not required. Questions division is casual.

Lodging: Holiday Inn Express and Suites – Salem - Phone: 618-740-0913

                 Super 8 – Salem - Phone: 618-548-5882

                 Salem Inn and Suites (Used to be Comfort Inn) - Phone: 618-548-2177

                 There are also plenty of lodging options in Mount Vernon and Vandalia, IL.


Entry Fees: We charge $10 per contestant in the reasons division, and $5 per contestant in the questions division. You may run as many contestants as you want. Teams consist of 4 members with the top 3 scores counting. You may run an unlimited number of teams.

*An early entry opportunity will be available. This is to help us get a gauge on where our numbers will be beforehand. Entries can be emailed to me on or before March 10, 2017. All I will need is a head count if you are not ready to designate specific teams at that time. If you do designate teams, substitutions will be allowed the morning of the contest. 

Classes: There will be at least 12 classes of cattle, swine, sheep, and goats. More specific class information will come out as we get closer to March 31. 4-H and FFA contestants will give 4 sets of reasons if competing in the reasons division and will answer 3 sets of questions in the questions division.

We have some BIG THINGS planned for the 2017 contest. I could not be more excited about the possibilities for this year. I have tremendous confidence that the quality of livestock will be great, and we will do everything we can to ensure your students have the best experience possible competing in a professionally ran event. By all means feel free to contact me at any time if questions should arise. 

Thank you, and we look forward to seeing you on March 31, 2017 at the Marion County Contest!

Contact Information:

Kane Austin

Cell: 618-231-3592 (call or text)

Email: [email protected]

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3 31 17 MCo Livestock Judging Contest (1).pdf