Illinois FFA officers named

2021-2022 Illinois State Major Officers pictured from left to right: Jaton Shaffer, vice president; Lauren Mohr, reporter; Adam Loker, president; Kara Freebairn, treasurer; and Gracie Murphy, secretary.

The 2021-2022 Illinois State Officer team was elected Thursday during the 93rd annual Illinois FFA State Convention at the Illinois State Fairgrounds, Springfield.

The newly elected officers, who will serve for the next 12 months, include:

  • President: Adam Loker, 18, of Keenes (Wayne County) and the Wayne City FFA Chapter. He is the son of Roger and Shayna Loker and a 2021 graduate of Wayne City High School. “There is no one like a state officer who can connect with members on a deep level,” Loker said. “I will motivate members to come out of their comfort zone, help them figure out the plans they have for their life in a short amount of time, and let them know they matter and have a purpose.”
  • Vice president: Jaton Shaffer, 18, of Farmer City (DeWitt County) and the Blue Ridge FFA Chapter. He is the son of Dyke and Kendra Shaffer and a 2021 graduate of Blue Ridge High School. “As a state officer, it is my goal to continue to share my passions, experiences, and leadership with others,” Shaffer said. “I hope I can inspire the next generation of FFA members.”
  • Reporter: Lauren Mohr, 18, of Carlock (McLean County) and the Normal West FFA Chapter. She is the daughter of Brian and Jill Ascher Mohr and a 2021 graduate of Normal West High School. “I know how it feels to be lost and feel like you don’t belong,” Mohr said. “As a state office, I hope to create a welcoming environment and help members push through whatever the world may throw at them.”
  • Secretary: Gracie Murphy, 17, of Macomb (McDonough County) and the Macomb FFA Chapter. She is the daughter of Robert and Andrea Lawrence and Wendy Murphy and a 2021 graduate of Macomb High School. “As a state officer, I will utilize my knowledge and experience to enhance the leadership, passion, potential, and futures of FFA members,” Murphy says. “I will help them become more authentic versions of themselves who are able to accomplish their personal and professional goals.”
  • Treasurer: Kara Freebairn, 18, of Ottawa (LaSalle County) and the Serena FFA Chapter. She is the daughter of Scott and Heather Freebairn and a 2021 graduate of Serena High School. “My goal as a state officer will be to help FFA members develop leadership skills,” Freebairn says. “Our differences are what make each of us unique, and it is important to me that everyone is seen and accepted for who they are and where they come from with pride.”

The five officers were elected from a group of 10 finalist candidates selected by a committee in early May. Each officer puts their collegiate pursuits on hold for one year to serve the Illinois Association FFA in a fulltime capacity. Officers typically travel more than 20,000 miles visiting FFA chapters around the state, conducting workshops and meetings, representing Illinois FFA in professional settings, and promoting agricultural education. Since 1929, Illinois has elected a State FFA Officer Team.