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The Chrisman FFA Chapter has a new leader. Jennifer Honnold is in her first year at Chrisman High School as Ag Director.
Honnold grew up in Kansas, Illinois on a swine and grain farm with her three older sisters. Jennifer joined FFA when she was in the eighth grade.
“I was able to compete among high school students and attend other events. Throughout high school, I participated in countless conferences, conventions and competitions,” Honnold told us. “Countless family members were in FFA during school and it was my goal to be a third generation FFA member following my granddad and my father.”
While in the Kansas FFA Chapter, Honnold held the Chapter Treasurer position as well as being elected Chapter President her senior year. “I also held two Section 18 officer positions. I was Section 18 Vice President and followed that up with the Section 18 President my senior year.”
In addition to being in FFA, Honnold was involved in Volleyball, Basketball, Scholastic Bowl and a member of the Dance Team. After graduating high school, Jennifer attended Lake Land College and received her Agriculture Transfer degree and transferred to Western Illinois University to study Agriculture Education.
Once graduated from Western Illinois, Honnold taught for six years at Illini West High School in Carthage, Illinois. “While there, I was able to grow the agriculture program from forty-nine students my first year to eighty-seven my final year there.”
The opening at Chrisman High School couldn’t have been a better fit for Honnold. It would allow her to be closer to family, plus allowing her to be able to get back to small town values.
“I heard about the potential opening from another local Ag teacher. The job wasn’t posted yet, so I didn’t even know if it was a possibility, but luckily they were right,” Honnold said. “Once the job was posted, I sent them my documents and waited for a response. I traveled over for my in person interview and took a tour of the school and the Ag department. I was offered the position and the rest is history.”
As FFA Advisor, Honnold’s job is to organize and facilitate activities that happen all throughout the year. She works with the officer team to schedule and plan chapter meetings and events.
“I also coach the career development event teams to prepare them for the contests,” Honnold told us. “I am here to support the ideas and interests of the members and do my best to make them happen.”
Members of the FFA are able to attend contests to challenge themselves in a specific event, attend conferences and conventions to network with like-minded individuals from all over the country and make lifelong friendships.
FFA has something to offer for every student whether it is public speaking, livestock judging or a forestry career development event, community service activity or numerous leadership opportunities.
Honnold hopes to bring a passion for agriculture and new opportunities to the students at Chrisman. With a program so rich in tradition and history, she’s hoping to build on that.
“I want to do my best to continue the traditions of Chrisman FFA and also make new traditions along the way,” Honnold said. “Being able to spread the passion and importance of agriculture while doing all of this is the cherry on top.”