State Representative Dan Swanson (R-Alpha) participated in a panel discussion for FFA student leaders from around Illinois as part of the 52nd Annual Agriculture Legislative Day on Tuesday.

At the in-person event at the Wyndham Hotel, Swanson was presented his honorary state FFA degree that was originally awarded in 2020 during the virtual State FFA Convention, a news release says.

Sherrard FFA, from left: Bill Hammes, advisor; Anna Taylor; Lily Passno; Briar Viager, chapter president; Dan Swanson; D.J. Burd; Makenzie;Williams, chapter treasurer; Abby Weber; and John Rasty, advisor. (contributed photo.)

“As a fifth-generation family farmer, and representing an area of the state known as the Hog Capitol of the World (Kewanee), I am humbled to be recognized by an organization that has meant so much to me at every stage of my life,” Swanson said. “My father, brother and I still operate our family farm near Andover where we harvest corn, beans, oats, wheat and hay crops as well as operate a cow/calf operation, cattle feedlot and raise pigs.”

This Honorary Degree Program is operated under the policies and procedures approved by the Illinois Association FFA Board of Directors and state officers and is the highest honorary degree that can be presented by the Illinois Association FFA at the annual Illinois FFA Convention, a news release says.

The degree program recognizes individuals who have rendered outstanding service to agricultural education and FFA programs. Individuals nominated must have provided exceptional service to agriculture and/or the agricultural education/FFA program, the release says.

“The FFA tradition runs deep in my family. My father, Ron, signed the original AlWood FFA charter August 1949 as a sophomore at AlWood. FFA was part of my upbringing, was part of my kids’ upbringing, and is now an important part of my continued work in the Illinois General Assembly,” Swanson said. “My certificate is also special because it was signed by the state president, Gage Miller, of Cambridge, in 2020 who was from my district and presented by Gracie Murphy, state secretary from Macomb.”