GROWMARK Foundation Awards FFA Jackets

GROWMARK Foundation Awards FFA Jackets

The GROWMARK Foundation continues its commitment to FFA by giving away 25 more jackets this fall. The effort honors the legacy of Mike Builta, a GROWMARK vice president and long-time employee who passed away unexpectedly in 2019.

Mike’s wife Sheila, along with daughters Haley and Kelsey, wished to honor his memory by providing 100 FFA jackets to Illinois FFA members – 25 each year from 2019-2022.

“FFA was a huge influence in Mike’s life and career,” added Sheila Builta. “He would be pleased to help future students have the opportunity to wear the blue jacket just as he did.”

This year, Illinois FFA members were asked to answer the question “What does the FFA jacket mean to you?”. They were also asked to share the main goal they wished to accomplish as an FFA member. 

The 2020 recipients are:

Megan Baker                                      Neoga FFA                                            Trilla, Illinois

Taylor Burke                                       Galva FFA                                              Altona, Illinois

Cheyenne Cantu                                Sterling FFA                                          Galt, Illinois

Thomas (TJ) Conner                           Galva FFA                                             Galva, Illinois

Taylor Fry                                            Genoa-Kingston FFA                           Genoa, Illinois

Banan Garada                                    Urbana FFA                                          Urbana, Illinois

Danielle Giacinto                               Streator FFA                                         Streator, Illinois

Chloe Grant                                        Taylorville FFA                                     Owaneco, Illinois

Mia Hernandez                                  Bureau Valley FFA                                 Sheffield, Illinois

Cash Hubbard                                     Sterling FFA                                         Sterling, Illinois

Maera Jimenez                                    Marquette Academy FFA                     Ottawa, Illinois

Sydney Long                                        Streator FFA                                         Streator, Illinois

Vincent McKinney                               Wayne City FFA                                    Bluford, Illinois

Jett Mehalic                                          Streator FFA                                         Streator, Illinois

Claire Meyer                                         Tuscola FFA                                          Arcola, Illinois

Madison Morton                                  Pecatonica FFA                                    Pecatonica, Illinois

Abby Norris                                           Taylorville FFA                                     Palmer, Illinois

Macy Sager                                            Pecatonica FFA                                    Pecatonica, Illinois

Tessa Saxe                                             Morrisonville FFA                               Morrisonville, Illinois

Alexis Spivey                                         Galva FFA                                             Galva, Illinois

Ella Thacker                                           Bureau Valley FFA                              Walnut, Illinois

Alexis Walkling                                     Streator FFA                                         Kangley, Illinois

Elizabeth Weidner                               Teutopolis FFA                                     Dieterich, Illinois

Ethan Weidner                                      Teutopolis FFA                                    Dieterich, Illinois

Carter Westphal                                    Newark FFA                                         Newark, Illinois


Builta was raised on a family farm near Bellflower, Illinois. He was an active FFA member and lifelong supporter of agricultural education. He held GROWMARK System management roles at Christian County Farmers Supply Company in Taylorville, Illinois and GRAINCO FS in Ottawa, Illinois, before becoming GROWMARK’s vice president of Energy and Logistics in 2018.

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About the GROWMARK Foundation:

The GROWMARK Foundation was formally incorporated in 2005 and supports 501(c)(3) not-for-profit charitable organizations. The Foundation is focused on programs and activities which support: the vitality of the industry of agriculture; agriculture education and consumer understanding of agriculture's contributions to society and the economy; agricultural leadership development; and education about the benefits of the cooperative way of doing business. The GROWMARK System has been involved in a variety of philanthropic efforts, including youth and young leader education and development and scholarships, for decades.


About GROWMARK, Inc.

About GROWMARK, Inc:

GROWMARK is an agricultural cooperative serving almost 400,000 customers across North America, providing agronomy, energy, facility engineering and construction, and logistics products and services, as well as grain marketing and risk management services. Headquartered in Bloomington, Illinois, GROWMARK owns the FS trademark, which is used by member cooperatives. GROWMARK also owns and operates SEEDWAY, the largest full-line seed company in the United States. More information is available at

1701 Towanda Ave.
Bloomington, IL 61701