GROWMARK Foundation Awards FFA Jackets to 2022 Recipients

GROWMARK Foundation Awards FFA Jackets to 2022 Recipients

Builta family announces program to continue into 2023 and beyond

In April 2019, Mike Builta, a GROWMARK vice president and long-time employee, passed away unexpectedly. To honor his memory, the GROWMARK Foundation committed to provide a total of 100 FFA jackets to FFA members in Illinois with funds donated in Builta’s memory. The 25 jackets awarded in 2022 fulfill that commitment.

However, the Builta family has agreed to continue the program in 2023 and beyond. ​

“Through the generous donations that were made when Mike passed away, we were able to establish this program for four years,” said Sheila Builta. “Along with my daughters Haley and Kelsey, I have decided to keep the program going. We have enjoyed reading all the applications over the years and seeing just what it means to be a part of FFA and what the jacket means to each applicant. I am grateful we are able to honor Mike in this way.”  

Students submitted an essay explaining what an FFA jacket means to them and their goals as an FFA member.

The 2022 recipients are:

  • Faith Aber ​ Bureau Valley FFA ​ Wyanet, Illinois
  • LeeAnn Agee ​ Maroa-Forsyth FFA ​ Maroa, Illinois
  • Ali Ballinger ​ Triopia FFA ​ ​ Arenzville, Illinois
  • Avery Barnard ​ Wayne City FFA ​ ​ Wayne City, Illinois
  • Robin Barrett ​ Streator FFA ​ ​ Streator, Illinois
  • John Barringer ​ Clinton FFA ​ ​ Clinton, Illinois
  • Ethan Belsher ​ Taylorville FFA ​ ​ Taylorville, Illinois
  • Rye Bliler ​ Taylorville FFA ​ ​ Taylorville, Illinois
  • Katelyn Clapp ​ Macon-Meridian FFA ​ Decatur, Illinois
  • Will Curtin ​ Taylorville FFA ​ ​ Blue Mound, Illinois
  • Grace Haack ​ Rolling Meadows FFA ​ Arlington Heights, Illinois
  • Peyton Kies ​ Geneseo FFA ​ ​ Geneseo, Illinois
  • Dawsyn McDonald ​ Geneseo FFA ​ ​ Geneseo, Illinois
  • Danielle Monsess ​ Newark FFA ​ ​ Newark, Illinois
  • Marilyn Morel ​ Newark FFA ​ ​ Newark, Illinois
  • Logan Newberg ​ Clinton FFA ​ ​ Clinton, Illinois
  • Colton Snow ​ Breese Central FFA ​ Breese, Illinois
  • Toby Steffen ​ Newark FFA ​ ​ Newark, Illinois
  • Cheyenne Stephens ​ Mahomet-Seymour FFA ​ Mahomet, Illinois
  • Walker Stewart ​ Nokomis FFA ​ ​ Nokomis, Illinois
  • Cody Taylor ​ Streator FFA ​ ​ Streator, Illinois
  • Katrina Wahl ​ Bureau Valley FFA ​ Walnut, Illinois
  • Lily Westphal ​ Newark FFA ​ ​ Newark, Illinois
  • Kendall Whiteaker ​ Serena FFA ​ ​ Marseilles, Illinois
  • Jacey Wilkins ​ Odin FFA ​ ​ Odin, 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 vice president of Energy and Logistics in 2018.


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.

Karen Jones Youth and Young Producer Specialist, GROWMARK
Chris Grogan Manager, Publications and Media Relations, GROWMARK, Inc.


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. More information is available at

1701 Towanda Ave.
Bloomington, IL 61701