Grayson Sobkowich was selected as the State FFA SOE Award Winner in the area of Manufacturing, Engineering and Trades. Grayson is a member of the Seneca FFA Chapter.  New this year, the Illinois FFA recognizes students in six different Supervised Occupational Experience (SOE) areas based on their work-based learning experiences outside of the classroom. Grayson’s SOE is based upon his experience as a Shop Technician at R & P Carriages in Seneca, IL. Grayson is responsible for assembling new trailers, repairing brakes, lights and other trailer parts, maintaining inventory, and maintaining the shop. Grayson says the skills that he has learned, such as welding and electricity, will help him in his career goal of being a welder.  Grayson is the son of Donald and Heather Sobkowich of Seneca, IL. Cally Hatton and Jeff Maierhofer are the agriculture teachers and FFA Advisors at Seneca High School.

FFA members who demonstrate outstanding skills and competencies through record keeping, leadership, and scholastic achievement may be considered for this award.  SOEs allow students to learn by doing by either owning and operating a business, working or serving an internship at a business or conducting an agriculture-based scientific experiment and reporting results.

Sobkowich was selected as the State Winner by a committee of agriculture teachers, industry friends, parents and volunteers knowledgeable in this work-based area, who reviewed their records online and then conducted interviews at Mt Zion High School, Mt Zion, IL on Saturday, March 23, 2024. 


Sobkowich was previously chosen as the Chapter, Section and District awardee of this area and will receive a plaque for their accomplishments and be celebrated for this great achievement at the 96th Illinois FFA State Convention, June 11 – 13, 2024.  These plaques are made possible by gifts by individuals, businesses, corporations and organizations through the Illinois Foundation FFA.