Name: Kristin Haakenson
Office(s) Served: Wisconsin State FFA Reporter, 1997-98
Education: University of Wisconsin - Madison, B.S. 2001, M.S. 2003 - Life Sciences
Current Position: Communication & Marketing, Kellogg Company Sales Rep.
Testimonial: My year as a state officer helped me to sharpen my skills in a number of areas, but most importantly, I learned to be more articulate, work as a team player, and problem-solve quickly. After graduating and leaving the traditional ag community to work in the food industry, I've found that fewer people know the meaning and foundation of the FFA, but more people can appreciate the skills and experience that I gained as a state officer.
To a candidate: I will guarantee that a year as a state officer will only help you grow and improve your skills, and many times in ways that may go undiscovered until later in life. The coaching, training, and reinforcement you receive really help outline you as an individual and draw out your strenghts, while helping you improve your weaknesses through the year and on into the future. There is no better opportunity to polish your communication skills - both oral and written - than a state office position. So few people can articulate their thoughts, opinions, and formal communication correctly and this position will put you one step ahead of your peers for your college & professional future. The added interaction you will have with industry representatives throughout the year will give you an outstanding foundation for your future professional interactions.
I can highlight this position as one of my top experiences that helped me develop.