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The Adventures we Might Take!
Aug. 18, 2017

Ciara Koboski - Vice President
Black River Falls FFA Chapter
Section 3

For the past three weeks my team and I had an adventure. Our adventure started off at the Wisconsin State Fair. Where we worked with many members in the Discovery Barnyard and were able to visit with the band and choir members. As a team we even took turns working with younger students at the Veggie Races.

Our adventure didn’t stop there though after two week of new adventures at State Fair we travel north to Bolder Junction. In Bolder Junction this is where you can find the FFA Camp Jag Lake. A week of team bonding I will never forget. The trip there was and adventure in itself. We left the last night of State Fair and headed to Fond Du Lac, WI. Where we stayed the night before we headed to the camp. When going down the driveway to Jag Lake we hit many puddles.

Arriving at Jag Lake I had no idea what to expect. This was a place of beauty, fun and joy. There were canoes to go on the Lake with and as a team we traveled to the Island in the middle. Some of our team members went and bought fishing pulls so that we could fish on the lake. I decided to try something new and adventure a canoe with one team mate and while he fished I swam near the boat. We then adventure into an area with many lily pads. The views were beautiful and the work we accomplished as a team was amazing. During this year try something new, you never know the outcome may surprise you.

Hold on Tight
Aug. 13, 2017

Brooke Brantner - Vice President
Menomonie FFA Chapter
Section 2

Hey there Wisconsin FFA! I hope everyone is having a great summer and looking forward to the upcoming school year! As the summer is quickly coming to an end I just wanted to give you all an update on some of the adventures that have been had!

It is currently the last day of the State Fair, and over the course of these past two weeks I have had the pleasure of helping educate others about vegetables, ear notching, and animal health! I have also closed a huge chapter of my life by exhibiting cattle for the very last time as a Junior exhibitor at the Wisconsin State Fair, and along with that was a realization of a very valuable life lesson.

The picture above is one I haven’t been able to stop thinking about over the past few days. It was taken 11 years ago, minutes after I said goodbye to my very first steer at the County Fair. It has served as a constant reminder to always hold tight to the things that make you who you are. In the past 11 years there have been a million memories, thousands of miles, and hundreds of reasons to feel so blessed to have grown up showing cattle. Showing cattle has taught me so many life lessons that have made me who I am today.

The most important is realizing that the outcome of what occurs in the show ring will never compare to the people standing at the rail of that ring. The parents, brothers, sisters, Advisors, 4-H Leaders, and mentors are all the people who push you to be not only a better showman, but person at the end of each and every day. Those are the ones you hold tight too, because the time will always pass but the people you meet along the way are what make you who you are.

So as you jump into this upcoming school year I challenge you to keep in mind the opportunities that are presented to you. Sometimes they are disguised as a school project, hobby, extracurricular activity, speaking contest, or judging event. No matter what they are I hope you realize the people you meet within these opportunities. These people will be the ones to push you, motivate you, and serve as a constant reminder to always hold tight to the things that make you who you are.

With a full heart,
Brooke Brantner

We Must Always...
Aug. 12, 2017

Meikah Dado - Reporter
Amery FFA Chapter
Section 1

Wisconsin FFA, how’s the last month of summer? Not only is summer coming to an end but so is State Fair! These past ten days have been full of vegetables, piglets, and loads of fun. I’ve learned a lot this summer and it has been a whirlwind of events. However, throughout the whole beginning of state office and especially throughout state fair, I have continued to realize how important it is to be kind.

One of my favorite movies of all time is the newest Cinderella movie from Disney. When Cinderella’s mom passes away, she tells her daughter to always “have courage, and be kind.” This saying can be used in our everyday lives. When working with those who do not know about agriculture or those who have different opinions as you, you may be tested with some challenges. However, we must remember that it is always important to stay kind.

Now that the summer is coming to an end and the school year is fast approaching, this is a great time to work on our skill of being kind! Whether it’s a student sitting alone at lunch, or a new FFA member not sure what they can do, I encourage you to take the challenge of having courage, and being kind in order to reach out and make others feel comfortable. Cinderella accepted people as they were and befriended whoever she met. She was not discouraged through her situation, and she kept having courage and was always kind.

Enjoy the last few weeks of summer and let us all remember the importance of having courage, and always being kind!

With love and kindness,
Meikah Dado

Look to Learn
Aug. 08, 2017

Ciera Ballmer - President
Clinton FFA Chapter

Hey Wisconsin FFA! We’re checking in at the half way point of the Wisconsin State Fair, and so far our time here has been nothing short of spectacular! My teammates and I have all loved running Veggie Races and working in the Discovery Barnyard so far!

Today I worked by the sows and little piglets in the Discovery Barnyard and taught fairgoers about ear notching. At this station, we give people paper plate pigs to color a pig face on, and then we talk about how and why farmers ear notch pigs by notching their paper plate pig’s ears.

Now, I’ve worked at this station a few times throughout the fair, and every time there has been at least a handful of children, and often their parents too, that absolutely LOVE learning about ear notching from us – and today was no exception. There was this one dad in particular who was blown away by this concept of ear notching for identification! He even asked me to show and explain it to him again so he made sure he knew how the numbering worked. Before he left, he looked at me with the biggest smile and proudly said, “I learned something new today!”

You know, I taught this man a lesson on ear notching pig, but honestly, he taught me something even more valuable. He taught me about learning.

This man came up to what he probably thought was simply a coloring station for children, but that didn’t stop him from looking for an opportunity to listen and learn. We can all learn from the simplest things, even while we’re enjoying a fun day at the fair or at a children’s activity about pigs. When we take a minute to stop and look around or even reflect for a moment, we can learn something from the things around us or the situation we’re in. Just like this man, we can look to learn everywhere we go.

He not only taught me how to look to learn, but he also reminded me how exciting learning really can be! Maybe he did have a breakthrough moment about ear notching, but what really stood out was how excited he was to learn something new. We learn each and every day, but when we take a second to appreciate learning – that’s when it becomes valuable, and that’s when it gets exciting! Just like him, we can maintain a positive attitude and enjoy the little things in life, like learning something new.

This excited fairgoer is such a great reminder for all of us to get excited about learning and strive to learn something new each day!

Keep looking to learn,

Yay Ethanol!
Aug. 04, 2017

Amelia Hayden - Vice President
Big Foot FFA Chapter
Section 10

Hi Wisconsin FFA! While we are only finishing out the second official day of the Wisconsin State Fair, the state officers have already been pretty busy helping out at the Discovery Barn and Veggie Races. This morning, I had the opportunity to help run veggie races, where fairgoers can choose a car made of vegetables to race and cheer for while also learning about vegetables and Wisconsin’s agriculture industry.

During the veggie races, we get to ask fairgoers what their veggie car “runs on,” before the race begins. This is one of my favorite questions to ask, as I get so many creative answers! As a group of racers, we choose what to shout so that the veggie cars will run. Some veggie cars ran on shouts of “Go Veggies Go!” or “Potato Power!” But my favorite thing that some fairgoers’ cars ran on was ethanol. This morning during my veggie races shift, Morgan and I got to shout “Yay ethanol!” with one of the first groups of racers as their leeks, potatoes, and corn bolted down (some more successfully than others) the Veggie 500 Track. The best part was, when I got to ‘interviewing’ the next group of racers, they asked to shout “Yay ethanol!” because they had felt the excitement that filled the area. This meant that I got to yell excitedly about ethanol not once, but twice. Making up these fun chants made my shift at veggie races fly by, because the fairgoers shared my energy!

We can get exhausted from the long days and short nights that come with fair week, classes, and extracurricular activities throughout the year. It’s sometimes hard to refill that enthusiasm after long hours, when it seems that our race through fair week, finals, or a competition will never end. But if we can remember what we “run on” – what refuels our energy and enthusiasm for what we are working on – our focus can keep us enjoying all that the race has to offer. And what we run on helps others find something to run on, too: just like the second group of racers was excited about ethanol because the group before had been.

As we move out of fair season and begin to head back to school in the coming month, never be afraid to remind yourself what you run on, even if it means shouting “Yay ethanol!” with a group of 6 year olds to fill the room with energy. We never know who might be inspired by our enthusiasm. Be it at Sectional Leadership Workshops, National Convention, or a chapter visit, I can’t wait to see all of you this fall & to find out what Wisconsin FFA members run on!

Enjoying all that the race has to offer,

Sam's how to: Advocate
Aug. 03, 2017

Sam Pinchart - Vice President
Luxemburg-Casco FFA Chapter
Section 9

What's up Wisconsin FFA? The state officers are currently down at the Wisconsin State Fair! A lot of what we are doing here at the fair is advocating for agriculture. State fair is a great time to advocate for both FFA and agriculture as people who go to state fair often don’t know much about either. Sticking with that current theme, here are nine tips on advocacy from your section 9 officer:
Connect with your audience- People feel more comfortable listening to someone when they share a common ground. This doesn’t necessarily need to have anything to do with what you are advocating. A good start is the look at what they are wearing. For instance, if a man wearing a Brewers hat is the person that you are talking to, ask him if he is a Brewers fan. Talk with him about baseball for a few moments then and when both of you feel comfortable start integrating the conversation towards your point of advocacy. This works with large groups as well as a one-on-one approach. The key goal with this technique is to figure out what is important to your target audience and use that to build trust with them.
Don’t offend- This one seems pretty simple but you really do have to pay attention to the audience you are talking to. Once you have made someone mad it is very difficult to turn the conversation around and get them to buy into your philosophy. The best thing to do is to choose your words carefully and analyze what you are about to say before you say it. However, if you find yourself in a hostile situation the easiest thing to do is apologize. Apologize and try to further explain your point. For example “I’m sorry, i didn’t mean to offend you. What I really mean is….”. At the end of the day there may be some situations where you just have to walk away. Remember, not everyone's’ opinion can be swayed.
Use simple terminology- Sometimes when we talk to people we forget who we are talking to and the fact they may not have the same background knowledge as us. I can’t just go around talking about GMOs to everyone because not everyone knows what a GMO is. For this strategy to work you really have to put yourself in the shoes of the person you are speaking to. When in doubt explain it out. Even if they know what you are talking about it doesn’t hurt anything to put in a little explanation of your terminology.
Use personal experience- We tend to be more passionate when we talk about issues that have directly impacted us. When we tell a story our passion is quickly received by the listener. This helps build the connection with the listener we talked about earlier. It also shows the listener that we care about the issue. Believe it or not most humans have an inner-nature ability for compassion. If someone can tell you care they will begin to care.
Be sincere- This is actually pretty easy if you care about what you're talking about. Be passionate and tell the truth. A truth is always easier to explain than a lie. You don't have to be negative but at the same time we have to realize we want people to know the truth. After all isn't that one of the main points of Agriculture Education? If you are struggling with this one here is an example: the issue that arose before the following response is about water quality and it's relation to agriculture. “Yes I understand that the past farming practices have resulted in lower quality of water. However we have now realized we have cause a problem and have implemented practices to improve the situation and stop it from worsening.”
Be brief- No one wants to be lectured for an extensive period of time about what a GMO is. People have short attention spans and more importantly people value their time. (And let's be honest, some people may not even get through all nine of these tips) You may have the person convinced a minute into talking to them but now five minutes in, they have become irritated with you. Just hit em with the important stuff.
Be specific- Yes be brief but also be clear. Leave nothing to the imagination. Think of questions your audience might have and answer then before they get a chance to ask you. At the end it doesn't hurt to ask if they have any questions.
Be positive- Like I said earlier don't lie but maintain an atmosphere of positivity. Some situations in agriculture aren't good but they may be getting better. If you stay calm others will follow suite. If you don't others won't either. Remember other people are genuinely worried about these issues so it's important to ease their worries and discomfort.
Be memorable- This is the most important. If you want people to remember your position they need to remember you. If you are someone they can remember they probably can also remember what you talked about. How you stick out is up to you. You do you. Just make sure they remember you for the right reasons not the wrong ones.
If you use these tips you will be successful at advocating. These tips often will work with and build off each other which makes them easy stepping stones for successful avocation. If you have any questions about any of these methods shoot me an email! Until next time, happy advocating!

Tips for the Best Summer EVER!
Jul. 26, 2017

Elisha Riley - Treasurer
Waupaca FFA Chapter
Section 8

Hey hey hey, Wisconsin FFA! What’s good? Summer is flying by! It feels like just yesterday we were all at State Convention and now it's almost the beginning of August! Now that summer is more than halfway over, let take a second to reflect on all of the fun times we have had thus far…bailing hay, walking livestock, weeding the garden, working. Not all the fun things you wanted to do this summer? Here’s a few helpful hints to make the most out of what's left of summer!

1. Go for a Walk: There’s nothing more relaxing about summer than walking down a back road with crops on both sides, listening to birds gently sing their songs, while watching the sunset go down in front of you. It’s the perfect time to cool off from the heat of the day, reflect on the work you accomplished, and think of the fun things to do tomorrow!
2. Swimming!: Who doesn't love a nice cool swim after a hot, sweaty day of baling hay, or working hard at your job? If you haven't hit the lakes, or rivers, or ponds, or pools yet, you're missing out and NEED to do that as soon as possible! Take a night off and float the waters with the FFAmily!
3. Trek on down to a County Fair: No, I don't mean the ones you exhibit at either. Take a day off to be a fair-goer for once! Take a walk through all the barns, see all the animals, and ride all of the rides. We don't get to this often, and “fair season” is usually a time for early mornings, long days, and short nights. Attending one relieves that stress, and it’s actually tons of fun! Plus it's always fun to check out what fellow “ag junkies” like us are doing from different areas!
4. Campfires: Cozying up with a blanket in a lawn chair with friends is a great way to make the best of summer! Campfires are great for warmth and the flames are mesmerizing as you stare into the fire. If you haven't done this go-to summer fun, grab some logs and kindling and get started NOW! P.S. FFA campfires are!
5. Road Trips!: Summer is the perfect time for road trips to unknown destinations! Whether your trip is one day or one week long, taking time to explore the scenery around you and make memories with your best friends is an absolute must! I know we have all dreamed of taking that spontaneous trip with our best FFA buddies and truckin’ it to the middle of nowhere; well this is your time to do it!

Let's make this clear: Summer is almost over! Don’t spend all of your time working hard and doing chores, go and make the most of what's left of summer. Escape from the busy life if agriculturists and create memories that will last a lifetime! I can't wait to see all of you at the Wisconsin State Fair, County Fairs, and at Sectional Leadership Workshops. I hope you take my advice and try and make as many memories as possible before those school doors open and it's back to the books!

Section 8 Signing out,

Elisha Riley

The Road That Leads You Home
Jul. 25, 2017

Kathryn Lampi - Parliamentarian
Owen-Withee FFA Chapter
Section 7

Hello Wisconsin FFA,

During my most recent time at home I was able to attend the Owen Junior Fair. It was great to see old friends and classmates and meet new people. At the fair, the Owen-Withee FFA displayed their tractor restoration project and had a booth highlighting their accomplishments of the past years. It was great seeing some of the accomplishments that the Chapter has made in their short 5 years since their revival and I am proud to have been there since the start of the recharter of the Owen-Withee FFA Chapter my freshman year of high school.

Part of the festivities on Sunday included the pulled pork dinner put on by the Owen-Withee FFA Alumni Chapter. It was great to see the alumni members working together with FFA chapter members. I truly appreciate the hard work that they do to support the FFA members and Chapter. Their kindness and giving many times go unnoticed, but as FFA members we need to take a step back from our own excitement and think about the alumni and the effort they put into supporting us and that allows us to have amazing experiences in our organization. Our success as FFA members is finding out what our home base is, whether that be our FFA Alumni Chapter, FFA Chapter, Advisor, community member or parents. Once we find our home base and the people that are biggest supporters we are able to make a bigger impact in the lives of others and accomplish more in this organization and in the world.

It is has been exciting traveling across the state with my teammates but the most exciting road to turn on is the road that leads you home and to those supporters that make up your home base.

Who is your home base and what road is going to lead you back to them?

-Kathryn Lampi

Jul. 20, 2017

Sam Jesse - Sentinel
Lodi FFA Chapter
Section 6

What's good Wisconsin FFA?
A few weeks ago at the National Leadership Conference for State Officers (NLCSO) in Springfield Illinois, my fellow officers and I were walking into the session when they asked us to form a giant group huddle with the Illinois and Indiana state officers. Everyone was a little curious about what was going on, but nobody asked questions until a song began playing. Not just any song, but the Chicago bulls warm up song, the most dramatic song in the history of ever. Instantly my heart began racing as I was drawn back to the last time I heard that song. Wednesday night of state convention, the night the 2017-2018 state officers were announced. So I’m freaking out, when David Townsend, the national FFA president, jumps on a chair and starts announcing…. “From the state of Wisconsin, Meikah Dado and Brooke Brantner! Ciara Koboski and Morgan Fitzsimmons! At this point, my heart rate is at about 200. I am freaking out, next he says, “Liz Grady and Sam Jesse!”. Liz and I run to the front and join in on the swaying line as the rest of the officers are announced.
At the conclusion of these dramatic announcements, we were told that these partners would be our account-uh-bil-uh-buddies! Now you may be wondering, what is an account-uh-bil-uh-buddy? I too was curious, but was quickly informed that an account-uh-bil-uh-buddy is someone who holds you accountable, but is also your buddy, hence the creative name. But account-uh-bil-uh-buddies aren't just for state officers. I want to encourage each and every FFA member to find themselves an account-uh-bil-uh-buddy.

First off, an account-uh-bil-uh-buddy is someone you can be open and honest with about anything. Somebody who you can confide in. This could be a fellow FFA member, a parent, mentor or a friend.
Next, an account-uh-bil-uh-buddy is someone who can remind you of deadlines! If you're anything like me, you may forget things once in awhile, and having somebody to remind you of these dates can be a real help!
Finally, an account-uh-bil-uh-buddy is someone who will become a reliable friend. Somebody who will help to keep you in line, and someone you can share a laugh with. But remember account-uh-bil-uh-buddies are only effective if the relationship is mutual.

Ultimately, the announcement of the account-uh-bil-uh-buddies was worth the drama. Account-uh-bil-uh-buddies are awesome. I encourage you to take this concept back to your chapters and find yourself an account-uh-bil-uh-buddy!!!

If you have any questions about account-uh-bil-uh-buddies feel free to email me @ or follow me on facebook!

Samuel Jesse

What have we been up to?
Jul. 19, 2017

Liz Grady - Secretary
Oregon FFA Chapter
Section 5

Hey, hey Wisconsin FFA! I can’t believe it has already been a month since convention. Your state officer team has been keeping busy, starting out with three weeks of training. First was Blast Off where were learned more about the role as a state officer, our individual strengths as well as leadership and professionalism. Next, we joined the Agriculture Education teachers in Appleton for the WAAE Conference. Here, we learned about Team Ag Ed: its 7 components and how they work together. We also worked as a team to develop our state theme: Live Your Why! The following week, we traveled to Springfield, IL for NLCSO. This is where we had the opportunity to set team goals and a vision statement. We also learned specific skills of developing and delivering workshops, appropriate advocacy for agriculture and how to work as a team by holding each other accountable. Last week we were able to put these skills to use at the Wisconsin Farm Technology Days hosted by Kewaunee County.

Farm Technology Days was an exciting event for us. We were all happy to be outside and talking about agriculture. During the event, we split into small groups to work in different areas including Farm Demonstrations, Farm Tours, Tram spotting and the Wisconsin FFA Booth. We put our skills to the test all week and had plenty of fun too- Ciera and I even met and talked with Greg Peterson from the Peterson Farm Bros.

It has been such an amazing experience so far and I can’t wait to be back at it again with my teammates! Up next is the Wisconsin State Fair. I hope to see you there!

-Liz Grady

It's Fair Season!
Jul. 14, 2017

Morgan Fitzsimmons - Vice President
Mineral Point FFA Chapter
Section 4

If you haven’t already had your county fair, chances are it is approaching rather quickly, and though it may be hard to admit, Wisconsin State Fair is right around the corner! Months of preparation, time, and dedication have gone into many projects across section four and the state. Chances are high that many of us will interact with the public during this time. As FFA members these exhibitions are our time to showcase our hard work, advocate for our industry, and educate others about our SAEs. I want to highlight some key strategies for you while interacting with the public this fair season.

1. Answer questions honestly. Everyone has a different opinion, and that is a good thing! When answering questions it is important to be respectful of their opinion and answer questions honestly. It may be funny to say silly answers and watch others reactions, but this is our time to educate others about the industry we all hold near and dear.

2. Make answers relatable. We have in some ways developed our own jargon in the agriculture industry and have common terms of communication. I mean, how many acronyms does the FFA have? For example if a consumer were to approach you while shearing your lamb and ask what is happening, it can be easily related to a hair cut. This gives that person a better understanding, and they can see it from a regular occurrence in their life.

3. Ask. If we don’t feel comfortable answering a question it is always, always okay to ask an adult or industry leader. Advisors, project leaders, trusted adults, and supervisors are people that these questions can be directed to. They are always willing to help and assist anyone. This also a great time for us to learn from their wealth of knowledge and use it in future situations.

4. Don’t stop. After your county fair don’t stop mingling with those in public and speaking on behalf of agriculture. The efforts to advocate for agriculture can continue through forms of social media, blogs, and active efforts through FFA. Talk with your chapter about starting a Food for America activity or their own social media page to promote chapter events.

I hope everyone enjoys their local, county, and state fairs! Good luck to everyone competing in events across the section and the state. To wrap up, what projects will you be exhibiting at the fairs this summer? Email me your answers, questions, and concerns at I hope to catch up with many of you at the Wisconsin State Fair!

Signing out from Section 4,
Morgan Fitzsimmons

Challenge Yourself!
Jul. 12, 2017

Ciara Koboski - Vice President
Black River Falls FFA Chapter
Section 3

Have you ever been afraid to try something new? This is a year full of new experiences and times to challenge yourself. I have always been one to stay in my comfort zone and not try anything new at all. I am totally the person who will get in a line to order food and always orders chicken tenders. I love routines and not stepping out of my boundaries of comfort. This is the time to have new experiences, make more memories, and challenge yourself.

This last month has been a big change for me. I am challenging myself each day to be the best I can be. Here’s a little bit of a load down on what we having been doing lately. The first few weeks we had Blast Off Training, Wisconsin Association of Agricultural Educators (WAAE) Professional Development Conference, National Leadership Conference for State Officers (NLCSO), and this week is Farm Technology Days. So this was the first time I had ever been to any of these events. Each day I have learned something new that will last me a lifetime. This week in itself has been full of new experiences. Until Tuesday morning I never knew what our tractor driving contest was. I will tell you I learned so much from our fellow FFA members about tractor safety and even a little about how a tractor works. This may sound a little weird to say that I don’t know how a tractor works but, I grew up living in town with my unique pets. So during the contest I was able to meet so many passionate members! I congratulate all the members who participated in tractor driving contest and commend all their hard work.

Along with the contest that went on this week, I was able to announce the equipment at the field demonstrations. This was a neat new experience to be able to learn what equipment is used to harvest and even some unique ways to harvest some crops.

My first experience at Farm Technology Days has been great, and it reminds me to not be afraid to step outside of your comfort zone and challenge yourself, just like I’ve done this week. I challenge everyone to try something new within your National, State, and Chapter Association this year. Challenge yourself to be the best you can be. Make memories that will last a life time this year and have fun!

Your Section 3 State FFA Officer,
Ciara Koboski

The Start of Something Good
Jul. 08, 2017

Brooke Brantner - Vice President
Menomonie FFA Chapter
Section 2

Hello Wisconsin FFA! My name is Brooke Brantner from section 2! The past few weeks have absolutely flown by, and it’s hard to believe that Convention was already almost a month ago! In this time the state officer team has had the opportunity to build a strong foundation for this upcoming year so we are better able to encourage all of you to Live Your Why!!

This past week the state officer team attended the National Leadership Conference (NLCSO) in Springfield, Illinois. In this conference we worked with three amazing facilitators, one of whom was David Townsend. The skills sets we focused on included setting goals, creating vision statements, the importance of advocacy, and planning/delivering workshops. These sessions not only allowed us to learn alongside and build friendships with the Indiana and Illinois state officer teams, but also prepared us to better serve you!

In just a few short days we will be traveling to Green Bay to represent Wisconsin FFA at Farm Technology Days! Here we will be able to put all of these newly built skill sets to use as we are in charge of directing tours throughout the week and educating the public on the importance of agriculture.

It has been a truly amazing month, and I can’t wait to see where the next 11 take all of us! If you ever have questions, please feel free to reach out and send me an email at or find me on Facebook! I am so excited to see how all of you Live Your Why this year!

Brooke Brantner

The Travels of Meikah and Stan
Jul. 04, 2017

Meikah Dado - Reporter
Amery FFA Chapter
Section 1

Hey Wisconsin FFA! How is everyone’s summer going after a wonderful convention?! My name is Meikah Dado and I am super excited to share with you all of what the state officers have been up to these past couple weeks. We have had busy schedules, but are loving every minute!

Right after convention ended, we headed off to Blast Off where we learned all about what it means to be a state officer. The following week was WAAE Conference (Wisconsin Association of Agricultural Educators); while participating we learned about expectations and were able to put faces to names of all the important people within the Wisconsin FFA such as John Hromyak, our Wisconsin FFA Foundation Executive Director, Cheryl Steinbach, Wisconsin FFA Alumni Executive Director, our section’s agricultural educators/FFA Advisors and many more! Currently, we are in Springfield, Illinois attending National Leadership Conference for State Officers (NLCSO). In this conference, we are learning all about workshops, planning goals, and ultimately how to best serve YOU!

A fun fact about my travels as a state officer includes my family’s minivan named Stan! My older brother took Stan all over Wisconsin when he was a state officer, and now Stan is ready to go another round. Although Stan has some bumps and bruises, we love him dearly. We are currently over 221,000 miles and still chugging along!

As I am the Reporter, it is my duty to remind you (if you haven’t already) to go like the FFA Facebook page, like your sectional FFA page, and follow us on Instagram. I am excited to continue my travels with my teammates, and I am ready to meet all of you! Let’s have a great year and LIVE YOUR WHY!

Behind the Scenes: Live Your Why
Jul. 01, 2017

Ciera Ballmer - President
Clinton FFA Chapter

The Wisconsin FFA State Officers are extremely excited to announce that the 2017-2018 Wisconsin FFA Theme is “Live Your Why!” When you hear our theme, “Live Your Why,” it’s a pretty broad statement, so odds are you might be wondering a little about what it means and how the state officers decided on it as our theme.

During our first week together at Blast Off, the State Officer team was reacquainted with “the Golden Circle.” “The Golden Circle” is a Ted talk about how people can communicate more effectively by starting with their “why.” If you haven’t seen this video before, I highly recommend you checking it out, but here’s a quick recap. Usually people communicate by starting with what they do, then stating how they do it, and then sometimes ending with why they do it. For example, the National FFA Organization develops students’ potential for premier leadership, personal growth and career success. How do we do it? We do this through agricultural education. But the “why.” This is the most important part. We do it because we believe in the future of agriculture, and because we want to grow leaders, build communities, and strengthen agriculture.

When we share our what, then our how, and finally our why, we do share our message. However, if we flip it around and start with why we do things, we can grab our audiences’ attention, allow others to understand us better, build a connection with others, and therefore be more effective in communicating our message. The State Officer Team really connected with this idea about the Golden Circle, and especially the power behind our why.

We all have our why. Our why can be why we joined FFA, why we believe in the future of agriculture, or why we simply wake up in the morning. Whatever our “why” is, it’s our reason behind what we do. It motivates us and that why can have a lot of power. Not only do we as a team want to continue identifying our whys, we also hope that all of you can discover your whys throughout the year.

Once we discover our why, that’s when we get to the second half our theme: “Live.” Our whys still do not take on their full potential until we start to put them to action! Wisconsin FFA’s challenge to all of us it to take action and “Live your why!”

Go out and Live Your Why,

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