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Officer Profiles

Vive una aventure!
Jul. 21, 2019

Emily Sheehan - Sentinel
Parkview FFA Chapter
Section 5

Howdy there Wisconsin!

Well it is starting to get real! When you are elected as an FFA state officer, you are on such an adrenaline high. At the time you think that this is the best day of your life but in fact every day since has been just as amazing. I am currently 40 days into office and these past 40 days have been filled with laughter, screaming, swimming, games, bonfires, and escape rooms but they have also been filled with personal development, workshop development, reading, writing, stress, and very little sleep. The combination of all of this has made so many new memories with the strangers that I now call my best friends.

My team and I are getting excited for Washington D.C. Summit! Which is where we get to meet all of the others State Officers from every other state! We will be able to sightsee in D.C. along with getting to know other officers and learning new ideas that they implement in their state and bring them back to Wisconsin.

Well my team and I made it to D.C. but it was quite the adventure already even though we are still sitting in the airport! Well to start out, I love to travel! I love seeing new things and I LOVE adventure! Alright well getting to D.C. for my group wasn’t too eventful, besides the fact that Joe didn’t get his complimentary in-flight snacks and drinks, there were no complaints. But once we got to the Reagan National Airport in D.C. is where it started to get interesting. We get off the plane and it is 95 thick degrees outside! We take a 10 minute walk to baggage claim where we stand patiently for 30 minutes staring blankly at the board, waiting for the board to tell us what baggage claim we can go to to pick up our luggage. Well eventually our flight left the board without ever telling us where to get our bags. After that half hour we finally decided to ask at the information desk. We get to our baggage claim and are waiting for the conveyor belt to bring up all of my groups bags. Again standing in the hot muggy airport. My bright blue bag finally emerges from the conveyor belt and I see the top of my bag is super dirty! So I grabbed my bag and thought to myself, “no big deal, I can just wash it off when I get home”. I grabbed my bag and went to set it on its wheels to go find the rest of my team when my hair straightener fall out of the bottom of my bag! I looked at my unsteady bag and realized it only had three wheels (should have four) and there was a massive hole in the corner of my bag! I could see right through to my clothes! My suitcase was absolutely destroyed, completely obliterated! There was no way I could use it, even just for this week. I went to the (HELPING PEOPLE) and they got me a new suitcase to put my things in. As I transfer my things over I pull out my official FFA state officer polo, there was a hole that went straight though, front to back! You could say I was pretty upset. I needed my polo this week to represent our state, our team was going to wear these polos together. Getting to the hotel was a whole other dilemma in that same thick heat, just standing around. But we made it to our hotel and the Wisconsin FFA State Officers are loving summit so far!

Now this wasn’t the worst day of travel that we could have had but it definitely has the possibility of ruining my day or even my week! But we stayed together as a team and got through it! Life is bound to get bumpy, messy, and even dirty but the only thing that matters is what you make of it. My life motto is “Vive una aventura” which is spanish for “live an adventure”, I don’t really have a rhyme or reason for my life motto being in spanish except I REALLY want to learn spanish (I mean and it just sounds cooler). But to live a full life I honestly believe you have to just let the little things that happen roll off your back like water because if you don’t then that water will soon consume you. Wisconsin FFA if any of you have crazy travel stories or you just want to talk about adventure please feel free to contact me. I’d love to hear about all of y’all’s adventures!

Remember vive una aventure
~Emily Sheehan State Sentinel

Neverending Story
Jul. 17, 2019

Grace Morrissey - Vice President
Shullsburg FFA Chapter
Section 4

Hey everyone!

I hope you all are surviving the heat this time of year! This summer has been jam packed with FFA events, county fairs, and of course the newest season of Stranger Things! The State Officers have been busy attending alumni golf outings, preparing SLW & FIRE workshops, and much more to get ready for our year in office.

At the beginning of my State Officer journey, I must admit that I was intimidated by the sheer intensity and dedication that goes into preparing for different events and gathering up material for speeches. But it wasn’t until I was watching season 3 of Stranger Things that I remembered why we put so much of ourselves into developing workshops and speeches.

FFA is a never-ending story. (if you have watched season 3, you know exactly what I’m talking about) :)

Each story follows a journey. FFA’s story began as The Future Farmers of America, but is now known as The National FFA Organization. That original story never ended, it simply began a new chapter and we are all part of it. FFA members all across the country have their own story in FFA, just like you and I. Our dedication as State Officers, Chapter Officers, past, present, and future FFA members and supporters are what makes FFA a never-ending story and keeps the message of FFA alive.

Wisconsin FFA kicked off its new chapter with the election of the 2019-2020 State Officer Team. I am thrilled to see where this chapter in our lives will take us. But I am especially thrilled that it will take me to you! I am excited to see how each and every one of you will impact this chapter in extraordinary ways! Let’s continue to make FFA a never-ending story!

Stay cool out there,
Grace

Drive For Show. Putt For Dough.
Jul. 15, 2019

Curtis Weltzien - Treasurer
Arcadia FFA Chapter
Section 3

Hello Wisconsin FFA!

With a month under our belts, the action is picking up! With Base Camp and Checkpoint #1 complete, we took a day to mingle with and thank some of Wisconsin FFA’s biggest sponsors and supporters. Without these stakeholders, FFA in Wisconsin simply wouldn’t be possible. Collin, Ryan, Lindsey, and I recently had the opportunity to attend the Northwest Wisconsin FFA Foundation Golf Outing at Wild Ridge Golf Course in Eau Claire, WI. The event serves as a major fundraiser for the Foundation which directly supports FFA activities and programs in Wisconsin. The day was filled with fun and laughter by everyone in attendance!

As state officers, we worked at different holes running various contests where players were given the chance to win some extra prizes. As a spectator, it was not only fun to visit with all the sponsors as they came through but also to watch each of them tee off. Some hit the ball for country miles and some struggled to make contact. But regardless of their first shot, it was their shots on the green, or putting, that ultimately saved or lost strokes. Putting separated them from the rest of the pack.

As the day went on, I began to think how this can be related to our FFA experience. Merely just putting on the blue corduroy jacket is like hitting a stunning drive. It looks good from afar and it will definitely start you off in the right direction, but in reality, a drive only makes up a small portion of the total strokes in a round of golf. Lots of people can just throw a jacket on. But that’s only the first step. It’s the next shots, which aren’t always the longest, that separate our FFA experience from others. What we do in the corduroy jacket is like putting. It may not always look pretty, and it may not always get the crowd oohing and aahing, but the small actions of hard work we take make all the difference in the world. So as we get ready for the year ahead, let’s not merely put on our jackets and “drive for show.” Let’s get down to business and “putt for dough!”

As we go through the year, don’t be afraid to get in touch with me at ckweltzien@wisconsinffa.org or (608)-863-6402!

See you soon,
Curtis

Take in Every Moment
Jul. 10, 2019

Lindsey Augustine - Vice President
Ellsworth FFA Chapter
Section 2

Greetings Wisconsin FFA!

My name is Lindsey Augustine from the Ellsworth FFA Chapter, and I am proud to be representing Section 2 as your 2019-2020 Wisconsin FFA State Vice President!

Here are some fun facts about myself so that you can get to know me a little more:

1. I raise and show cattle, sheep, and goats.
2. I have a sister, Kaitlin, that is four years older than me, and I have a twin sister, Mollie.
3. I was on the Parliamentary Procedure team all four years in high school and was able to compete at the state level twice in this LDE.
4. I have been on the livestock judging team for 4-H for the past four years.
5. My favorite food is peanut butter. I tend to eat it straight out of the jar with a spoon more times than I would like to admit.
6. I love to travel and have been fortunate to have been able to explore many countries in Europe.
7. My friends do not trust me to give them directions because my geographical skills are very limited. I am working on it and by the end of my state office career I will hopefully be able to locate places without my phone!
8. I am a sucker for Hallmark movies (especially Christmas ones).
9. I enjoy going deer hunting and fishing.
10. I will be attending the University of Wisconsin - River Falls double majoring in agricultural education and animal science. I plan to become a high school agriculture teacher in the future.

A whole month has passed since the closing gavel tap was dropped at State Convention. It is hard to believe how many places the state officer team has been so far in just one short month. We have all put plenty of miles on our vehicles already. We have attended Base Camp, WAAE Professional Development Conference, and Check Point #1, and have had an enjoyable time filled with many laughs, morning runs with the team, and too many eaten s’mores throughout this past month. The traveling will soon begin to escalate! Within the next month we will be traveling to various golf outings, Washington D.C., State Fair, and ending August with a week-long trip to the famous Jag Lake. Before we know it Sectional Leadership Workshops will be in full swing!

Throughout the past weeks it has been great getting to know the other individuals on the officer team. When you put eleven people into a room that have never met before and you sit them down to layout your plan for the next year, this experience can be frightening. On the other hand, everyone can take a role and use their strengths to better Wisconsin FFA. I am excited to say this team has bonded together and worked towards the future to RISE Up and STAND OUT as a group of individuals with a common goal. Let’s continue to make Wisconsin great through Agriculture and FFA involvement.

As we enter further into summer, there are many fairs occurring throughout Wisconsin. I know first hand how busy these can be. Enjoy every moment while in the show ring, preparing projects, and patiently waiting to see what color ribbons that you have received. Before you know it, this will be your last time attending a fair while being an FFA or 4-H member. Take in every moment and enjoy them to your fullest! Continue to use the strengths that you have to build your future.

If you ever have any questions for me, please do not hesitate to email me at laugustine@wisconsinffa.org.

Enjoy the rest of your summer,
Lindsey

Escape Your Shell!
Jul. 08, 2019

Ryan Erickson - Vice President
Barron FFA Chapter
Section 1

Have no fear Wisconsin FFA, your new state officer team has been put to the test and has passed! Picture this, you and your friends have been trapped in an abandoned 1800’s western town. Every door, drawer, and dresser in this town have locks on them and there are no keys or codes to be found. The only way out of this town is to find the gold and find it fast before the Gatlin Gang rides into town! Although this may sound like the plot of a pretty cheesy movie or video game, this is actually the exact scenario our state officer team found ourselves in last week! Even though our lives were not in jeopardy and the Gatlin Gang may have been no more that a piece of fiction, solving this “escape room experience” we signed up for turned out to be quite a challenge.

After being briefed on the fictional situation and being locked in the room, the timer began, and the race was on! We all split up and looked for anything that could be considered a clue. After minutes and minutes ticked by with few leads to work off of, we began to realize something. We were each working in our own little “shell” and trying to solve big problems by ourselves. We all came to this realization at nearly the same time and knew we had to try something different if we had any chance to escape. As we began to share with others what we had found and put our heads together, it was amazing the discoveries we made!

I think we can all be guilty of hiding out in our own little “shell” at times in our lives. Whether that be avoiding talking to certain students at school, doing the bare minimum on assignments we get, or as in our case, not fully communicating as a team, it happens to the best of us. We like to be comfortable and are not always open to others’ ideas. However, when we escape that “shell” and escape our comfort zone, it is amazing how much we can accomplish. For those that might be wondering, we did find the gold and escape that town once we began working together.

We escaped just in time with only 45 seconds left of our 60-minute clock. Any more wasted time and chances are we would not have been successful. The longer we remain in our “shell,” the more we limit our potential. So, lets escape our “shells” together this year and see just how much we can accomplish!

Have a Great Summer!!
- Ryan

Rise Up. Stand Out.
Jul. 01, 2019

Collin Weltzien - President
Arcadia FFA Chapter
President

Hello Wisconsin FFA!

I hope your summer is off to a rocking start! Between State FFA Convention, summer jobs, county fairs, family get togethers, and now gearing up for Fourth of July Celebrations, I’m sure you all are having no trouble staying busy! The State Officer team can say the same. Since being elected, we’ve hit the ground running. Last week, we found ourselves in La Crosse at the Wisconsin Association of Agricultural Educators (WAAE) Professional Development Conference.

We spent the majority of the week learning the ins and outs of Team Ag Ed, gaining a better understanding of our responsibilities for the year, and discussing the events on our schedule as we move through summer and into fall. But on the top of our to-do list was picking this year’s State Theme.

Now, coming up with a phrase that will be the driver of the Association’s entire year and of course be a staple of our State Convention in June certainly seemed like a daunting task at first. But surprisingly enough, after sitting down one evening in a hotel room, discussing what kind of message we wanted to get across, and tossing around a few different ideas, my teammates and I had picked the theme: Rise Up. Stand Out.

I wanted to give just a brief overview of what the theme means to us and the message we wanted to get across. We decided we wanted a phrase that highlighted the collective power our organization has when we collaborate-when we take our unique talents and interests and come together, it’s pretty amazing what we accomplish. We wanted something that inspires members to feel empowered to overcome the challenges and low points we all encounter, personally, in our organization, and in our agriculture industry and captivate the relentless drive for progress, drive for innovation, and drive to be better we all have. No matter the roadblocks in front of us, we find a way to rise to the occasion, to rise together, and to Rise Up. And as we continue to develop the future leaders of agriculture, we want FFA members to be proud of the fact that FFA members stand out-stand out in a good way. FFA members have a reputation of being a notch of above the rest when it comes to leadership, work ethic, and professionalism, and the responsibility of carrying on that reputation into the future is something we can all take pride in.

I cannot wait to watch you all Rise Up in your Supervised Agricultural Experiences, at contests and conferences, and in your community service events. And I am excited to see how you each Stand Out in your schools, chapters, and communities through your own unique FFA experiences. It will be one heck of a year! I’ll be seeing you soon!

In the meantime, if you ever have any questions for me or are just looking for someone to chew the fat with, please don’t hesitate to email me at cweltzien@wisconsinffa.org or give me a jingle at (608)-863-0895.

Take Care,
Collin

I Can't Believe We Did THAT
Jun. 11, 2019

Collin Weltzien - President
Arcadia FFA Chapter
President

I can’t believe we did that.

One year ago, I wrote my final blog as State Vice President, and this was the first paragraph: “The other day, I was reflecting on the year of being a state officer with a few of my teammates. We all laughed when somebody brought up the last day of State Fair: we spent hours looking for somebody’s keys, drove over an hour to a hotel, went to a hotel that didn’t have our reservations, and were all so tired that 8 state officers ate SIX pizzas. Someone said, ‘I can’t believe we did that.’ But we had.”

Last year, my final blog: I can’t believe we did that. This year, my final blog: I can’t believe we did THAT. You see, I thought my life was crazy busy as a state officer. And then I realized that it could get a whole lot crazier and busier.

I have had so many adventures as a state FFA officer:
State Fair: shouting “Go Veggies Go” at the top of your lungs with 5 year olds, all day for two weeks. Driving away from the fairgrounds, I thought, “I can’t believe we did that.”
The time I went to 5 banquets in one weekend. I got home and said “I can’t believe we did that.”
There was the time at a conference I was so tired, I drank 7 cups of coffee that day. At the end of the day, I said, “I can’t believe we did that.”
Walking out of a college final, in official dress. I had just taken the exam in OD so I could make it to a chapter event on time. “I can’t believe we did that.”
There were snowy drives, conversations about “priorities”, workshops about potatoes, busing tables, and more smiles than I ever thought possible. All in one year. “I can’t believe we did that.”

But who is “we” in all that? My teammates and I? My chapter and I? No. It’s you and me.

Because for every time I yelled “Go Veggies Go!” you were working at your chapter’s Food for America program to teach children about agriculture and where there food comes from. For every chapter visit I walked into, you were having lunch in the Ag room with some of your best friends. For every set of car keys my teammates and I lost, you were unlocking your potential with each new FFA activity and Ag class you took. For every banquet I drove to, you were at your high school making sure your banquet would be amazing. For every cup of coffee I drank, you were already awake and hard at work on your supervised agricultural experience. For every time I ate Culver’s, you were waiting to eat until chores were finished. And for every time I thought “This is the best job ever,” you were the reason why.

“I can’t believe we did that.” WE did that. WE advocated for agriculture. WE made memories in the Ag room. WE put long hours into FFA events and SAEs. And WE made an impact on someone else, because WE were dedicated enough to go the extra mile.

The moments you have right now will never repeat themselves.
Live your life.
Laugh when you get the urge to.
Love where you are at.
And then you’ll look back on these moments, and say, “I can’t believe we did that.”

Even though life got crazier and busier, each time I was at an FFA event, I was even more glad I chose to run for State FFA President. There are no people I would rather go the extra mile for than you. There are no memories I would trade for those I gained these past two years as your state officer. And there is no organization that has taught me more about dedication than the FFA. So yes, life got crazy this year. But you, FFA members, advisors, supporters, and sponsors, you made it worth it.

I can’t believe we did that, but because we did, I BELIEVE that each of you is capable of incredible things, if you dream big while loving where you are at. Because we did, I Believe in the Future of Agriculture.

With a full heart,
Amelia

A Place to Grow
Jun. 10, 2019

Michelle Stangler - Vice President
Watertown FFA Chapter
Section 10

Members, Supporters, and Advisors:

I see a spotlight land on centerstage, a freshly opened box, wide-eyes and a postage stamp. I see seventh grade students celebrating their first public speaking success, freshman sitting shyly in the back of the classroom, and seniors confident in taking their next steps. I see a student showing their talents as a state winner, an excited middle school member as they receive their first jacket, the expression as a student looks in amazement at the 60,000 FFA members at national convention, and the final touch of an application after hours of perfecting it. I see this as my future. A future as an agricultural educator.

Like many fresh high school graduates and early college students, choosing a major and being confident in our choice, is challenging; any time we make drastic changes and choices, it can be challenging. How do we know we are on the right path?

We must explore while we have the opportunity. Pursue internships, take different classes, get involved in different student organizations, and surround ourselves with people who will encourage us. We must create an environment of growth for ourselves and those around us.

From experiencing the excitement of hundreds of middle school students at FIRE conference to hearing the retiring addresses of chapter officers to spending 29 days working with students in classrooms to spending late nights planning workshops and lesson plans, you, Wisconsin FFA, have been my growth environment.

I hope that each and every one of you find and create a successful growth environment such as you have given me. Whatever decision you are struggling with, change that challenges you or uncertainty that unnerves you: answers will come. Place yourself in an environment of growth and we will watch you shine!

Forever Grateful,

Emily

Be Happy that it Happened
Jun. 09, 2019

Joe Schlies - Parliamentarian
Denmark FFA Chapter
Section 9

Dear Wisconsin FFA,

Thank you for allowing me to serve as one of your 2018-2019 State FFA Vice Presidents, it has been a whirlwind of a ride and is coming to a bittersweet end. Time truly flies when you’re having fun this past year has taught me to live in the moment and enjoy the little things in life. From getting to travel the country and state with my teammates to getting to interact with members throughout the state it has been an outstanding year or learning and adventure. This Thursday of convention some of us will be zipping our FFA Jackets up for the final time and there may even be tears shed. The FFA is a life changing experience and without it many of us would not be where we are today as we zip up our jackets for the final time, don’t be sad that its over be happy that it happened. Thank you for allowing me to serve you in the past year and I hope to see you down the road!

Signing off,
Sarah Calaway

Signed on the Dotted Line
Jun. 08, 2019

Lydia Williams - Reporter
Shawano FFA Chapter
Section 8

Hello Everyone,

Convention is approaching fast. Not like a lion creeping through the grass but like a freight train barreling down the tracks. This blog is supposed to be a reflection on the year so obviously, I spent two days thinking about it. Over those two days, I discovered a strange thing. After eleven months of state office, I have learned a lot. Many would consider someone eleven months into a one-year term as experienced, but we haven’t even started Convention! It is strange I will be looked to for guidance and confidence while having no prior experience in the position.

As of Saturday, my year is 98.6% done and the most memorable and important part is yet to come. It is like a final boss battle in a video game or the cherry on top of a sundae, depending on how you look at it. These four days will be the defining moment for my year of service. It is slightly terrifying knowing that how you perform in one instant will be how hundreds of members will remember you by. On the other hand, I have eleven glorious months of experience and a wonderful team around me for support. Like playing on a team, your job is made easier when you have a great teammate excelling at theirs.

Anyways, I was pondering my experience because I will be passing on a lot of traditions. Many of you may not know but the state officers have lots of great traditions that get passed on year to year. Some are new, like the guys’ fanny pack, and some are old, like signing the sectional tubs. (Each newly elected officer leaves Convention with no less than three large tubs. They contain all sorts of items that may be useful during the year.) I signed the tubs and added the year, marking my existence in the great history of our organization. Like the other officers before me, I did this before I even stepped foot into the convention hall.

I may be rambling on now about not having experienced the peak of State Officer-ness but my point is this. These signatures go back a long way, almost 2 decades on some. And not one name was signed after retirement, all were done before convention. They were scribbled on not as a sign-off for the year or a mark of completion, but instead like contract and a promise that that officer will finish the year to the best of their abilities. That they will do their part to ensure that the next officer will inherit the great legacy that we all strive for.

Thanks for following along this year. It means a lot to me that someone out there values these words enough to read them all. I appreciate it deeply. Have a great rest of your life. Go out and make that legacy count.

Thanks Again,

Mitchell Schroepfer
State Treasurer
2018-2019

Don't Blink
Jun. 07, 2019

Daniel Clark - Vice President
Spencer FFA Chapter
Section 7

Hi everyone,

With convention fast approaching it seems like just yesterday that we, the 2018-2019 State FFA Officer Team were inducted. Today we are just four days from the gavel dropping. Looking back over the year, we have had a great one. I can’t appreciate the things you all have taught me enough.

Coming to close, I have some advice. Don’t blink. In everything we do it always seems to go by so much faster than we anticipate. After taking office, the first week of our training seemed to take forever, and now everyday leading up to convention seems to fly by faster than the one before. Don’t blink. If you do, you will miss the little things that make everyday worth it, the things that make you wonder, make you smile and even make you think a little. For me, State Office has been my don’t blink moment. For you it may be high school, college, a job or even watching your children or grandchildren grow up. Everyone is different, everyone will have a different don’t blink moment and that is okay. But what you have to remember is to don’t blink, always live in the moment and take time to reflect on everyday.

When I say, don’t blink, I don’t mean physically don’t blink. I mean don’t sweat the small stuff, but always pay attention to detail. The details in life are what makes our journey so special. Take for instance the 11 state officers. We all completed chapter visits and banquets, but not a single one of us had the same experience because of the details. I want to thank you Wisconsin FFA for making the details of my year pretty unforgettable.

I can’t wait to see you all at State Convention next week, I am looking forward to a blast!
Jillian Tyler

Move With The Cheese
Jun. 06, 2019

Jared Mack - Secretary
Sauk Prairie FFA Chapter
Section 6

I recently read a book called “Who Moved My Cheese?” by Dr. Spencer Johnson. The main focus of this book was about change, and how a person can change faster and more successfully in order to find fulfillment and happiness. I stole this book from my teammate and section 8 state officer, Mitchell, back in February, and felt it was a fitting time to read it during this time of year as I am about to face some big life changes, and change is an inevitable part of our lives and something we must always overcome and adapt.

“Who Moved My Cheese?” tells the story of four main characters running through a maze, looking for “Cheese.” The characters are “Sniff,” who sniffs out change early, “Scurry,” who scurries into action, “Hem,” who denies and resists change as they fear it will lead to something worse, and “Haw,” who learns to adapt in time when they see changing can lead to something better. The “Cheese” stands for a metaphor of what we want in life, whether it is a job, relationships, money, freedom, health, recognition, or even an activity like playing sports. Sniff and Scurry are mice who think in simple terms and adapt to change easily, while Hem and Haw are similar to us as humans, who think in more complex ways and resist change as they go throughout the maze searching for “Cheese.” In the end, the story can be summed in a few parts:
1.) Change Happens
2.) Anticipate Change
3.) Monitor Change
4.) Adapt To Change Quickly
5.) Change – Move With The Cheese!
6.) Enjoy Change!
7.) Be Ready To Change Quickly And Enjoy It Again & Again!

Whether you are graduating 8th grade and moving into high school, graduating high school and moving into college or entering the workforce, are transitioning out of a job or opportunity like I am with state office, or are just uncertain or fearful of the future, remember to Move With The Cheese and remember that there is always “New Cheese” right around the corner. Change is part of our lives, and although little and big changes may cause us to feel scared, we have to find our own way, beyond our comfort zone. As long as we are patient, go past any fears we may have, and enjoy the adventure, we can Move With The Cheese to unleash amazing opportunities in our lives.

As I prepare to Move With The Cheese and transition out of state FFA office, I want to thank each and every one of you for helping to make this year an incredible experience. State office has been the most fulfilling, challenging, and rewarding opportunity to date, and I hope you all find your “Cheese” and move right along with it! I am ready for change in the next chapter of my life, and for everyone experiencing changes and transition, enjoy every bit of the journey!

Moving With The Cheese,
Ashley

Why We Do What We Do
Jun. 05, 2019

Emily Sheehan - Sentinel
Parkview FFA Chapter
Section 5

Hey there Wisconsin FFA,

As the year wraps up, I had the opportunity to have one last event before tacking State FFA Convention. A few days ago, I traveled to the Madison Capitol to volunteer with Cows on the Concourse, an educational event for children and adults alike to kick off June Dairy Month. All sorts of exhibits were around Martin Luther King, Jr. Boulevard to show our industry off: from a pen of cattle to Sassy Cow ice cream, there was a little of everything for a passerby to enjoy! The day was full of questions, taste testing dairy products, and learning about what makes the dairy industry what it is today.

That morning, I was tasked with supervising tubs of cattle feed for people to explore. I began to wonder what would come out of this day, as the morning started off quite slow. However, as the morning went on, all sorts of faces passed by and stopped to see the simple bins of feed sitting on the asphalt. Groups of old women on their way to the farmers market would be enticed to come and smell silage and reminisce on their time back on the farm as young girls. Toddlers would dip their hands into the high moisture corn and grin as they held two chubby fistfuls of ground corn between their palms. Kids would come by and be coaxed into holding a handful cottonseed and be amazed over how soft the outside was. Adults would cup a handful of distillers’ grains and ask how in the world we found out how to use ethanol byproduct for cattle feed. Whether they had a farming background or not, those who stopped always had a question, comment, or simply a grin for us as they experienced what some know as daily life. Everyone had something to take away from that day, from reminiscing on old memories, new facts, to feelings of newfound wonder. The faces and the feelings of those who came by made the job turn from a mundane morning to a day of marvel.

Sometimes, as the story of agriculture takes a dark turn with low prices, a rising average farmer age, and a gloomier public perception by no fault of our own, we wonder why we stay in the FFA and agricultural education. However, mornings like Cows on the Concourse remind us exactly what brought us here to this organization. We’re here because of our true feeling of curiosity about agriculture. We stay involved to teach those kids with handfuls of cottonseed how a cow can use them in her diet. We continue to learn for those who get excited over or a cup of ice cream on the square. We continue to advocate for the adult who wants to learn about where his or her food comes from. No matter what, we stay because we want the FFA and agriculture to give others the feeling it gave us, as we were all once that person with wonder in our eyes over a handful of feed. Wisconsin FFA, we do what we do so others can feel that wonder, too.

Stay curious,
Gaelan

Bittersweet ending
Jun. 04, 2019

Grace Morrissey - Vice President
Shullsburg FFA Chapter
Section 4

It is hard for me to believe it is already less than a week before convention! The warm weather is here, school is almost out, and farmers are busy in the fields. Unfortunately, this means that my year serving as your 2018-2019 State Vice President is coming to a close as well. Many people told me that I’d never forget the feeling of running up on the stage after my name was called as a state officer. This is true but no one mentioned the joy I’d feel seeing a student finally understand a brain-teaser during a chapter visit. No one mentioned the excitement of announcing the winner of a sectional speaking contest. No one mentioned the friendships I’d make with my team or FFA members. No one mentioned the greatness of agricultural educators and FFA advisors. No one mentioned how difficult saying goodbye was going to be. I have truly enjoyed getting to know so many of you, and I appreciate all that you did to make my year so special. I feel blessed to have been able to serve and get a glimpse into all the successes of your chapters. With each experience I participate in, I am constantly reminded why I love our organization and why I love agriculture. I have also realized how lucky I am to be a part of such a wonderful organization full of innumerable opportunities. Please do not forget to enjoy every moment and share your story.
Wish you all the best,
Amber

A Wild Ride It's Been!
Jun. 03, 2019

Curtis Weltzien - Treasurer
Arcadia FFA Chapter
Section 3

Hello,

Well, it’s hard to believe the time has come for my final travel blog of the year! It certainly is a bittersweet feeling, but I decided to take a few minutes to go through and revisit each of my past blog posts from the year. I went all the way back to my very first post in early July titled, “Wild Ride Ahead!”. At the time, I used “wild ride” as a reference to the busy summer months, but now, looking back on my year as a state officer, I can’t think of a term that more accurately and efficiently summarizes my experience. The past 12 months has been one wild ride. A wild ride of a lifetime, in fact. And a wild ride I will never forget.

From summer training, to SLWs, to chapter visits, to National Convention, to FFA Week Activities, to chapter banquets, the year has included a whirlwind of activities that’s provided me with lessons, experiences, relationships, and memories I will take with me for the rest of my life. And for that, I say thank you.

It’s been a wild ride but a ride that I’ve appreciated every step of the way. Sure, it came with some exhilarating peaks and some stressful valleys, but the pace never slowed, and the people I encountered along the way made the journey without-a-doubt worth it.

I’m willing to bet “wild ride” would be a fitting descriptor for many of your FFA years and careers as well. Chance are you’ve had your fair share of ups and down, but either way, you’ve probably realized your time in the corduroy flies right by! And my best advice to you is: cherish the “wild ride” while it lasts!

Thanks for riding with us this year! I can’t wait to see you all at State Convention for our grand finale! Please remember that I’m always just a phone call away if you ever need anything.

So Long,
Collin


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