Tips for the Best Summer EVER!
Jul. 26, 2017
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 dabomb.com!
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,
Jul. 20, 2017
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 @ firstname.lastname@example.org or follow me on facebook!
What have we been up to?
Jul. 19, 2017
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!
It's Fair Season!
Jul. 14, 2017
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 email@example.com. I hope to catch up with many of you at the Wisconsin State Fair!
Signing out from Section 4,
Jul. 12, 2017
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,
The Start of Something Good
Jul. 08, 2017
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 firstname.lastname@example.org or find me on Facebook! I am so excited to see how all of you Live Your Why this year!
The Travels of Meikah and Stan
Jul. 04, 2017
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
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,
Meet Your Section 8 Officer
Jun. 29, 2017
Well for starters, I grew up on a 180 acre Organic Dairy cattle Farm, Riley Crest Farm, in Amherst, WI. I gained a passion for the dairy industry my first year showing at the Waupaca County Fair in 2005. I showed a registered spring calf named "Cheque" in a youth showing event and started my showing career. Since then I have shown over ten heifers at the Waupaca County Fair, and six heifers at the Wisconsin State Fair in West Allis. I excel in showmanship, taking third in my class at the Waupaca County Fair. I have become very skilled at clipping and fitting heifers for competition. I also own a small herd of Mini Lop and Rex rabbits. I purchased my first rabbit when I was seven, a broken blue Rex buck named BB. I absolutely love animals and love farming even more!
I began my FFA career when I was in 7th grade. FFA is tradition in my family, so joining FFA was a natural decision for me. When I first joined FFA, I participated in the FFA Opening-Closing Ceremonies Contest. Since then, I have been extremely active in all aspects of the FFA. The FFA has taught me a lot about speaking to crowds, making friends, and building connections. The FFA has give to much to me and as a state officer, I want to give back.
So that is a little bit about myself! I am so excited to representing all you as your Wisconsin FFA State FFA Treasurer! I am thrilled about taking on this wild adventure with you, if any of you have any questions or comments, feel free to email me!
Section 8, Signin’ out!
Meet your Officer from section 2
Jun. 29, 2017
1. My roots in FFA began as an 8th grader and excelled throughout my high school career. I had the chance to participate in activities such as the creed speaking contest, dairy judging career development events, and a wide range of community service opportunities. My SAE projects were based around beef entrepreneurship and diversified livestock production placement. Outside of FFA I am involved in 4-H, the Dunn County dairy judging team, and have been playing the piano for the past 13 years.
2. I. love. cows! Showing cattle has been a way of life for my family and I throughout generations. It has instilled in me a caring nature, hardworking personality, and a drive to reach challenging goals. Most importantly it has allowed me to meet and work with so many amazing people who have greatly impacted and shaped me into who I am today. I have grown up on a hundred-acre beef farm where I have been fortunate enough to show and judge cattle on a local, state, national, and international level.
3. Currently I am sophomore at the University of Wisconsin River Falls where I am majoring in animal science with a meat animal emphasis – science option degree. My career goal is to stay connected to agriculture as an embryologist in the cattle industry.
4. My family is everything to me. I am blessed to be a triplet and to have grown up with two forever best friends by my side. My family has taught me the importance of staying humble in all that I do, helping others in all that I can, and to be thankful for all that I have.
I am looking forward to a great year with all of you! Thank you for this opportunity to serve as your section two state vice president!
Meet Your Section 5 Officer
Jun. 29, 2017
My FFA experience began when I joined FFA my freshman year in high school. The decision to join FFA was easy as FFA is a family tradition. I love FFA because of its focuses on agriculture, leadership, and service. My favorite FFA activity is Food For America because I love being able to share the story of agriculture with other students in my community.
Growing up on my family’s fourth-generation dairy farm is what grew my passion for agriculture. Through FFA, I advanced my knowledge of the dairy industry and responsibilities on the farm by developing my Dairy Cattle Placement SAE.
I hope you learned something new about me. Thank you for allowing me to represent you as your Section 5 State FFA Officer. I am most excited to interact and get to know members and advisors from my section and from across the state. If you have any questions or comments at any time, feel free to contact me at email@example.com or find me on Facebook. I am so excited to start working with all of you!
Meet Your Section 3 Officer
Jun. 29, 2017
My turtle’s names are Franklin and Shelly, they have shown me what it is like to take care of reptiles. One lesson I have learned from Franklin and Shelly is to make sure to always wash your hands before and after touching turtles. I learned this recently when I got salmonella from Franklin and Shelly. My passion for agriculture started when I was really little, but back then I didn’t even know what agriculture was or even what the word agriculture meant. The path I took in finding out what my passion included, was a little different for me. I never grew up in an agriculture background, my family is more into sports and music. I knew since I was a little kid that I enjoyed laying in the grass and watching the grass grow. If I were to get upset in a fight with my brothers, the first place you would have found me would have been outside with my pets or climbing a tree. This interest continued throughout my years in school, it was not till the summer after my seventh grade year that my friend told me about this great organization called the FFA. When I went to my first chapter FFA meeting I realized this was an organization that was for me that would help me overcome my fear of public speaking, grow as a leader, and let me explore my interest in agriculture.
I am really excited to serve as your Section 3 State FFA Officer this year! If you want to know more about me just send me a message or email. If you have any questions at all, need advice or someone to listen do not be afraid to send me a message. I am looking forward to a great year in Wisconsin FFA.
Meet Your Section 9 Officer
Jun. 29, 2017
I was born on a dairy farm in the small town of Casco. Around the age of 10 my parents converted their dairy farm into a beef operation. After saving money for years I bought my first cow when I was 11. Since then I have expanded my operation into about 25 beef cows. I dabbled in dairy, beef, poultry, and rabbit projects at my county and state fair. In high school I enrolled in 5 agriculture courses in order to broaden my horizons in agriculture. I have four SAE’s which include beef placement, beef entrepreneurship, diversified agricultural production, and agricultural education.
Outside of agricultural practices my favorite thing to do is play music. In high school I was in band class and belonged to many different bands. I played saxophone and percussion. In my spare time you can often find me playing a swing/jazz or pep tune with my saxophone or playing a “sick” beat on my drum set. I also belonged to many science clubs and organizations in high school. I have to admit that I am a science nut. In high school I took 7 science classes ranging in the areas of biology, physics, and chemistry in addition to my agriculture classes. I firmly believe that agriculture is a science, business, and technology based industry.
The last thing I want to leave you with is my philosophy. I believe we all have a purpose and that purpose is the same for each and every one of us. I believe we were put here to make someone else's life better. We do this through our passions and talents. My passion for agriculture and agricultural education has driven me to become a state officer. Why? I want to improve FFA members’ lives. I look forward to meeting FFA members across Wisconsin as I attempt to Live My Why. May your FFA journey be blessed and remember to always “Live Your Why.”
- Sam Pinchart, Section 9 State Vice-President
Amelia's Top 10
Jun. 29, 2017
10. Pancakes. I don’t know about you, but I get out of bed a lot quicker in the morning if we are having pancakes.
9. Learning all of the power claps.
8. Traveling to new places & learning more about the world around me.
7. The opportunity to tell terrible jokes
6. Hosting my Ag department’s hedgehog, Gusetta (legitimately her name) over the summer!
5. Living in the #1 cheese producing state! (We’re cheesin’ for a reason)
4. I would definitely not be here without the support of my home chapter & advisors.
3. My family. While I am an only child, I do have two fantastic ‘sisters’ that my parents hosted as foreign exchange students while I was in high school.
2. The opportunity to help others & show that I care.
1. And at number one on my list of whys, is YOU.
Now you all know why I’m here: from the silly why I get out of bed quickly (pancakes) to the most important why (you, the members). I look forward to getting to know each & every one of you, and to have the opportunity to live my why through my interactions with you! Reach out to me anytime, through Facebook or at firstname.lastname@example.org
Grateful to have 20,864 whys,
Section 6 Intro Blog
Jun. 29, 2017
My name is Sam Jesse and I am looking forward to serving you this year as your state sentinel. Here are 6 quick things about your Section 6 state officer.
1) My FFA experience began in seventh grade. I utilized FFA as an organization to show my steers. However, later that year at the FIRE conference I met my first state officer and was inspired. From that day on, I dreamed of becoming a state FFA officer. I have enjoyed my years of FFA, participating in Leadership Development Events (LDEs), National Ag Sales CDE and countless conventions and conferences.
2) I love all Wisconsin sports, whether I am watching the Badgers in the March Madness tournament, cheering on my favorite farmer, Jordy Nelson catching passes for the Green Bay Packers, seeing Bernie Brewer slide down the slide at Miller Park or my favorite of all, seeing the Greek Freak of the Milwaukee Bucks dominate the hardwood night after night.
3) Beef, it's what's for dinner. At least it is each night at my house. My SAE resides in Beef entrepreneurship where I manage a herd of cross-bred beef cows. With breeds ranging from black angus, red angus, charlois and shorthorn, each of my 12 cows is a descendant of my original cow purchased in seventh grade. But don’t worry, I've got milk too. I began working on my neighbor's dairy farm in seventh grade, originally just milking cows. I now chop silage and manage the farm when he is gone.
4) I graduated from Lodi High School in 2016 and currently attend Madison College at the Truax campus. I have one semester remaining before I will transfer to UW– Madison to pursue a degree in crop and soil science. I hope to one day become an agronomist and operate my own farm.
5) Growing up as the oldest of three children has been a great experience. It has been a pleasure to see what great kids my younger brother and sister have become. I am thankful for my family, having raised me with a strong faith in God, but for also teaching me to work hard and have fun. Though I live in a house of five, I have been raised alongside 32 amazing cousins as well as amazing aunts, uncles and grandparents who have supported me in all things.
6) I have always been fascinated by old things, be it 1940's farm magazines or an old Johnny Cash vinyl. But as a 14 year old, I was on the search for something different. I ultimately purchased a 1968 Chevy C10 Pickup from Southern Illinois for a steep $600. Needless to say, it needed some work. Thanks to my grandparents, family and a few community members, I was able to restore it in 2 years. Just in time for my 16th birthday.
I look forward to serving you all this coming year, if you ever need anything feel free to contact me!
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