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Officer Profiles

Legacies Left to Leave
Jul. 18, 2018

Gaelan Combs - Sentinel
Verona FFA Chapter
Section 5

Hey Hey Wisconsin FFA!

My name is Gaelan Combs from the Verona FFA Chapter, and I am thrilled to be serving as your 2018-2019 State FFA Officer! I will be serving as your sentinel this year, and over the next year I am excited to have the opportunity to get to know all of you.

With that being said, I would like to introduce myself with a couple of fun facts. So, here are your 10 facts about your Section 5 State Officer.

1) I’ve developed two SAEs during my FFA career. My first is Diversified Livestock Production – Placement, where I raise horses, show poultry, and show hogs on my family’s farm. My second SAE is Environmental Science and Natural Resource Management, where I have maintained a public garden educating Town of Verona residents about pollinator plants for residential planting.
2) This fall I will be a freshman at the University of Wisconsin – Madison studying Dairy Science with a minor in Spanish Language. On Wisconsin!
3) I was involved in multiple Leadership Development Events during my FFA tenure. I competed in the Prepared Public Speaking contest since my sophomore year, and recently was the state runner up at this past convention, and I also competed in the Employment Skills LDE my senior year.
4) My favorite animal is a giraffe! They’re tall and lanky – similar to your Section 5 State Officer
5) My family consists of my older sister, Aidan, my parents, Dave and Sherry, and my dog, Maizey.
6) Outside of FFA, in high school I was on the varsity baseball team, I played football, I snowboarded on our alpine ski & snowboard team, and I rode on our equestrian team!
7) In college, I plan to be a part of the Badger Dairy Club and compete on the Dairy Challenge team, as well as finding more opportunities along the way. Along with that, I hope to study abroad in Argentina or New Zealand.
8) After college, my plan is to pursue research opportunities in the dairy industry, specifically in dairy genetics or dairy nutrition. I would like a career path that would allow me to be able to publicize and present this information to farmers.
9) My favorite holiday is the 4th of July. Fireworks and barbeques are the coolest thing ever, if you ask me.
10) I love Arnold Palmers, there is a very high chance you will see me kickin’ it with one this year.

With the school year coming, I am incredibly excited to meet all of YOU and learn about what makes you who you are over the upcoming year!

Recently, our team revealed our theme for the upcoming year: “Our Tradition. Our Future. Our Legacy.”

A couple of nights ago, Amelia, Ashley, Emily, Mitchell, and I stopped at Hilltop in Stevens Point for dinner after Farm Technology Days. We strolled in wearing our polos, and tucked into our meal. As Amelia asked for the bill after our delicious meal, the waitress told us, “Actually, guys, a gentleman saw you all walk in here and wanted me to tell you that he was in FFA too, and he paid for your meal.” We sat in shock as those words resonated through us. After thanking her, we got up and rushed to the parking lot to thank our mysterious philanthropist. Although, something hit me as we walked through the lot: this person, whoever he was, didn’t want to be thanked. He didn’t want to be recognized, promoted, or patted on the back. He solely wanted to leave his legacy of generosity. Although, this gentleman is not alone with having a legacy left to leave; we all do. We have legacies to live years beyond our time in the blue jacket, whether it be our family’s, our school’s, or our own. The FFA gives us this opportunity to discover how we can be building that legacy for the future, no matter what it is. Our years in the FFA and agriculture education lead us to discover what we are passionate about, and our passions will lead us to a legacy. My challenge to you is to take that opportunity and run with it.

If you ever have a question or need a listening ear, feel free to reach out to me at gcombs@wisconsinffa.org or call me at (608)-293-3726.

Yours,
Gaelan Combs

Wild Ride Ahead!
Jul. 11, 2018

Collin Weltzien - Vice President
Arcadia FFA Chapter
Section 3

Hi Wisconsin FFA!

My name is Collin Weltzien from the Arcadia FFA chapter, and I am proud to be representing Section 3 as your 2018-2019 Wisconsin FFA State Vice President!

As a brief introduction, here are 10 facts that give you an idea of my background and interests.

1.My family consists of my parents, Keith and Karen, and 2 younger brothers, Curtis and Connor.
2. I live and work on our 180-cow family dairy farm just outside of Arcadia. Fittingly, my SAE was Dairy Production Placement.
3. I recently completed my freshman year at UW-River Falls where I am majoring in Agribusiness and minoring in Dairy Science. With my degree, I hope to become the 4th generation to operate Weltzien Farms.
4. In FFA, I've competed in the Dairy Judging, Soil Judging, and Parliamentary Procedure contests as well as the Creed, Prepared, and Extemporaneous speaking contests.
5. I am a 13-year member of the Glencoe Hustlers 4-H club where I enjoy showing a Holstein steer at the Buffalo County Fair each year.
6. In high school, I played football, basketball, baseball, and shot trap. I was also involved with Student Council as Class President, the school musical, and band where I played the trumpet.
7. My hobbies include hunting, fishing, golfing, snowmobiling, riding motorcycle, playing cards, watching sports, and woodworking.
8. I thoroughly enjoy to travel. I've been to 30 states and had the opportunity to travel to Argentina this past spring through an education abroad program.
9. My favorite food is steak, but I pretty much love anything that includes beef, pork, or chicken.
10. I am a Packers, Brewers, Bucks, and Badgers fan!

Nearly a month’s time has come and gone since the gavel dropped for the final time at State Convention. It’s hard to believe how many places the state officer team has been in that short month! Between Base Camp, WAAE Professional Development Conference, and now Farm Technology Days, we’ve put on a few miles and had an absolute blast along the way! But the pace is getting ready to pick up even more! The next month or so will include another trip to Marshfield for Checkpoint #1, a flight to Washington D.C. for the State Officer Summit, heading to Milwaukee for the Wisconsin State Fair, and topping it all off with a road trip up to Jag Lake for a week-long retreat. And then, before we know it, Sectional Leadership Workshop season will be upon us!

Now, I’m sure the clock isn’t ticking any slower for you! Between work, getting ready for the fair, spending time with family, and simply trying to find time for some fun summer activities, chances are your summer is cruising right along as well. My challenge for you is to soak it all in! Don’t forget to take time to appreciate each of your experiences. We can’t slow down the clock, but we can make the most of the time we have, so sit back and embrace the wild ride that the remainder of summer has in store for you!

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

Facts and Tracks
Jul. 03, 2018

Alexis Kwak - Vice President
Prairie Farm FFA Chapter
Section 1

Hey there everyone!

I know everyone can get extremely busy with trying to get fair projects ready, working, and trying to make the most of summer while its still here. I hope you are all doing great!

Most of you don’t know me yet, so I want to give you some facts about myself and my home chapter so you can get to know me better. Here’s nine nifty facts about your section one state officer.

1. My name is Alexis.
2. I come from the Prairie Farm FFA Chapter (Fun fact: Out of all the state officer’s home chapters this year, Prairie Farm is the farthest north by .09 degree latitude.)
3. This will be my eighth year as an FFA member.
4. I enjoy jokes of any kind, but one liners and “dad jokes” hold a special place in my heart.
5. I am attending University of Wisconsin - Madison for animal sciences.
6. I love working with animals and my SAE is based around working and training horses for competition and sale.
7. My siblings are both FFA members, as are most of my cousins.
8. I’ve showed animals for over ten years.
9. My favorite sport is basketball.

Now that you know a little bit about me, on to the team.

The team’s first experience of the year was Base Camp. This meant driving down to Marshfield and completing our first team activity, figuring out the car pools. The northern carpool had a bit of an issue at first. We got to the final pick up and realized that we couldn’t leave a vehicle at our meeting point. However, being the problem solvers we are, we did some team bonding by driving around to every gas station in town until we found the truck stop. Mission one accomplished.

When we finally made it to Marshfield, we got to meet our facilitator for Base Camp. Wyatt is from Oklahoma and was a great facilitator for the week. He taught us about how to use our strengths to work as team, how to be inclusive, and how to put a straw in bagged milk. We taught him how to properly choose cheese curds and about one of our great currencies in Wisconsin, the scoopie token. We’ll get to meet with Wyatt two more times during the year.

Throughout the week, we also got to learn a bit about helping students around the state. I can’t wait to meet all of you throughout my year of service to this organization! If you have any questions feel free to email me at akwak@wisconsinffa.org.

Until next time,
Alexis

Ours.
Jul. 01, 2018

Amelia Hayden - President
Big Foot FFA Chapter
President

Hey Wisconsin FFA! I hope you all are enjoying the summer between spending time at State FFA Convention, county fairs, and family gatherings.

I’m Amelia: fan of the color blue, ice skating, and pancakes, lover of cheesy jokes, lover of cheese in general, and State FFA President.

I wanted to share with you this year’s Wisconsin FFA theme:
Our Tradition. Our Future. Our Legacy.

This past spring, I was eating the continental breakfast at a hotel in official dress. I heard someone from behind me say, “Ah, they’ve still got you guys in the corduroy.” A man sitting at a nearby table with his two kids had said this, and I ended up eating breakfast with them, laughing about the good times had in the blue jacket and memories he made. I love that we as FFA members can always find someone to connect with, someone else who knows that corduroy makes the hot hotter and the cold colder, someone who knows all of the work that goes into this organization, and all of the experiences that make it worth it. The tradition of the blue jacket. But it’s not just his tradition, or just my tradition. It is Our Tradition.

I left breakfast to head to the Regional CDEs in Appleton. There I talked with many FFA members about how their CDEs went. Many answers sounded similar to mine when I walked out of the competition room: “This went wrong,” “That’s not what I thought the competition would be set up like,” “I’m going to have to study more of this part.” Looking towards the future, we all have things that went just a little wrong in competitions. But that’s really cool – to always have higher heights to reach for. The State FFA Convention next June will be our 90th Wisconsin FFA Convention, and it has me thinking – what will the next 90 years look like? That’s for us as members, stakeholders, and alumni to create: through our competitions, community service, and careers. It is Our Future.

We each play a big part in maintaining the traditions while creating the future of FFA. We can do this by connecting with the person across from us at breakfast, by helping those around us grow as leaders, by building up communities through Food for America and service programs, and by strengthening American agriculture as a whole through our careers and our FFA involvement. The ways we add to FFA’s legacy are found in our conversations had with others and our actions in the community. Legacy is a big responsibility. It’s how we are remembered. And it is for everyone who has ever been involved in FFA – from me, to your grandparent, to your chapter, to the family at the continental breakfast, to you. We all have a part. It is Our Legacy.

I am incredibly excited to be serving you this upcoming year – I know each of you does amazing things, and I am looking forward to seeing them! Please invite me to anything your chapter is hosting this year that you’d like me to come to. Even if it is a small event, it would mean the world to me to get to know you and see how YOU are contributing to our legacy.
Please let me know if you ever need anything – you can email me at ahayden@wisconsinffa.org

-Amelia


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