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Officer Profiles

Enter the Growth Zone
Mar. 20, 2018

Liz Grady - Secretary
Oregon FFA Chapter
Section 5

“There is no comfort in the growth zone and no growth in the comfort zone” is one of my all-time favorite quotes because it reminds me that I need to step out of my comfort zone in order to grow and that by remaining in my comfort zone I am missing out on the opportunity of growth.

In the world of FFA, there are many ways to step out of your comfort zone; whether that be serving as a chapter officer, competing in a Career or Leadership Development Event or traveling with your chapter to the State or National FFA Convention. There are so many ways within our organization to work toward personal growth, just take that step outside of your comfort zone. I promise it will be worth it. It’s time to enter the growth zone!

With a belief in you,


Is State Officer in your future?
Mar. 17, 2018

Morgan Fitzsimmons - Vice President
Mineral Point FFA Chapter
Section 4

Is running and the goal of becoming a State FFA Officer in your future? This may be the blog for you! Whether you are thinking of running right out of high school, or a few years into college, running for state office can be a big decision. I remember being there last year, while planning for graduation and college. I hope these tips and tricks I learned will help you feel more confident with your final decision.

1. Talk with your parents, FFA advisors, and mentors. It is ultimately your decision to run or not run for state officer, but it is great to talk with folks like your parents, FFA advisor, and mentors. These are the people who know you the best and can help you talking through your thoughts. As I was preparing to run, I had a lot of conversations with my people about how I could prepare, how this would benefit me, and why I wanted to give back to the FFA. Just like they helped me, they can help you too!
2. Go to SOCK! What is SOCK? Well SOCK is a day where State Officer Candidates gather to go through a mock process of running for State FFA Office. You go through each interview round like you would at State Convention. After each interview, you receive feedback about what you exceled in, and areas that you could work on. You may even learn new terminology to help you at State Convention. Along with mock interviews, there is also a time that state officers are available to answer questions. We were in the candidates spot last year and can help you understand the process and the program. You will also make some great connections, and even friends! Both the Madison and Amery SOCK are April 7th.
3. Practice! My FFA advisor helped me to practice interviews and prepare answers to questions that judges might have. It is important to seem natural, but also to have answers and examples to use. At state convention if you make the final two and move into the delegate round it is important to be prepared. One thing I did to prepare for the delegate round is make flashcards for every potential topic that I may have to speak on. I also traveled to a local neighboring school and did a mock delegate round.
4. Submit your application by April 30th. The applications are due by April 30th to the Wisconsin FFA Center. It is awesome to have several individuals read your application and help proof it. The application questions also can help you form other answers to questions in the interview and delegate process.
5. Learn and enjoy! It is important to be open to learning more from this process. This will be one of the most rewarding things you do in your FFA career. You can meet new people and create lifelong friendships!
If you are looking for more information about becoming a State FFA Officer, click on the “About Us” tab and scroll down to “Become a State Officer” on As always you can reach out to myself, or any state officer with questions about the process and program. I wish you the best of luck in your preparation!

Best wishes,

Serving Each Other
Mar. 15, 2018

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

This last Tuesday the Section 3 Leadership Development Event was held in my hometown. When I think of FFA I think of Service, Community and people coming together for one cause. When we were searching for hands to help I didn’t know if we were going to find enough. When the night came around and all the people I saw in my community that came to help I felt like we got each other’s back. The night was a success thanks to all the helping hands and contestants that came to Black River Falls.

Service comes in many different forms from coming together as a community to opening the door for a person you just met. In just a few weeks the month of April is Community Service month. I want to challenge each one of you to do something out of the ordinary for you. It could be holding the door for someone, carry the groceries or just being there for someone in need. Community is like one big family and we each need to be there to catch each other when we fall.

Thank you for all who continue to serve each day to come. Each one of us has a heart whelming story of how we served others or how others served us. Share these stories each day and in the month of April. We would love to hear these stories and share your story of service with others.

Your Section 3 State Officer,

Ciara Koboski

What We Give
Mar. 10, 2018

Brooke Brantner - Vice President
Menomonie FFA Chapter
Section 2

“We make a life by what we give.”
– Winston Churchill

Over the past week we had the opportunity to see how community support can be brought together through a connection in agriculture. Section 2 was a proud host of the 55th annual Eau Claire Farm Show, where vendors across the state came together to showcase their involvement in the agriculture industry.

FFAs involvement in this event included a silent auction with proceeds going toward the FFA Foundation. Each exhibitor at the Farm Show graciously donated an item to be sold in the silent auction, these items included cook books, baseball tickets, welding booths, calf care supplies, and everything in-between! However, an item that stands out among the rest was a glass piggy bank with an FFA emblem engraved on the side. When we think about it the reason for a piggy bank is to save funds for a goal, whether it’s a new car, cow, or college, a piggy bank is what allows us to be purposeful in our actions with how we spend our money day in and day out in order to reach that goal. When we think about FFA many goals come to mind: achieving that higher degree, completing that proficiency award, competing in a judging contest, or running for office. It is the way we work toward that goal each and every day that allows us to fulfill it, much like that piggy bank.

While visiting with community members during the farm show a business representative came up to me and asked me about my role in the FFA Organization, more specifically “How did you get to where you are now?” To be completely honest I had to stop and really think about this question because so many reasons came to mind. I thought about the goals I had set at a young age, the activities I participated in to build confidence, the challenges I had faced, but the one thing that stood out above all the rest are those that have invested their time, talents, and support in order for me to get to that moment, to answer that question. I thought back to the countless afterschool hours spent with my advisor, the constant support from my parents both in and out of the show ring, the endless hours my dairy judging coaches donated in order for me to build confidence, the dedication from my piano teacher who spent over 13 years helping me perfect an art, and with all of those examples flooding my memory, I simply answered: “It is because of the people who have selflessly invested in me and given me a chance to live a life I love.”

That same business representative then placed a bid on the glass piggy bank and stated that he wanted to invest in the lives of members in the FFA no matter how much it costed him that day. The bids slowly rose throughout the day and the item sold for a total of $600.00 to the representative from Alforex Seeds.
Thank you to all of those who donated, bid, and purchased items off of the silent auction!
Your support is what allows each and every member in the FFA a chance to fulfill their goals within this organization and recognize the people in their lives that have selflessly given them the chance to live their why!

Truly Yours,
Brooke Brantner

Never Too Old
Mar. 04, 2018

Meikah Dado - Reporter
Amery FFA Chapter
Section 1

This past week, four alumni chapters from section one held an Alumni Auction and Benefit. Numerous items were sold at this auction with all proceeds going towards these four alumni chapters. One of the items sold was handmade by my parents retired agricultural educator, Mr. Gary Ganje. As the bids were going up, I saw my mom’s bidding card go up and I knew she was in it to win it. The day after the auction, Mr. Ganje comes with a trailer to our house with my mom’s winning item. As my dad and Mr. Ganje unload it, I am filled with excitement, knowing I am about to start a new SAE. You may be thinking, “A new SAE? Meikah, aren’t you a little old to just be starting a new SAE?” Although I am a sophomore in college, with my years as an active FFA member coming to an end, I realized I am never too old to start a new SAE because SAE’s do not have to be defined with the years of FFA, they are defined by determination and willingness to accept opportunities. This new opportunity had just arrived to my house, I was ready to start my new SAE with a handmade greenhouse.

This SAE is something I’ve never done before, something that will force me to learn, grow, and gain new skills in a different part of agriculture. From raising dairy cattle to raising vegetables, this new challenge is something I am ready to embrace. Whether it be a new sport, new FFA contest, or even a new class open yourself up to new prospects. When we challenge ourselves to try something new, it allows our skill set to grow. We are never too old to learn something new and apply the new skills in our everyday life. How are you going to challenge yourself to accept new opportunities?

Agriculturally Yours,
Meikah Dado

Dr. Seuss & FFA
Mar. 02, 2018

Ciera Ballmer - President
Clinton FFA Chapter

Today is Dr. Seuss’s Birthday! Dr. Seuss was an incredible children’s book author, but honestly, I think of him as so much more! I am truly amazed by Dr. Seuss’s writing ability – but more than that, his ability to inspire others!

Dr. Seuss has left an amazing, positive legacy through his books, but also through his inspirational quotes that are within his writing. Personally, I live by and get a lot of motivation by quotes – and if you know me, this makes a lot of sense as I love pinning quotes on Pinterest, doing quote walks for workshop activities, posting quotes on sticky notes in my room, and even writing an inspirational quote in my planner for each week. Out of all that love for quotes – Dr. Seuss has many of my favorites.

I personally have a few “go-to” inspirational words from Dr. Seuss. I love these ones in particular because they truly are motivational, very relatable, and they can even apply to our experiences within the FFA!

1) “Why fit in when you’re born to stand out?” I absolutely LOVE this quote! And it holds a special place in my heart as my first speech as a State FFA Officer was actually based off of this quote. Here, Dr. Seuss reminds us to be ourselves and to embrace uniqueness. We can embrace our own personalities and interests – but also, we can embrace our opportunity to have an individualized FFA experience by taking advantage of unique opportunities in FFA that interest us.

2) “Oh, the places you’ll go.” This one doesn’t stop with this phrase, but continues throughout this great book! Whenever I think of “Oh, the places you’ll go,” my mind is brought back to my first week as a State FFA Officer at our BLAST OFF Conference. Every year, it is a tradition to read this book as a team to help motivate us, and to help us look forward to all the great experiences we have ahead of us! FFA truly has taken me so many great places: Through FFA, I’ve traveled throughout the state of Wisconsin and across the country creating so many priceless memories! This quote instantly reminds me of all the great places I have gone, people I have met, and memories I have made through FFA!

3) “Don’t cry because it’s over, Smile because it happened.” In FFA, and in all areas of our life, there comes a time that a chapter may end in our story, that we have to turn the page and begin the next one. When that time comes, we can look and read back through that story and smile! There will come a time that we will have to take off our Blue Jackets for the final time. For me, when that time comes in a few months, I know I can smile and be thankful for all the amazing opportunities I have had through the FFA.

Man, Dr. Seuss really was quite a guy, and quite a writer, a leader, and an inspiration! Happy Birthday, Dr. Seuss!

Forever Blue. Forever True,

Slug Bug!
Feb. 28, 2018

Amelia Hayden - Vice President
Big Foot FFA Chapter
Section 10

Growing up, my friends and I often played “slug bug.” When we were on a car ride, we would look for Volkswagen Beetle cars, and if we were the first person to see the car, we got to (lightly) punch the other friend. While this was just a way to pass the time in car rides that seemed to last forever, sometimes it got competitive. Certain houses that we often drove by would always have a Beetle car by them, so we’d wait, craning our necks to see who could “see” it first. After a while, it seemed like there were no other cars on the road – or at least none that mattered. If we thought about it, there were many more Beetles that we noticed than any other specific type of car. What we focus on expands – by focusing more on Volkswagen Beetles, my friends & I saw more of those cars than any other model.

But this happens in more than just cars. My senior year of high school, I was focusing on finishing a project for my agriscience research class. My next class after that one was Vet Science, and sometimes I would work on my research project instead of the Vet Science class. It was what I wanted to focus on, and it was Ag related anyways! What could it hurt? Fast forward towards the end of the term, and I was definitely missing a few too many assignments in Vet Science. What we focus on expands. I had focused on my research project, and it expanded to take over my entire Vet Science class period, too.

How can we make sure that what we’re focusing on helps us achieve our goals? While (lightly) punching each other as kids was fun, it wasn’t really helping my friends & I do anything. Let’s start with this: picture who we want to be in 5 years. How do we want to be described? Kind, funny, authentic, giving. Whatever it is, focus on being that. Each day, ask yourself: How can I make sure my actions today are (kind, etc.)? For example, I ask: How can I make sure my actions today are focused on helping people around me? I answer that in a few ways: by listening to others, noticing what they need help with most, and encouraging the people I meet to keep working towards their goals. When we go through that same process, we can focus on our answers that day. What we focus on will then expand.

By being intentional about who we will become, we can productively focus our efforts & expand so we are exactly who we want to be. What will you focus on?

Focus in,
Amelia Hayden
2007-08 Neighborhood Slug Bug Champion

Feb. 26, 2018

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

Wow what a great week! As FFA week ends so does something else….the Olympics! I love watching the Olympics but even more than watching them compete I love hearing their stories. A lot of them are so inspiring however we oftentimes think that we aren't capable of anything close to what they can accomplished. And if you are thinking you can’t do something… you’re right, you can’t. This Olympics I was reminded over and over about one of my favorite quotes “Those who say they can and those who say they can’t are both usually right.” If you think you can’t do something, you will never be able to do it. The start of achieving is believing you can.
One story that really stood out to me is that of United States Olympic snowboarder Shaun White. I remember watching a documentary talking about him. He won gold in the 2006 and 2010 Olympics but didn’t even place in the top three in 2014. He said that loss really had nothing to do with his skill. He was just mentally unprepared. I don’t really blame him. I imagine it’s pretty scary to snowboard up an ice ramp 22 feet high. So that’s it right? Failure? Wrong. Shaun knew he still had the skills to compete for Olympic gold. All he had to do was mentally prepare and assure himself he could do it. He started focusing on taking better care of himself by eating healthier and anything else that made him feel better and more confident. Most importantly he started telling himself he could do it. Shaun was focused and mentally prepared. He believed he was going to take home gold. Going into his final run in 2018 Shaun was guaranteed silver but he believed he could do better. After an insane run he claimed Olympic gold for the third time in his Olympic career.
The only thing standing in the way of achieving our hopes, goals, and dreams is ourselves. We should assume the following mindset...The only thing standing in the way of possible is I’m. I’m standing in the way of my possibilities and thus making possible, “IMpossible.” However as soon as I’m no longer standing in the way, IMpossible becomes possible...The limitations we have only exist in our minds. Always believe you are capable of anything you want because you are. In the words of Rob Schneider, “YOU CAN DO IT!”

Believing in each and every one of you,
Sam Pinchart

FFA Week All Year Round
Feb. 24, 2018

Kathryn Lampi - Parliamentarian
Owen-Withee FFA Chapter
Section 7

Happy National FFA Week!

FFA week gives us as FFA members a great opportunity to advocate for the agricultural industry. During this week we are also given a nation wide platform to share our agricultural story and the reasons why FFA is so vital to us. Sharing our story is exciting and easy with the social media challenges put out by Wisconsin FFA, local dress up days and agricultural activities during this week. We are able to share a picture with an explanation about what matters to us, that intern gets people excited about our projects. While participating in local events and dress up days it prompts our classmates or teachers who don’t normally ask about the Ag department or the FFA organization. Those simple questions easily can lead to conversations and even potential members or new supporters of the organization.

It’s easy to share our FFA story during this week of the year because it’s a nation wide movement and have the excitement of our fellow members encouraging us to work hard spreading the word of FFA. We may lose sight of spreading the word of FFA during the rest of the year. When have a massive responsibility to continue to share the importance of agriculture and FFA during FFA week and ever week during the year.

What are you doing to keep sharing your FFA story all year long?

Saving the Best for Last
Feb. 24, 2018

Elisha Riley - Treasurer
Waupaca FFA Chapter
Section 8

National FFA week is always a busy, and wild week of excitement as we do community service, assemblies, and fun activities, we need to take a few minutes to reflect on our week as members and supporters. Taking a few moments to relax after a long week, but also reminisce about the memories we will remember forever.

Whenever I remember National FFA week, I think of the tons of community service my chapter did during the week. We served the students, the members, the teachers and faculty, the community, the alumni, and ourselves; all in one week. My chapter served ice cream the agriscience students, a home-cooked meal to teachers and faculty, a service event for the community, and got students out of a few hours of class for an annual assembly!

So at the end of this week, take a few moments to reflect upon the work that you put into this week, how you have impacted so many lives, and how you can continue that tradition every day of the year! Happy National FFA Week everyone!

Day One
Feb. 23, 2018

Sam Jesse - Sentinel
Lodi FFA Chapter
Section 6

Ever catch yourself daydreaming in class, at the table or riding in the car? Maybe you're dreaming of operating your own farm, driving a new vehicle or even winning a state LDE competition. What is holding you back from pursuing that dream? A dream is simply just a goal without a plan. We all have goals and often times get so tied down in making sure we write them down with the right acronyms, that we lose focus of their actual purpose.
When planning your goal, first picture your dream in detail. To take this from a simple dream to a goal, begin planning. Think of a few tangible things you could do to begin making progress towards this goal, whether that's studying harder, making the right connections or picking up an extra shift. You’ve made it to the hardest step. Making today day one, rather than maybe one day. You will always be busy, so don't let that be a deterrent, you’ll never have more time then you do in this moment. So how can you make the most of each day to get closer to achieving that goal and living your dream. Tomorrow is never a guarantee, so why I wait till then. Use the list of things you would like to achieve and schedule them into your day as a top priority. You may have to wake up earlier and you will have to push yourself some days, but isn’t it worth it to make your dreams a reality?
This is FFA week, a great time to celebrate the history and accomplishments of our organization. The great achievements of our organization and its members, did not come from people who gave a half-hearted effort, rather it came from those who had a desire to push themselves and achieve. As FFA members, we share a support system unlike any other, made up of members, advisors parents and alumni who each want to help us succeed. I encourage each of you, to think long and hard about your dreams. Make a plan and form your goal. Prioritize the things you will need to do and most importantly, don't wait! Dreams don't work unless you do!

Sam Jesse
2017-2018 WI FFA Sentinel

I Believe
Feb. 21, 2018

Liz Grady - Secretary
Oregon FFA Chapter
Section 5

“I believe in the future of agriculture, with a faith born not of words but of deeds - achievements won by the present and past generations of agriculturists; in the promise of better days through better ways, even as the better things we now enjoy have come to us from the struggles of former years”

The first line of the FFA creed, “ I believe in the future of agriculture, with a faith born not of words but of deeds” is instilled in many FFA members who recognize that their actions speak louder than words. FFA members across Wisconsin come together for conferences and conventions to learn and discuss agriculture topics. FFA members plan local events like Food for America to teach youth in their communities about agriculture. FFA members give back to their community through community service projects. FFA members show their belief in the future of agriculture through their FFA experiences or deeds. What are you doing to show your belief in the future of agriculture?

Today, a few of the state officers came to Agriculture Hall at the University of Wisconsin - Madison to honor E.M. Tiffany, the author of the FFA creed, for his work and dedication to agriculture and agricultural education in the state of Wisconsin.

With a belief in the future of agriculture,


Thank you
Feb. 20, 2018

Morgan Fitzsimmons - Vice President
Mineral Point FFA Chapter
Section 4

An open letter to the supporters of FFA and Agriculture Education:

Throughout our FFA career there are many influential people that give their time, treasures, and talents. They may have asked us to join FFA, sponsored our activities, or even helped us to compete at our highest level possible. These valuable supports and sponsors deserve a huge thank you!

Thank you, to our FFA advisors. You selflessly dedicate yourself to your students to ensure they have the best experience in FFA and agriculture. As FFA advisors, you stay late after school, drive to conferences, and even work during the summer with students. Your wisdom helps to guide students and allow them to discover future possibilities.

Thank you, to our parents. As parents of FFA members you have become accustom to the late school nights spent at contests, and washing white shirts and black slacks, skirts, and pants. Thank you for always supporting us as FFA members in our experience. You are always there to give a ride, sign permission slips, or help at a local FFA event.

Thank you, to the Alumni. The Alumni chapters on the local, state, and national level support us as FFA members in many ways. Alumni makes the difference by supporting trips to contests or conferences, supporting scholarships, and sharing their experiences. Thank you for volunteering to judge Leadership Developments, fundraising for the FFA, and ensuring FFA members have a wonderful experience

Thank you, to the sponsors. You support the FFA finically and allow students to be recognized for the efforts and talents they possess. You make all opportunities possible finically and make conferences, state convention, and awards possible. All sponsors make an impact on nearly 20,864 FFA members in the state of Wisconsin. Thank you for your support of these members and allowing them the opportunity to experience FFA. Your support as sponsors truly makes the difference, and I am forever grateful.

The supports of FFA make a difference each and in every day in the lives of youth who participate in FFA. Thank you for all that you do to support this organization. I would not be here today without the many supporters that encouraged me in my FFA career. Thank you for all that you do to benefit this organization.

With a heart full of gratitude,
Morgan Fitzsimmons

Share Your Story!
Feb. 19, 2018

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

Each one of us has our own story. Some of us share our story to each person we meet and others don’t always share their story. I am one of those other people not everyone knows my background. Our story makes us who we are so why are we not always willing to share our story. Some of us may be afraid of getting judged, not fitting or just not being accepted for who we are.

This week is a great place to start with sharing your story. Where did you get started with in the FFA? Was it tradition or are you the first in your family? With each unique story told may be the connection that someone just may need to help them get started in the FFA. It could mean being part of the family tradition. Amber is the third generation FFA member in her family. It meant everything for her to have a jacket with her name on it to follow in her father’s footsteps. She worked her way up through out her years in school to then lead her chapter as President senior year.

The beginning of your story could also mean starting a family tradition. Amanda never thought she would join the FFA. She had a friend beg her for years before she considered joining the FFA. Once she joined she fell in Love with it and even ran for a chapter office. She was then able to get her brothers to join and her family involved. The summer after she graduated Amanda got her State Degree.

What people are going to remember you for? As do all of you hope when our time is done in the blue jacket people are going to remember are stories. You tell your story. Why not start now?

Feb. 18, 2018

Brooke Brantner - Vice President
Menomonie FFA Chapter
Section 2

Happy FFA Week Everyone!
As the first day of this impactful week comes to a close, I would like to challenge all of you to think about opportunity. What opportunities have been presented to you throughout your years in the FFA, and more importantly why do you value them?

Today, I spent my time delivering beef calves, and as each one was born I couldn’t help but reflect back on the importance of opportunity. You see, the heifer that was giving birth to one of the calves used to be a past show heifer of mine, and I found myself thinking back on all of the opportunities that were presented to me because of this one special heifer. She gave me the chance to value the dedication, patients, and commitment it takes to raise an animal. She showed me that time spent working alongside my family doing what we loved, with who we loved was something to be cherished. She reminded me of the thousands of miles traveled from show to show and moments spent in the show ring. However, the most important opportunity she gave me was the chance to meet, learn from, and build relationships with people from all walks of life. From the industry leaders who took the time to evaluate us in the show ring, the fairgoers who were so willing to learn and ask questions about agriculture, a complete stranger who would wish us well as we prepared ourselves for a show, to a younger member who would look up to us for guidance. Above and beyond everything else, it is the people we meet while we are doing what we love, who change our lives.

As we, as FFA members celebrate this week ahead, let us keep in mind the importance of opportunity. Maybe that looks like a Proficiency Award, Supervised Agricultural Experience, Leadership Development Event, or a Chapter Banquet. Whatever this opportunity is, take the time to appreciate all that goes into making it possible. Think back on the lessons it teaches you, the places it takes you, and the moments it allows you to cherish. But above everything else the opportunity it gives you to share your why with those around you! This genuine act brought forth by opportunity is what leaves a lasting impact for all involved!

With a full heart,
Brooke Brantner

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