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Life's a Dance
Jan. 28, 2017

Brenna Bays - President
Adams-Friendship FFA Chapter

“Don't worry about what you don't know, Life's a Dance you learn as you go.” Now, us country music fanatics would be singing along to these lyrics by John Michael Montgomery. This song came on my Pandora Station the other day as I was getting ready and of course, I sang and danced around. This song takes me back to being a little girl on Sunday mornings after church dancing with my grandpa in the dining room and also walking up and down the center alley in the barn as my dad milked the cows. One simple song has the ability to bring back so many memories!

I hold a particular liking to this song primarily because it speaks volumes for what I love: Dance. I was on the dance team in high school, I coached a 7th and 8th grade dance team, and I am an A-F Dance Team Alumni who cheers on the team at competitions and performances. Though my time on the dance team is over, I still find new opportunities to show off my “Awesome” Dance Moves. Primarily, my favorite opportunities are the FFA Dances where I am breaking out into the sprinkler, shopping cart, or the lawn mower. But, my teammates and I found a new area where our dance moves will come in handy: Line Dancing. During Halftime Workdays, we took an adventure to the fairgrounds in Dubuque, Iowa, where we tried out line dancing. It was a struggle at first, seeing that each of us were stepping out of our comfort zones. By the end of the night, we were dancing along with crowd.

“Life’s a Dance, you learn as you go.” These lyrics speak directly toward our experience line dancing, but indirectly to everything we partake in throughout our lives. Each of us at one point or another have discovered that we don’t know everything. If you’re like me, it happens much more often. The fact that we don’t know something shouldn’t discourage us, but encourage us to build up our strengths and develop new skills. I love taking the opportunity to learn how to do something else! Whether one knows it or not, we are also learning something new: every single day. Every day is a new day to take advantage of what opportunities are in front of us. Maybe we are preparing to participate in our first ever LDE (Leadership Development Event). Maybe we are finishing up the last of parts of our proficiency award. Maybe we are even working on completing our State FFA Officer Application. With only a few short months left until convention, I am doing all that I can to live each day to the fullest! Are you?

“Don't worry about what you don't know, Life's a Dance you learn as you go.”

Story Time With Travis
Jan. 25, 2017

Travis Cadman - Sentinel
East Troy FFA Chapter
Section 10

Hey all! It’s your buddy Travis, first off I want to thank Campbellsport FFA for taking me on an awesome adventure to Sheboygan for their winter retreat. On my drive up to Sheboygan I started thinking about my home chapter and how I attended East Troy's winter retreats as a member. This is how it went down at my very first winter retreat!
As a freshman I always followed my Advisor into events or activities. When Mr. Holle asked if I wanted to go I instantly said yes. I have my wrestling bag filled with the essentials to survive a water park trip. Swim trunks, street clothes, workout clothes (even though I never did), and a pair of shorts to sleep in. I climb onto the bus and get ready for this awesome adventure.
When we arrive all 50 of us storm the condo and find a room where our friends and us can crash at night. And of course the freshmen got stuck with the living room. Once we have our spots settled we threw on our swimsuits and take to the waterpark. Now this is the Wilderness right? And this bad boy has a huge wave pool. Now being the hyper person I am I charge into the water like I needed to breathe underwater in order to survive. I dive to the bottom and come up to see I made it all the way to the back where the waves start. The buzzer goes off and then I start to think. “Why does everyone here have a tube?”. Then BOOM! I get hit with a wave and get sucked under water, I come back up only to get hit with another wave and get sucked under water again. I try to swim to the shallow end but the water kept sucking me back. This goes on for another whole minute! I swim up to get a gasp of air then get sucked under again.
All of a sudden someone grabs me by the arm and gets me on a tube. I look at it turns out to be one of my friends Sam. He just looks at me and says “You are definitely not the next Michael Phelps are you.” I laughed and we enjoyed the rest of our retreat. When we got back to the Condo Mr. Holle came up to me and said that someone came up to have a word with another creed speaker and I.
Nervous I entered the little office room to find Kayla Hack Wisconsin FFA President just chilling waiting for me. Now I know she is from my chapter and it shouldn't be that big of a deal but as a freshman I am freaking out inside. She sat us down and gave us some words wisdom and we got to know each other a little more.
Coming home I was well rested and ready for LDE’s. Sometimes things in our lives make us nervous, LDE’s, work, school, life in general. And sometimes life just drags us down under the water and we are fighting to catch a breath of air. But remember, you are not alone. You will always have friends that will pull you back up, or share their words of wisdom. And if you do not believe me well I know a group of people that will always listen and chat if you need it! (they write these blogs. *hint). And because I like quotes I'll leave with this one. We can't call people without wings angels, so we call them friends.

Your friend from Section X

Travis Cadman

Jan. 22, 2017

Sarah Van Asten - Vice President
Wrightstown FFA Chapter
Section 9

Through the first 10 games, the Green Bay Packers were down 4-6. This was not the team Wisconsin, and the nation, expected. Although the team was off to a decent start of 4-2, they lost momentum and dropped four games in a row. The team was crushed. Fans were crushed. How could a team, that did so well for years, be on their way to not even make it to round 1 of the play offs.
The packers needed a change. It was going to take a great change of momentum, determination, and attitude to get this team all the way to the Super bowl Championship. Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay quarterback since 2008, stepped in and made these changes within the team. In an interview with the media, when asked what the Packers could do, Aaron responded with, “We are going to run the table.” After this interview, the Packers went on to win 8 straight games; tonight they are fighting for the NFC North Championship against the Atlanta Falcons.
A loss isn’t only in a game; sometimes we might have a “loss” in life, and I don’t mean death. Occasionally things don’t always go quite as planned. It is not the loss itself, but how you respond, that will determine the outcome of the situation. The Green Bay Packers could have lost hope in the season, but instead, they decided there was going to be change.
What happened to the Packers happens to every one of us in our own lives. There will be moments of defeat and disappointment; don’t let these moments define you or the situation. As Rodgers didn’t let this situation stop him, don’t let a down moment stop you.
You can accomplish so many amazing things – if you put your mind to it! The Green Bay Packers completely turned themselves around, for the better. I believe that every one of you can do the same! Great things never come from comfort zones.

Forever Blue,

Spring Already?
Jan. 20, 2017

Dani Angotti - Vice President
Freedom FFA Chapter
Section 8

As I am writing this blog I am looking out my kitchen window at our nice brown lawn and the giant puddles of water with the occasional snow island. This winter has so far definitely been a mild one. With the combination of high temperatures and rain, which unfortunately seems to freeze at night and get school cancelled for everyone the next day… or maybe that is a good thing? I know my sisters definitely like a good ole' snow day. But, with all this bad weather it becomes a little hard to take part in all our favorite outdoor activities like snowmobiling, ice fishing, skiing or snowboarding, and many others. However, it is perfect for things like mudding and tearing up our parent’s lawn, which I don’t recommended. So, I am sure many of us are stuck indoors. I do have to say one good thing about this bad weather and being stuck indoors, is the fact that we can stay all covered up with a warm hot chocolate and watch our favorite to episode or movie. For me, I defiantly can get my fill of Grey’s Anatomy. But, this bad weather can also be a great opportunity to do some other things also. Things like homework or filling out applications. I am currently working on scholarship applications and my American FFA Degree Application. We could also use our time to work on things like finalizing chapter banquets, planning new fundraisers, filling out our proficiency award applications, finishing our state degree applications, recording our audition tapes for the state band or choir, and much more. When we procrastinate, things like award applications, they aren’t always done to the best of our ability. I am 100% quilt of that. A few years ago, I waited until the last day to fill out my proficiency application and by the end of it I was just trying to fill the spaces. I no longer cared what I wrote down just so there was something written down. Our tv shows and movies, the fun outdoor activities and many other hobbies will always be waiting for us, but our applications have due dates and if we miss it we are out of luck. I hope everyone takes full advantage of all their opportunities and if anyone needs help with their applications feel free to email me at and feel free to email any other state officer also!


Our Time in the Locker Room
Jan. 17, 2017

Ashley Zimmerman - Vice President
Spencer FFA Chapter
Section 7

Halftime Conference has been a favorite for many FFA members for years, with good reason. Each FFA chapter in Wisconsin only gets to send two members. The members that attend this conference are chosen by the advisor and the FFA chapter to obtain resources to make a difference in their chapter after they return home.

Wisconsin FFA just completed the 2017 Halftime Conference with around 350 FFA members in attendance. Members were able to learn about how they can make their second half of the year more successful than the first. Whether it was the workshops, reflections, the pictures taken, or just hanging out with our FFAmilies this conference makes an impact on our members.

Not only did Halftime Conference take place but we also accomplished official business of the Wisconsin Association of FFA. Before the members came pouring into the hotel for the conference the state officers, our advisors, and state staff met to take care of some of that business for state convention and other upcoming events. We hope that the things we accomplished will help make an impact on members long into the future of Wisconsin FFA.

Our theme for the conference this year was “In the Locker Room” focusing on how we can make a difference and it doesn’t have to be our coaches, teachers, or advisors telling us to do something. We can make a difference in our schools, communities, and FFA chapters. We learned about living with purpose, how to revamp our old chapter events, how to plan new events, what we can do after our FFA journey, how to successfully fill out an application, and we even got to take a personality test to see how we contribute to each of our teams. These are the resources that we need to make a difference in our chapters now we need to take them back and put them into action.

The state officer team hopes that if you attended Halftime Conference this last weekend that you don’t forget what you learned, talked about, or how you felt during the conference. Even if you didn’t have the opportunity to attend Halftime this year you CAN make a difference. We want each and every one of you to make a difference in somebody else’s life because even those small acts can make a big impact on somebody’s life. Find how to live with purpose. We only have 86,400 seconds in each day. How will you make a difference? What small acts can we take to make a big impact? How will you spend them?

Forever True. Forever Blue.
Ashley Zimmerman
Wisconsin FFA Vice President

Preparation vs. Flexibility
Jan. 10, 2017

Hannah Taylor - Reporter
Poynette FFA Chapter
Section 6

A few years ago, I heard a speaker who started talking about the differences in the way girls pack for trips compared to guys. He talked about how girls seem to pack for every situation imaginable and end up taking much more luggage that probably necessary. He said that a girl would pack enough clothes to be prepared for a hurricane in Kansas. As the team and I prepare for Halftime Conference in a few days, I’ve noticed a parallel to this speech within our planning. Now I’m not talking the about the difference between girls and guys here, I’m simply seeing a difference in preparation preferences. Some officers have laid out different plans in case something doesn’t go right, while others lean more towards being flexible and going with the flow.
I tend to be way over-prepared. I’m the one who has enough extra emergency workshop materials to survive a zombie apocalypse in the middle of the conference. I want to practice and rehearse every situation that might possibly occur so that I can be certain that nothing can go wrong. But is there such a thing as being too prepared?
Take speaking for example. If you memorize your speech so well that you can just recite it robotically, you not only loose the valuable emotion, but you also risk one tiny mistake causing you to forget the entire speech. That’s why we should practice working through mistakes, so we are prepared for that to happen. It’s impossible to plan for every situation that could possibly happen and trying to do so is really a waste of time. There is a fine line between well prepared and too prepared. The best thing we can do, is to be prepared enough to be flexible and see where we go from there.

Until next time,
Hannah Taylor

You've got a PAL in Me!
Jan. 07, 2017

Ciera Ballmer - Vice President
Clinton FFA Chapter
Section 5

Yes, I know the song goes “You’ve got a friend in me.” From growing up watching Toy Story with my siblings to playing the song in the Wisconsin FFA Honors Band for the last 4 years, I must say the song is a classic. Friendship is extremely important and valuable, but today I have a very specific type of friendship on my mind: PALS.

PALS, Partners in Active Learning Support, is an FFA mentoring program where FFA members mentor, work with, and create a friendship with elementary and middle school students. A few days ago, I was able to help with the Janesville FFA PALS program at the Janesville Boys and Girls Club. Going back to the Janesville FFA PALS program that I actually helped with in high school was a lot of fun and reminded me of all of my memories and experiences through the PALS program.

My first experience with FFA, besides knowing that many of my family members had been a part of the organization, was actually through PALS. In 3rd grade all the way through 6th grade, I was one of the PALS, or the mentees, of the Clinton FFA PALS program. Twice a month, I went to the high school after school to do crafts and activities with the FFA members to learn more about agriculture. At PALS we shared the “highs and lows” of our school day, we discovered the Wisconsin agriculture industry, and we were introduced to the FFA organization.

I always looked forward to PALS and really enjoyed interacting with the other students my age as well as the older FFA members that we could look up to. From making lip balm to learn about soybeans, making our own pizzas when discussing the diversity of Wisconsin agriculture, to making the classic milk carton gingerbread houses, years later I still remember the activities I was able to do through PALS.

Then as a junior in high school, I wanted to expand my Agricultural Education Supervised Agricultural Experience so I decided to go and help with the Janesville FFA PALS program. I loved helping the elementary and middle school students do the crafts and activities – many of which I had done as a “Pal” myself years before. Teaching, and simply being a friend, to these students is just another FFA experience that showed me that I want to be an agricultural educator someday.

The PALS programs introduced me and so many other youth to the FFA organization. PALS offers a safe place for youth to learn about agriculture and have fun after school. Additionally, PALS allows FFA members to be a positive example for others, and these FFA members may even find a passion for teaching others while participating.

It really is amazing that FFA members can be such great friends, and great PALS, to today’s youth!

You've got a PAL in me,

Looking far with Caesar!
Jan. 06, 2017

Kari Fischer - Parliamentarian
Argyle FFA Chapter
Section 4

Congratulations Wisconsin FFA! We’ve all made in through 2016 and onto 2017! I’d like to start off by thanking each and every one of you for an amazing 2016. For half of my year, I had the opportunity to serve and learn from all of you and I’ve had so much fun doing it. You all have made this one of the most memorable years of my life and I can never thank you enough for that. Speaking of a new year, did any of you know that Julius Caesar created the calendar that we currently run by today? Before his rein in Rome, we actually used to measure our year by the orbit of the moon, but he found that to complicated and adopted the Egyptian technique, which was to use the sun. Why did Caesar create this new calendar? Because it was complicated and he wanted to increase the quality of life for him and the people around him. So how does this relate to us today? Serving others. As FFA members, one of our most valued qualities in this organization is our service oriented attitude. Whether we’re planting trees on Earth Day, picking up litter, or just looking out for the FFA member who’s having a bit of trouble in school, we’re serving others. It’s through this constant dedication to serve others that has made the FFA such a successful organization throughout the years. As we continue on into 2017 and set our goals out for ourselves, constantly keep the thought “how can I help others” in the back of your head. When planning those goals, bring them back to your chapter too and help create more service projects for your chapter. Every small act that you do creates a big impact in your school and community. Have a great 2017 everyone and if you’re feeling up for it, feel free to email me with these ideas and goals that you have for the upcoming year at Also, by the way, if you are still confused by the picture added with this blog, it's a Caesar Salad. *bah dum tss* I can't pass on a good pun.

Best Wishes,

Kari Fischer

Necessities for Growth
Jan. 03, 2017

Laura Munger - Secretary
Holmen FFA Chapter
Section 3

WOW! This year has flown by and for the past seven days, I have done a lot of thinking about where I started off this year, and now where I’m ending it. It’s crazy to think about everything that has happened in the last twelve months; from graduating high school, to being elected as a state FFA officer, and then to finally starting college classes! This year has been a blur, but it has been a year of lessons!
Some of these lessons have been pretty straight forward. For example, after about fifteen tries, my dad finally taught me how to SUCCESSFULLY check the oil in my car. My mom showed me how to use an actual map, and not rely so much on my GPS. And Kayla Hack taught me how to plan a successful workshop for FFA members! All of these new things were an important part of the past year, but one lesson I learned was a little bit harder to understand at first.
This year, I also learned who the true people are in my life, the ones that genuinely cared about me. Through each of those earlier lessons I listed, there was a person encouraging me to put myself out there to try something new. No matter how many times I messed up or thought I would never figure it out, there was always someone there that knew I could accomplish anything.
I spent New Year’s Eve with some close friends and family this year. As we were ringing in the new year, my friend Greg and I were swapping some stories about the year. Greg and I were talking about the people in our lives that have always cared about us, who will always care about us, and who never truly cared about us at all. Then, Greg said something I’ve come to appreciate very much. He said that as long as you surround yourself with positive people, you’re going to have a positive life. It was such a simple statement, but it had such a deeper meaning. Why should we hang around people that make us feel uncomfortable, insecure, or held back?
There is a quote that states: “In order for a seed to achieve its greatest expression, it must come completely undone. The shell cracks, its insides come out, and everything changes.” As people, we work very similar to seeds. When faced with situations of growth, we often have to break down in order to become stronger.
Now think of this, as agriculturists, we are familiar with the most effective way to grow seeds. We supply them with the healthiest environment we can, we give them nutrients, fertilizer, water, and make sure there is enough positive energy, or sunlight, around them. What else do we do for the seeds? We weed. We clean away all the negative, invasive plants around the seeds. By doing all this, these seeds can grow to their fullest potential.
Now take a minute to think about us, and what we require for growth. When we give ourselves nourishment, an encouraging environment, and positive energy, or people, we are able to grow ourselves to our fullest potential. However, just like seeds, we also need to weed out the negativity in our lives. We need to eliminate the people that are dampening our growth, and sucking the energy right from us.
As we enter into this new year, we must remember to surround ourselves with the necessities for growth. The encouragement, the nutrients and positive energy, and to weed out any negativities. We should also remember that in order to have a positive life, we need to surround ourselves with positive people.

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