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Feb. 25, 2017

Rylee Black - Treasurer
Amery FFA Chapter
Section 1

Today is one of the most bittersweet days of the year—the last day of National FFA Week! It’s been a week full of blue jackets and gold standards seeing all of the FFA members across the nation show their pride and appreciation for this great organization throughout the week! I hope we can keep up this advocation throughout the rest of the year, too.

Today is #ShoutOutSaturday in the Wisconsin FFA Week Photo Challenge. The state officers chose this theme because no matter where we are in life—inside FFA and out—someone helped us get there. Beyonce wouldn’t be Beyonce without her start in Destiny’s child. We wouldn’t have Justin Timberlake if NSYNC didn’t come first. We may not all be famous and rich like these examples, but we all have individuals in our lives that have been there for us and got us where we are today. It is important that as we move up in life to never forget where we came from.

Of course, participate in #ShoutOutSaturday on social media, but also consider thinking of a more personal way to thank them. Let those special people in your life know what they mean to you. We all have someone to be thankful for: family, friends, coaches, teachers, advisors, role models, and many others. Take the opportunity to thank others and pay those good deeds forward to someone else by mentoring, donating, or vounteering!

Feb. 24, 2017

Brenna Bays - President
Adams-Friendship FFA Chapter

Happy #FFAWeekFriday Everyone!

This week has been so motivating for me as I have had the pleasure of seeing via Facebook how everyone is #FFAProud. Thank you so much for putting a lot of thought into your FFA Week Photo Challenges. You are changing the world around you everyday! Today is my favorite FFA Week Photo Challenge Day because it is #FFAmily Day!

I know, for a fact, I would not have achieved nearly as many goals if it wasn’t for my FFAmily. I relied on my Chapter Officer Teammates and currently rely on my State FFA Officer Teammates to push me to achieve the goals that I set for myself at the beginning of each year. I reached out to many FFA members to help me tackle major chapter tasks. I asked my local FFA Alumni Chapter for a lot of financial and physical support to help with hosting Chapter and State Events. I spent many early mornings and late nights with my advisor completing the little details of an application. Looking back on my FFA experiences, my FFAmily were my everything!

Though we may not be related by blood, we are all related through the symbolic FFA Emblem. It takes a while to notice it, but everyone supports FFA members: students, parents, alumni, community members, teachers, and school officials. It is commonly stated that FFA members are the Future Leaders, which is 110% accurate. We have the support of our chapter, our school, our community, our section, our state, and our organization. We are connected in so many ways whether it be through contests, competitions, conferences or conventions. Together we are a family. Together we are FFA!

Take time this #FFAmily Friday to thank those that support you. Without them, we wouldn’t be able to acheive the great things we currently do. Always be thankful for the support our FFAmily provides us is endless.

I am thankful all of you are my FFAmily!


Feb. 23, 2017

Travis Cadman - Sentinel
East Troy FFA Chapter
Section 10

Happy National FFA Week everyone! Thank you so much for participating this week in our FFA photo challenge! Today was a Throwback Thursday so I should probably talk about the picture above my blog haha!
Growing up some children had dogs, some had cats, some had the extravagant gold fish. I rocked something different for a pet, I had cows. It does not show in the picture but that chubby little kid with his mouth open was surprised to find a dairy calf chilling at the dairy breakfast taking place that day. And that little chubster is yours truly! My partner in crime next to me is my cousin Tanner. Now Tanner and I always got along growing up, but we were two different types of children. Tanner would take his time, be gentle to everything he touched, and would wait for his turn to play with or pet an animal. I on the other hand… Well if it was in my sights and I wanted it nothing could stop me from getting to it in .03 seconds and shake it up so bad they would have to switch out one animal for another. For a better demonstration go on youtube and type in ‘Tommy Boy sales pitch for chicken wings” and that will tell you how I handled things till I knew better!
Now over the years I have learned to be a little more patient, a little more understanding, and care a lot more for others. Honestly I cannot even imagine where I would be without growing up on a farm and learning these life lessons. This week is almost up and I have been loving all the pictures on facebook and instagram, but please do not let this be the only week we show off our agricultural skills. FFA is too great of an organization to be celebrated only one week out of the year. And I challenge each and everyone of you to keep growing as a leader, as a friend, and as a person.
I am extremely proud of all of you and I thank you so much for showing your love and support towards FFA!
Your friend from Section X
Travis Cadman

Feb. 22, 2017

Sarah Van Asten - Vice President
Wrightstown FFA Chapter
Section 9

What gives you energy? Is it a special song? Maybe a quote? What about something you are really passionate about? For me, people give me energy. I realize this may come off a little odd but people are the reason I love doing what I’m doing so much.
Being elected as a state officer, I was guaranteed two things: 1. My name would go down in history as a 2016-2017 State FFA Vice President. 2. I would meet extraordinary people. Traveling around the state of Wisconsin has proved me many neat experiences. I was able to visit ten different towns for Sectional Leadership Workshops, three colleges for FIRE, and almost thirty schools in my section for chapter visits. All of these cases have had one thing in common – I’ve been able to meet some astonishing people. The world is full of so many unique people and I got the chance to hear part of their story. Being able to connect with dozens of individuals has given me the encouragement to continue serving this organization to the best of my ability. FFA gives me energy.
I also need to mention the ten people whom I’ve spent the last eight months of my life with: Rylee, Caleb, Laura, Kari, Ciera, Hannah, Ashley, Dani, Travis, and Brenna. Each of my teammates has given me something that I will take with me for the rest of my life. I have not only been given the honor to connect with each one but also be able to call them my friend. People are my favorite part about the National FFA Organization. There are over 650,000 different people just waiting to share their story with you; are you going to listen?
#Whatsyourfavorite #WIFFA #FFAWEEK17

Feb. 21, 2017

Dani Angotti - Vice President
Freedom FFA Chapter
Section 8

The FFA mission statement is to make a positive difference in the lives of students by developing their potential for premier leadership, personal growth, and career success through Agricultural Education. Right in the mission state FFA is wanting to transform students. I know for myself and many other students, FFA did just that.

Throughout this year I heard many students and adults testify and say that they can't thank this organization enough for everythingthey have done for them or their son/daughter. This year I had the opportunity to present a chapter visit to some 6th graders at Suring High School. We did the visit in the library and when I walked into the library the librarian spotted me and came over and introduced herself. She continued to tell me that her daughter was in FFA and about all of her daughters experience. She had so many good and positive things to say. She told me her daughter loved the organization and that it truly did change her life. She found the courage to make new friends, speak in front of others, and more. Now that her daughter is in college she said she often says how thankful she if for the experiences she gained while she was an active FFA member. The librarians daughter was #TransfromedByFFA

This is only one example of someone who has been transformed by FFA. I challenge all of you to post on social media today how you were #TransformedByFFA! I look forward to seeing all of your posts!

Feb. 20, 2017

Ashley Zimmerman - Vice President
Spencer FFA Chapter
Section 7

It’s Monday…BUT IT’S FFA WEEK MONDAY!!! FFA Week is a favorite time for many FFA members, including myself! Maybe it’s the activities that our chapter did, or its seeing all of my Facebook friends change their profile pictures to them in an FFA jacket, but maybe it is seeing the pride that thousands of FFA members show on social media, in their schools, and with their friends!

When I was in high school we always made the most of FFA Week! Whether it was thanking our local sponsors by delivering cinnamon rolls, promoting FFA on Facebook, showing appreciation for our teachers, or my favorite, building a 60-foot banana split!! To some people this may just look like a really really big banana split but to our FFA members it was being able to promote our FFA chapter to the entire school with a fun activity!

FFA chapters all around the state and country do something unique to promote their FFA chapter during FFA Week! During this year’s FFA Week I will be visiting chapters for different activities! On Tuesday I will be with the Granton FFA judging their ice cream sundae competition! On Wednesday I will be travelling to Whitehall High School with Laura to facilitate workshops for their middle and high school and later that night I will be attending my high school’s school board meeting promoting Wisconsin FFA. On Thursday I will be hanging out with my home chapter in Spencer making my favorite 60-foot banana split!! Finally on Saturday I will be attending the Section 7 Alumni meeting and auction to raise money for WLC scholarships. I am super excited for a jam-packed, fun-filled FFA Week!!!

Our theme for our Monday photo challenge is Motivation Monday! A few months ago a friend of mine sent me a quote. “Look for something positive in each day, even if some days you have to look a little harder.” That quote can often be applied to Mondays… Today here in Spencer it was a rainy gloomy day but hey I can’t complain it was 50 degrees, the snow was melting, and it’s FFA Week!! Look for something positive in each day even if you do have to look a little harder!

Have a fantastic FFA Week!! I look forward to seeing all of the Facebook posts about the awesome activities your chapters are doing!!

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

Best Week Ever
Feb. 19, 2017

Hannah Taylor - Reporter
Poynette FFA Chapter
Section 6

This week is looking to be one of the best weeks ever! Is it because of FFA Week? Is it because we are going to have a few sunny days? Is it because three of my ewes are supposed to lamb? Maybe..., or maybe it’s a combination of all of it.
I just simply love this time of year. First of all, we get to share our pride for FFA with National FFA Week. I am super excited to see all of the ways that FFA members throughout the state are celebrating. I’m also looking forward to seeing all the photos from the photo challenge and hearing about members FFA experiences.
FFA week is a special time of year, and it’s made even better by the fact that I have baby lambs to play with. There is just something so soothing about holding a baby lamb and having them nibble on your fingers. I grew up raising sheep and they were my supervised agricultural experience in high school. I spent every winter cuddling baby lambs and every summer waiting until winter when more lambs would come.
I also know that when the baby lambs start coming, spring is sure to be close behind! With the weather we’ve been having lately, it sure does seem like spring isn’t too far away. Now I know that we live in Wisconsin, and we are sure to have more winter coming our way, but at least we can enjoy the beautiful days while they last!
The final reason why I love this time of year sums up the previous reasons: this season is so full of hope. Seeing the dedication and accomplishments of FFA members this week gives me hope for the future of agriculture and the future of our country. Playing with my baby lambs reminds me that life is renewed every year and there is always hope. The beginning of spring is a symbol of hope as the dreariness of winter fades away into the beauty of spring and summer. I love the amount of hope that surrounds these next few weeks. So with FFA week, baby lambs, great weather and lots of hope, this is shaping up to be the best week ever.

Wishing you a happy and hope-filled FFA Week,
Hannah Taylor

Share Your Why
Feb. 18, 2017

Ciera Ballmer - Vice President
Clinton FFA Chapter
Section 5

It’s officially National FFA Week! The week for awesome dress up days, some epic Ag Olympics, Turning Facebook Blue, and sharing our love for the National FFA Organization with others. This week, I am so excited to celebrate and promote FFA, especially through Wisconsin FFA’s National FFA Week Photo Challenge!

Today we are starting off the week by sharing our why: why we started, why we joined FFA, and why we continue to be involved in this fantastic organization.

I joined FFA because my grandpa, my parents, aunts, uncles, and cousins all wore the Blue Jacket. I heard all of their FFA stories and saw how much the organization meant to all of them, so I wanted to follow the family tradition.

I joined FFA to follow in my family members' footsteps, but I quickly realized that FFA offers numerous, unique opportunities. Ever since, I have enjoyed individualizing my FFA experience to make it truly unique and catered to what I wanted to learn and do as an FFA member.

It only takes one small act to make a big impact. I made one small act of signing a piece of paper to join FFA, and you all did a very similar thing. We all made a very small, but very important act of joining the National FFA Organization which has made a big impact on developing our potential for premiere leadership, personal growth, and career success through agricultural education.

If that last sentence about the big impact sounded like you’ve heard it before, that’s probably because you have. It may be hanging on the wall in your Ag room, your FFA Advisor might have said it once or twice, and some of you even heard me talk about it at my chapter visits last fall. It’s the FFA Mission Statement – it’s the WHY for the National FFA Organization.

Each of us have our why: why we joined, why continue to be involved in and support FFA. And the National FFA Organization is no exception, they have their why too. Help me and the Wisconsin FFA officer team share FFA’s why throughout National FFA week and even after the week comes to an end. I look forward to learning about your why and seeing your FFA posts throughout the week!

Continue to #ShareYourWhy,

FFA Week, It's an Antique!
Feb. 15, 2017

Kari Fischer - Parliamentarian
Argyle FFA Chapter
Section 4

Hello Wisconsin FFA!

Can you all believe that FFA Week is already next week? It's crazy to wrap our heads around that fact that it's already almost March! Now, FFA Week is a time not only for fun, but for reflection. To celebrate our FFA chapters now and those that have fought to get us to the point we are at. This year celebrates the 100th anniversary of the Smith-Hughes Act which allowed vocational education, including agriculture education, to be taught in the classroom. (I learned that from quiz bowl. :) ) Without those who passed and created this legislation, FFA wouldn't even exist! Now that's an even crazier thought than the fact that we're almost in March. While we reminisce on those who brought us here, we also have our own very good memories of FFA Week too of course. I can vividly remember my freshman year of high school, attempting to compete in a milk chugging competition against 5 other boys. After about 4 seconds, their milk bottles were gone and I was probably about 1/4 of the way done with mine. Or maybe the time that my high school teammates and I had to make a last minute whip cream run to Monroe, Wisconsin because we'd forgotten it the day before. No matter the case, FFA Week proves to be an exciting and impactful week for all. So, while we're out there creating our own memories and impacting our classmates and community, remember those who came before you and made all of this possible for you.

Signing off,

Kari Fischer

100% have this
Feb. 11, 2017

Laura Munger - Secretary
Holmen FFA Chapter
Section 3

This past Thursday, I had the opportunity to attend my first Leadership Development Event as a state officer. Now, This was not the first time I have ever been to an LDE. During high school, the Leadership Development Events (or what we called them speaking competitions) were one of my favorite FFA events to attend. Throughout my time in High School, I competed in Creed, Extemporaneous Speaking and Parliamentary Procedure.

I remember the first time I ever competed in an LDE. I was a very timid and nervous freshman, competing in Creed Speaking that year. I was fortunate enough to receive coaching from one of my future FFA advisors, Mrs. King, however, I still felt clueless going into the competition. I knew the Creed, and I knew what I had to do, I just did not know what to expect. As my nerves escalated, I could not eat or think of anything else than what I was about to do. When I walked into the classroom of which I was speaking in, three friendly faces smiled at me as I entered the room. Although they were sitting behind the tables and had judge scorecards, they did not look as intimidating as I thought they were going to. They introduced themselves and I soon realized that these judges were nothing to be scared of, they were teachers, parents, and community members that volunteered their time to listen to FFA members speak. Their friendly faces and warm smiles calmed my nerves almost immediately. These judges were excited to be here. Many of them were past FFA members themselves, and they remembered how terrifying someones first LDE can be.

As we start to wrap up our LDEs for the year, whether you're competing or just thought about competing, the speaking competitions the FFA offers is an excellent place to put yourself out there. Remember that the people who volunteer as judges want us to succeed, they want to hear us speak, and they are thrilled that we are pushing ourselves to try something. Go into your competitions with the mentality that you 100% have this. The confidence will shine through on the outside, and rub off on others. Take a leap and put yourself out there, FFA is a community that helps us grow, take advantage of that. :)

Continuing to grow,

Do I HAVE to Speak?!?
Feb. 04, 2017

Caleb Green - Vice President
Stanley-Boyd FFA Chapter
Section 2

With all of the Section 2 Leadership Development Events in the books, I only have one word to describe Wisconsin FFA members: WOW! It was great to see the excitement every time another member walked in the door for registration. From memorizing the Creed to trying to think of something on the fly for Discussion Meet to nailing that interview in Employment Skills, it is really remarkable to see all of your great talents.
The best part about all of these events is the fact that they will be useful for the rest of our lives. Whether it is having to present to a board of directors for a new proposal to the company or having to coach the next great Quiz Bowl team, all of us will find a way to use these skills. Many of us will look back on our FFA careers and be greatful for the opportunity. Also, if you haven't competed in a LDE, it's never too late to do so. You may be scared or nervous for the event but all of you are talented enough as long as you are confident in yourself. I hope all of you have the courage to try an LDE and develop those all important skills.

Speaking Clear,
Caleb Green
State Vice President

Feb. 01, 2017

Rylee Black - Treasurer
Amery FFA Chapter
Section 1

It’s hard to believe February is already upon us, and with it comes a whirlwind of adventures as we move further into 2017! It feels like the ball in New York just dropped a week ago and here I sit feeling like I’ve started an entirely new life—not just a new year. I’ve crossed the border into Minnesota as I begin the spring semester of my sophomore year, attending class instead of chapter visits on a daily basis and occasionally switching out of my usual blue and gold attire into maroon and gold. Every once in a while I begin to feel overwhelmed with all of the things on my never-ending "To-Do list," but every time I do, I simply remember four little letters that you heard way too many times in 2013, had a comedic parody written about them by the Lonely Island, and is the motto of my favorite rapper: YOLO. You Only Live Once! As cheesy and cliche as the saying is, it reminds me why I jam-pack as many things into my life as possible when it feels like too much.

Our lives turn upside down and all around sometimes, but all we can do is hang on for the ride! The state FFA schedule looks like a crazy rollie coaster of events coming up, so strap on your seatbelt because it’s going to be an exciting time!

February happens to be the month of one of my favorite holidays—no, definitely not Valentine’s Day. If you guessed Presidents Day, you’re getting closer! It’s NATIONAL FFA WEEK!!!! This is one of our proudest times as FFA members where we sport our National Blue and Corn Gold and celebrate the best traditions of our national life. So get pumped for an amazing week of everything FFA and remember to invite your sectional state officer to your local events if you need some extra hands or another smiling face!

If you’ve got a competitive bone in your body—I’ve got 206—you’ll be psyched to hear that Leadership Development Events are in the works, and Proficiency Awards and Career Development Events are just around the corner! This is our time of the year to let our talents shine, learn a thing or two, and showcase the many parts of the agriculture industry. So get yourself a team together or practice that speech a few more times because it’s that time of year!

Lastly, don’t forget to join us for the Farm Forum conference February 17-18th. This was one of my favorite conferences I attended as an FFA member and hope every FFA members gets the chance to participate! We will get the opportunity to hear from industry professionals about the Ag industry, get an insider view of the Wisconsin Farm Bureau Discussion Meet contest, and have a ton of fun with other members from all over Wisconsin!

Just remember that even when it seems like there’s too much going on and you just can’t seem to fit it all in because you're busy, an opportunity that passes by may be gone forever. Don't drive yourself crazy, but push yourself to take advantage of every opportunity you get—big or small. You may only live once, but if you do it right, once is enough.

Hope to see you at an FFA event soon!

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