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Officer Profiles

Today is the Day!
Mar. 28, 2019

Amber Patterson - Vice President
River Ridge FFA Chapter
Section 4

Today is the day! You have worked hard learning and practicing for this day. You get to go and test the knowledge you learned in class or from practicing. Remember that you are representing not only yourself, but your chapter and the FFA organization so do your best. Whether this be your first or last regional contest try your hardest. As you leave the contest know you tried your best. As I was always told by my father it’s not how much you got incorrect but how much you got incorrect compared to everyone else. Today is the day you test your skills as well as make friends. Don’t be afraid to talk to someone new and enjoy your day. You have a lot of common interest with the members with you today, so meet at least one new person because I know this is where I met some lifelong friends.

Amber

ButterBurgers & Floats
Mar. 27, 2019

Collin Weltzien - Vice President
Arcadia FFA Chapter
Section 3

Hello Again,

Well my friends, spring is here! It seemed like Mother Nature took her best shot at knocking us out this winter, but we survived the fight, and the tide seems to be turning in our favor. Aside from watching the mountains of snow rapidly diminish by the day, the onset of FFA banquets and other spring chapter events has made this start to spring and exciting one for me!

The past week was nothing short of busy for me as I managed to squeak in a couple days of school while attending excellent banquets in De Soto and La Farge as well as swinging through Kickapoo for their annual Ag Olympics. I also made a stop at the Black River Falls FFA Culver’s Share Night where I had a particularly special encounter.

Shortly after the start of the event, I found myself at a table with an elderly man named Bruce Odeen who was enjoying his butter burger and root beer float. And incredibly enough, Bruce happened to serve as the 1954 -1955 Wisconsin FFA State Treasurer. I proceeded to converse with Bruce for the next hour about his experience as a state officer and the life he’s lived since then. After graduating from UW-Madison, Bruce operated his family dairy farm in Black River Falls for over 20 years before taking on a new career opportunity to work as the Vice President of Advertising for Accelerated Genetics (formerly Tri-State Breeders) where he stayed for the remainder of his career. He also served on the Wisconsin FFA Foundation Board, the 4-H Foundation Board, and in several other leadership positions throughout his tenure. He even continues to volunteer in the community to this day! Listening to Bruce tell his life story and humbly recall the countless blessings he’s thankful for was enough to send goosebumps down my neck. Perhaps, one could say Bruce has left a legacy.

Bruce’s pride for FFA and agriculture was vivid and inspiring. There’s nothing I find more motivating than stories like Bruce’s. The stories of FFA’s past are heart-warming and define why we do what we do. We strive for excellence because we aim to keep the stories and traditions of our past living for generations to come. I challenge you to think about the kind of FFA story you’re living out. What stories do you want to share when you walk into Culver’s at 85 years old, sit down, and visit with an FFA member over a butter burger and root beer float? Luckily for us, our stories are still in the making!

Take Care,
Collin

Stuck in the Mud
Mar. 25, 2019

Paige Nelson - Secretary
Ellsworth FFA Chapter
Section 2

Spring is here!

While I am happy to see that spring is here because it means we are getting closer to warmer weather, one of my not so favorite things comes along with it...mud. Lately, it seems like mud always ends up where it isn't supposed to be. It is being drug through the house by the bottoms of people's pants and the dogs. Parts of our pasture can't be used because they need to dry out so the cattle don't make it even worse. Don't even get me started on chasing cattle through the deep mud in the fields by our house when they get out! The greenhouse where I work has so much frost coming out of the ground that is is mushy, making it difficult to move carts of plants to other greenhouses. I have quite literally gotten stuck in the mud. My sister got her car stuck the other day, and a few years ago when my youngest brother got stuck he just left his boots in the mud hole to come find help with wet, dark brown socks (they were white to begin with).

Mud can cause challenges and sometimes we feel stuck. The same thing happens in life, we all go through times when we face challenges or feel stuck. When I got a cart full of plants stuck in the mud at work the other day, I knew I needed to be careful because if the cart tipped and the plants when crashing to the ground they could be damaged and cost the business a lot of potential income. In that situation I tried to keep pushing forward, I made some progress and eventually made my way out of the mud after staying calm and taking my time. In life we need to keep pushing forward when we face challenges or feel stuck. Sometimes it takes a little more though. I mentioned my brother abandoning his boots earlier, when he left his boots behind, he knew that he wouldn't be able to free himself and his boots on his own. He came looking for help and tools. We found a shovel and worked together to free his boots. Sometimes in life when we are faced with challenges we need to find help from others or use other tools to help us.

Think about a time when you felt like you were stuck in the mud because of a challenge? What things helped you pull through? Did you have to use some time and patience? Was it the help of a friend or adult? Were tools needed like music to calm you down, a shovel to dig your boots up, or something else? Once we get unstuck we can keep moving forward to the things that make us happy and that we look forward to like the pretty flowers that come as a perk of spring versus the mud we try to avoid getting stuck in.

Think Spring!

-Paige

Wrenches
Mar. 20, 2019

Alexis Kwak - Vice President
Prairie Farm FFA Chapter
Section 1

Hey there everyone! The snow is finally melting, the roads flooding, and speaking contests FINALLY are coming to an end. I hope you all did well in your contests! A different contest that happens around this time of year is the proficiency judging.

At the beginning of the month the state officer team attended the proficiency judging meeting. I was super hype because this meant I got to input data into the computer, which I enjoy doing quite a lot. All of this data had to be entered into 2000 Access on Windows XP. Windows XP is a program that existed the year I was born. No big deal, continue on the journey. We were doing great when a wrench got thrown in our system. I can dodge a ball, but I couldn’t dodge this wrench.

We had to print our information as it was completed. The printer was much newer than the program and didn’t want to connect. You see the issue here. We putzed with it, called the IT guy, and waited. The printer would not connect no matter what we did. All hope seemed lost.

The computer was a Mac, we were running XP on a fusion software. Wild I know. With that in mind, a solution was found. We exported the Access file to an Excel file and used a flashdrive to transfer the file from the XP software to the Mac. The Mac allowed us to print our information. It took a bit of finagling, but we finally had our solution.

When you get a wrench thrown at you that you can’t dodge, take a step back and look for your solution. Some problems are more difficult than others, some will take lots of thinking, some will take lots of people. All solutions can be found somehow. My challenge to you is to find a problem you are facing right now and step back to find your solution. When you find it, do great things.

Catch ya later,
Alexis

The Luck of the Irish
Mar. 17, 2019

Amelia Hayden - President
Big Foot FFA Chapter
President

Happy Saint Patrick’s Day!

Growing up with my grandma being 100% Irish, St. Patrick’s Day has always been a big deal. My extended family gets together, wears a lot of green, and enjoys a traditional Irish meal for St. Patrick’s Day. Aside from massive meals of corned beef and cabbage, the Irish are also known for green, shamrocks, and luck. That “luck of the Irish” reminds me of a quote by Thomas Jefferson: “I find the harder I work, the more luck I seem to have.”

The more work you’re putting in, the “luckier” you’ll seem. Whether your luck comes in the form of winning speaking competitions, having great show animals, being way funnier than the rest of your friends, or being the person who knows just about everyone and their brother, I’m sure that you’ve put in a lot of work towards that skill. It’s not necessarily always true, but I believe the harder you work at something, the better you’ll be, and the more luck you’ll have. What’s something that you want to be better at? Take whatever that thing is and set aside a certain number of minutes each week to work on that. The harder you work, the more luck you’ll seem to have. So on this St. Patrick’s Day, may you have “the luck of the Irish,” work hard to accomplish your goals, and find yourself a little better than you were yesterday.

Until next time,
Amelia

The Waiting Game
Mar. 12, 2019

Emily Kruse - Parliamentarian
Elkhorn FFA Chapter
Section 10

The fact that it is March, seems incredibly unbelievable. I feel like it was not too long ago that I was waiting for the summer to fly by so that my team and I could travel to Washington D.C. or waiting for a long, relaxing nap after finishing up week three of sectional leadership workshops. Now that it is March and I see my teammates less and do not get to be in contact with as many members, I wish I had not spent my time waiting.

For most of us, this waiting time happens often: waiting for the end of the school day, waiting for the weekend, waiting for graduation. It is wonderful to get excited about the future, but when we wait for the future, we are losing out on the opportunities in the moment.

We have officially begun banquet season here in the FFA. These can be the best time to find motivation. We see the different opportunities our fellow members took throughout the year, hear of awards we can achieve, and set new goals for the upcoming year. Take a moment, after your banquet to jot down the ideas and activities that interested you, write your own personal goals. Doing this will serve as a reminder throughout the year of why we need to be committed in the moment. Be proactive in the moment.

Always grab onto opportunities and the small moments, appreciate those who surround us, and take every chance to strike up a conversation with someone new; Do not regret spending time waiting!

See you around,

Emily

Living to Serve
Mar. 10, 2019

Sarah Calaway - Vice President
Denmark FFA Chapter
Section 9

As we come into the spring months with many contests presenting themselves let’s not forget the service projects that are there to help our communities. Many times, we commit ourselves to the contests we are in and forget to help those who are helping us get to the contests. Whether it is shoveling a driveway or packaging meals for those in need everything that our chapter can do will make a difference. One of my favorite things was being able to help out our community as without them I would not have been able to accomplish as much as I did throughout my time in the blue jacket. The most memorable event was being able to package meals that were sent to third world countries as that brought not only FFA members together but everyone in our school to help make a difference in the lives of those less fortunate than us.

Every year chapters around the state come together to make a difference not only in their communities but also at the Day of Service at state convention. Many of our chapters are getting involved in their chapters and making an impact on those around us. Chapters around the state are gearing up to package meals for the less fortunate. The meals packaged will either be shipped to countries more in need than America or used in their own communities to help those that need extra assistance. We are an association that truly lives for service and we are always looking for new ways to help out our communities. How is your chapter Living to Serve?

Until next time,
Sarah Calaway

Strength Through Cooperation
Mar. 06, 2019

Mitchell Schroepfer - Treasurer
Antigo FFA Chapter
Section 8

Paige, Amber, Emily, Gaelan, and I attended the Co-ops Yes! Conference on Monday and Tuesday. We had a chance to listen to Craig Hillier, a motivational and leadership speaker.

Since we were participants, I had the chance to work with a group of students for one of the activities. Craig asked us to share one of our strengths. The girl to my right spoke first and shared how she does well including others. Their eyes shifted to me and I shared my strength of working through awkward situations. And then we looked to the three boys to my left. They all turned amongst themselves as if politely waiting for someone else to share. Thirty seconds passed before it was officially awkward enough for me to step in. We started by talking about what they did at home, and one student was reminded of his strength as a hard worker. Then we talked about what they do in their free time, and another was reminded of his strength of being curious. And finally, we talked about their families, and the last student shared that his strength was caring for his siblings. It took some time and more encouragement than the other groups, but we got an answer from everyone. With everyone content with their answers, we moved on in the activity.

Maybe it takes you a while to name your strength, but I guarantee you’ll find one. Even if you think it’s natural, someone will find it valuable. Be proud of what makes you, you. And for this coming spring, I challenge you to add another strength to your typical list.

Good luck and I’ll be seeing you soon.
Thanks Again,
Mitchell

Let Your Future Shine Bright
Mar. 03, 2019

Jillian Tyler - Vice President
Granton FFA Chapter
Section 7

With FFA Week activities coming to a close, what next? Don’t worry there is always something to do in the FFA! I know some of you are feverishly studying for Sectional Leadership Development Events as all ten contests are in the few weeks ahead. Remember before going into your contest room take a deep breath, shake off the nerves and smile because you WILL rock it! No matter the outcome, you leave the contest a winner because you stepped out of your comfort zone and into the growth zone and you grew your public speaking and leadership skills taking them to the next level and that is something to be proud of.

I am guessing that a lot of you are already studying for Career Development Events, but if you aren’t I would talk to your advisor today to see if you can get signed up! Career Development Events were one of my favorite things to participate in during school. I loved being able to choose an area that I loved and run with it. During school I competed in numerous contests including the middle school Plant Science and Agriscience contests, Agricultural Communications, Food Science, Floriculture and Agricultural Education.

Another very important thing coming up is the Wisconsin FFA Foundation scholarship deadline. This scholarship is due on March 15 and should be mailed to the Wisconsin FFA Foundation in Madison. We are very fortunate in Wisconsin to have so many individuals and organizations that are willing to support us in post-secondary schooling that we as FFA members would be silly not to take advantage of these opportunities.

And one last thing that will be in the near future for many of us is chapter banquets. I know that my calendar is quickly filling up with different banquets to attend as are all of my ten teammates. If you are wondering what state officer is attending your chapter banquet you can take a look at our banquet schedules found on our webpages. More than likely your sectional officer will attend your banquet or a neighboring officer if there is a conflict, so starting out on your section page would be the best bet. If you notice that your chapter isn’t listed on a banquet schedule, then talk to your advisor to see if they have contacted a state officer about attending!

Good luck with all the upcoming contests and as always if you need anything at all, let me know. I am always happy to help!

Good luck,
Jillian Tyler


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