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Life is Climb
May. 24, 2017

Dani Angotti - Vice President
Freedom FFA Chapter
Section 8

Hannah Montana, the Movie, a Disney Classic. This one of my favorite movies growing up, you would often find my sisters and I watching this movie anytime we went somewhere. (There was a DVD player in our suburban) How could you not love this movie, good singers, good actors, and an overall happy movie. I would many times pretend I was Hannah Montana and try to sing just like her, this is when I discovered I can’t sing even if I belted my heart out, and so my parents urged me to just let Hannah sing.

There are so many different important lessons in this movie also. I think one of the most important lessons in Hannah Montana the movie, is the lesson to be yourself. Miley Cyrus who plays Hannah Montana begins to struggle with keeping her identity a secret and by the end of the movie she decided it is better just to be herself, in the middle of her concert she takes of her wig reviling to her community that the girl they had grown up with doubled as a very famous superstar. She wanted to stop hiding from the truth and go back to being the girl she was raised. She didn’t want to hide anymore and she didn’t want to put on a face for others.

I think this is so important for all of us to remember. Don’t be someone that you are not. Don’t change yourself because you think people will like you then. Just be yourself and people will like you for that. You will be so much more comfortable and confident in yourself if you act like yourself. If you are yourself people will think “There’s something about you and I am finding it impossible to stay away” -Hannah Montana the Movie. Hannah Montana said, “I know changing can be scary, but it’s a part of growing up. It’s how find out who we are and who we’re gonna be.” When we become ourselves, and change for the good, we learn so much.

One of my favorite songs in the movie is The Climb by Miley Cyrus. It relates so well to what many of us go through each and every day. There is always going to be something for us to climb and to overcome, sometimes we may think there is a voice saying, “You’ll never reach it” or that “Every move we make feels lost with no direction” But that is all part of the climb. “There’s always going to be another mountain and we are always going to want to make it move” “Sometimes we’re gonna have to lose” “Ain’t about how fast we get there” “Ain’t about what’s waitin on the other side” “It’s the climb” There is always going to be something in life to overcome, to change, or to do. But, by being ourselves, we know exactly who we are and how to do it, we have a strong support system behind us who loves us for who we are and are willing to catch us when we fall and wants to see us succeed.
Life’s a climb, but make the most of it!

The Growth Zone
May. 23, 2017

Ashley Zimmerman - Vice President
Spencer FFA Chapter
Section 7

Every person has that one quote that inspires us to be a better leader. That quote motivates that person to help other people grow, leave their comfort zone, and creates the right actions.

“Before you are a leader, success is all about growing yourself. When you become a leader, success is all about growing others.” -Jack Welch. When we start out in the FFA we focus on growing ourselves to be leaders in the future. We are gaining skills that can not only help you become a leader but they are skills that you can use throughout your lifetime. When you grow yourself you feel successful, accomplished, and excited to keep moving forward. At that moment that is success. When you become a leader your skills are not only for you but you can utilize those skills to help others grow. When you utilize those skills for others you are a leader.

“Life begins at the end of your comfort zone.” -Neal Donald Walsch. FFA members step out of their comfort zones to try new things that they may not have ever thought were possible. When FFA members step out of their comfort zone they may feel a bit uncomfortable. But it is when those FFA members step out of their comfort zone that they enter the growth zone. The growth zone is the spot that FFA members continue to improve themselves.

These quotes are few of many that motivate FFA members every day to become leaders and inspire others. If you have that quote, post it somewhere you can see it every day. Seeing it every day will motivate and push you to be a better leader. “If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more, and become more, YOU are a leader.” -John Quincy Adams

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

Every Small Moment
May. 22, 2017

Hannah Taylor - Reporter
Poynette FFA Chapter
Section 6

Over 1000 photos later..., this Year is Review video is gonna be great! Thanks to all of the chapters and advisors who have sent me pictures of their FFA chapters throughout the year, I’ve had quite the selection to look through. Scrolling through all of the photos has brought back a lot of fond memories from this year. I truly can’t believe how fast it has gone by.
As I look back at each individual photo, I am reminded of a small moment. Some are with teammates, some with FFA members, but all with my FFA Family. At the time, I thought each was just a small moment in a long year. But as the days until convention continue to fly by, I am beginning to realize that each moment is really a big memory in a short year.
Throughout our years we all experience many, many moments, and one of our greatest downfalls is not truly appreciating each moment for what it is. Each moment is like a small puzzle piece. Individually it doesn’t look like much, but when you put them all together, they form the bigger picture of our lives and our pictures would not be complete without each moment we have shared.
Even though some moments may seem small and insignificant, some day, we will look back and wish that we could turn back time and make the moments last forever. I won’t sugar coat it, this year has been stressful, but even the stressful moments I wish I could go back to and relive.
I hope that everyone realizes how important each moment is before it's too late. We should savor the moments, and realize that someday, we will wish that we could do them over again. Take some time each day to savor the moments you have had and appreciate each small moment!

Treasure every moment,
Hannah Taylor

If You Build It, They Will Come
May. 21, 2017

Ciera Ballmer - Vice President
Clinton FFA Chapter
Section 5

Field of Dreams. Now, that’s a classic! The one and only Ray Kinsella is summoned by “the Voice” to plow up his corn field and build a baseball stadium. Why would any person plow up their cornfield to build a cornfield? Honestly, that seems ridiculous! Nonetheless, Ray decided to take a chance and answer the Voice that was calling him. The Voice promised, “If you build it, they will come.” Terrance Man even reassured him, “People will come, Ray. People will come.” Even though he didn’t understand all the reasons why he needed to build this baseball field or what the results would be from building this field, he put his faith and trust in the voice, and in his decision. It was a major risk, but Ray built the baseball stadium, and his risk paid off. He had faith that his hard work would pay off, and people not only came, but they showed up in droves!

Just like Ray, if we put our faith in our decisions, we can see positive results. When we have to make decisions and as we work on the beginning stages of work, we don’t know if everything will turn out alright and run smoothly. But if you build it, with a little hard work, they will come.

This week, my teammates and I are working hard to prepare for the 88th annual Wisconsin FFA Convention. As we are working on Convention sessions, workshops, tours, decorations, and many more details, I am reminded of Field of Dreams, Ray, and that baseball field. We’ve started planning this convention last winter not knowing how it would all come together. Nonetheless, we continued working and we put our faith in our decisions, and just like field of dreams, plans are coming together! We are so excited for all of you to come convention!

What Should I Do This Summer?
May. 18, 2017

Kari Fischer - Parliamentarian
Argyle FFA Chapter
Section 4

It’s the final stretch everyone! With school ending we’re all moving on to new adventures this summer. For some of us, maybe it’s a new job that we’re going to tackle head first. Seniors, maybe you’re starting to get ready for a new chapter in your life, college. And then there’s people like me who just don’t know exactly what they’re going to do with their summer. No matter what we all decide to do this summer though, we all need to remember to keep ourselves on track to our goals. Summer is such a fun, warm, and exciting time, that we often forget about those goals and future endeavors that we put before ourselves during the school year. Yes, it’s a great time to relax and hang out, but it isn’t a time for us to slack off! As FFA members, we work hard each and every day to reach out goals, why should summer be an exception? And the best part about summer, you have don’t have schoolwork to get in the way of your ambitions! So instead of finishing up that math homework, you can spend a little more time in the saddle, perfecting your roping skills. Or, instead of sitting in that boring chemistry class that you might not have enjoyed, you can be out working on those woodworking projects that you’ve set out to complete. Use this summer to you advantage and keep growing yourself and your talents!
The other cool thing about summer? We can all go out and gain new experiences through a variety of activities and events in our community! Whether it’s through FFA or a new organization that you discover, being active and involved in your community not only benefits you, but all the people around you. Through the small acts that you do, whether that’s helping your neighbor with their gardening, cleaning up trash alongside of the road, or helping to put on a huge fundraiser, will create a big impact throughout your entire community and the entire state. So, now’s the time Wisconsin FFA. In the words of Gandhi, “You must be the change you wish to see in the world.” Go out there and make this summer the best one yet.

Never Take No as an Answer
May. 15, 2017

Laura Munger - Secretary
Holmen FFA Chapter
Section 3

“Never take no from someone who can’t even tell you yes.” These were the words my Mama told me when I was suffocating in feelings of self-doubt. Growing up, I struggled with confidence, and too often, let the wrong people influence my decisions. Whenever anyone told me “No,” or said “You can’t do that” a small part of me listened to them. I have always had a hard time listening to people (just ask my parents), I always wanted to do my own things. Over time though, that small part of me started listening to the negativity of other people more and more. I soon realized that I was becoming consumed in what other people thought. As soon as I would hear something negative from someone, I would block out anything positive I would hear, and I focused solely on the negative. During my sophomore year of high school, I started to realize how consumed I was about the negative people in my life.

For my second year of FFA, I wanted to become more involved, I wanted to try more events, competitions, and travel more. So many people told me those things were not possible with the chapter I was in. Older members often told me they had tried the same thing, and didn’t have any luck. When my determination to become more involved started to open new possibilities, like switching school districts to a new agriculture program, I soon received laughs and snide remarks from people who did not understand my passion for the FFA organization or the Agriculture Industry. Many of my classmates laughed at me for my rash idea of switching schools for the sole reason of wanting to pursue FFA further. As much as I didn’t want it to, their negativity soon got the best of me, and my determination started to dwindle.

Talking to my parents one day after yet another unsuccessful FFA meeting, my Mama soon asked me what was actually holding me back. I told her of the doubts and the words that people were telling me. I told her that I only had two years of FFA left, so why even bother. She then paused, looked at me with a smirk, and says “Laura, have you ever accepted ‘No’ as an answer?” After talking it out with my parents, I decided to take the jump to switch schools, and from there, I never looked back.

After watching myself grow continuously the last two years, and seeing my confidence expand, I decided I wanted to further my FFA involvement yet again. During my senior year of high school, I decided to run for state office. Again, I was faced with conflicted feelings from the people around me. Many of my classmates doubted me, saying I was making a mistake putting college off for a year. And as much as I didn’t want to, I started to doubt myself, I started to believe every negative thing they would say. Once again, after talking with my parents about it, and laying out the positives and the negatives of it, my Mama made another comment that changed my perspective completely. Stopping me mid-sentence as I listed off yet another negative aspect of my decision, she said “Don’t ever take ‘No’ from someone who can’t tell you ‘Yes.’” Stopping to think about what she said, I soon realized that every negative comment I had heard were from people whose opinion on whether or not it was a good idea had no effect on whether I would get it or not. I was letting the wrong people influence my decision. Instead of listening to the encouragement from my parents, siblings, advisors, and fellow FFA members, I was listening to classmates who were not even in FFA.
When we listen to the wrong people, we stop living our lives for US, and start living it for THEM. Those people couldn’t give me ‘Yes’ or determine whether or not I would be elected as a state officer, so why was I listening to them tell me ‘No?’

Love Those Who Support You
May. 13, 2017

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

Many times, we talk about our achievements and about how we want to make a difference in the lives of those around us. While it is a great thing to keep striving to make an impact in other's lives, it is also crucial to realize who has impacted your life. Whether it be our family, friends, mentors, or anyone else, we must recognize and honor these people.

Often times, the most influential people in our lives go unnoticed. We go through life, not necessarily taking them for granted, but forgetting to acknowledge them for their importance in our lives. It is something that I know I personally struggle with.

It may be in FFA, school, sports, or other areas; but we all have someone who has guided us and helped us to the point we are at. It could be that coach who never let you quite when you wanted to or that instructor who never doubted you even when you doubted yourself.

All of these people should be recognized in some way for their efforts. It may be just a simple "thank you" or possibly a gift of some sort. Whatever it may be, it is important that we do something.

This year's FFA Theme is Small Acts, Big Impact. We want to be the person who makes the impact and perform these acts but the same has been done to us, so be sure to recognize who those people are.

Until next time,
Caleb Green

Love Yo'self
May. 11, 2017

Rylee Black - Treasurer
Amery FFA Chapter
Section 1

I want to start my blog with a HUGE shout out to all of the FFA members who participated in a Career Development Event this spring! I have met so many talented FFA members while at Ag Tech Day at UW River Falls and State CDE’s in Madison. Some pretty amazing people will be representing Wisconsin FFA at National Convention in October and many more who took a step out of their comfort zone in order to better themselves. It makes me proud of our great association!
Last week, I received a letter written by an FFA member from the Cumberland FFA chapter. This member wrote to me thanking me for attending their banquet and for giving a short speech. I greatly appreciated the thoughtful note, and reminded me how kind people can be. However, part of this thank you note stuck out to me. She said that a story I had incorporated into my speech had hit close to home for many students in their community and gave them hope that they would be able to overcome similar obstacles and achieve more. I am very glad my speech was effective and was able to make a positive difference in a few others’ lives, but it mostly reminded me of the power of empathy.
First, we must understand the difference between sympathy and empathy. Both can be great qualities, but one is much more important. Sympathy is feeling sad for someone else or pitying them. You are not ignoring their pain or discomfort, but you are isolating them instead of putting yourself in their shoes. Empathy, on the other hand, is being able to understand and SHARE the feelings of others. The key difference: no one feels alone with empathy.
By nature, humans are social creatures. Introverts or extroverts, we all need interaction with others. The second we feel alone or the tiniest bit different, it throws everything off. We assume that because we are alone, there’s something wrong with us—that we SHOULDN’T be alone. We SHOULD have lots of friends. We SHOULD be super smart. We SHOULD be funny and popular. We SHOULD be normal.
After a conversation with my therapist a few weeks ago, I realized I live my life based on “should’s.” It’s the reason why I feel stressed more than I need to, why I have difficulty admitting it when I’m struggling, and why I put so much pressure on myself to succeed. A few weeks ago, I submitted by application for early admittance to vet school. This was a very important step toward my dream career, yet I found myself only thinking about all the reasons why I probably won’t be accepted. It doesn’t matter what qualities I possess because I only ever focused on the things I thought I should be instead.
In reality, no one is perfect, and we all have room to grow. It’s not a bad thing to have room for improvement. Of any piece of advice I have heard, the following has resounded much louder than anything else to me, so hopefully it helps someone else too: Love yourself as you are, and then treat each obstacle as a stepping stone to a better you. I congratulate and envy anyone who believes they are already perfect. As for the rest of us, if your life doesn’t feel perfect, that is 100% normal and you’re far from alone. Don’t worry about you “should” be; love who you ARE.

The Next Chapter
May. 09, 2017

Brenna Bays - President
Adams-Friendship FFA Chapter

Where has the time gone? My sophomore year at UW-Platteville is almost complete. We are in the middle of our last week of classes and Finals begin next week. I can not believe that we are nearly in the middle of May and the 88th Wisconsin FFA Convention is literally right around the corner. I have found myself asking the question: “Where has the time gone?” However, as much as I love reflecting on the past semester and how many memories I have made, I have learned that it is equally as important to look forward to the future: the next chapter.

When thinking of the next chapter, we may be excited! We may look forward to our summer whether we be working, spending time with friends, or even sitting in the sun. We also may be apprehensive, nervous, or frightened when we think about the next chapter. We don’t know what will come with each new day and are unsure for the little bumps in our path that may arise. Though we have different feelings about our next chapter, here are a Three Tips to stay positive and forward-looking as our school years come to an end.

Tip 1: It’s always okay to go back and re-read chapters!
I can easily say that I love reflecting on the past. When thinking of the memories and friends made, I love to looking back to reminisce on what has happened. And guess what: That’s okay! It’s normal to watch old family videos, look through photo albums, or listen to music from the past. The past is there for us to look back on and grow from.

Tip 2: Live on the present page
Be mindful. One of my friends told me, “You can’t understand a story unless you read the page that’s in front of you.” Living in the present, or being all there, is something that I always stay true to. Yes, we all have a never-ending to-do list that seems to never decrease in size, but there is a set time and place for working on it. When we focus on what is in front of us, whether it be our friends, our family, or our to-do list, we will learn to appreciate life a little more.

Tip 3: Embrace the unknown
The future may be scary. We never know what will happen. Whether it be in our lives or a book, what comes next is always a mystery. I am such a planner and love knowing what is going to happen. I used to be very uneasy about the future, however, by embracing the mystery and the unknown, I have learned to cherish the surprise that comes with it.

When we think about our life, the past, present, or future, take time to reflect on these three tips. “Life is like a book. Some chapters are sad, some are happy, and some are exciting. But if you never turn the page… you will never know what the next chapter holds.” I can’t wait to see where each of your books will lead!

Looking forward to where my book will lead,


How Strong is your Why?
May. 07, 2017

Travis Cadman - Sentinel
East Troy FFA Chapter
Section 10

I wanna talk about your why. Why do you want to be a FFA member, why do you want to impact and make a difference in your community, why do you want to succeed? Buster Douglas an American boxer had to go up against Mike Tyson, no one ever got back up after they were knocked down by Mike. But Busters why was stronger then those hits, he rose up before the full count and took on Tyson and beat him in the world champion fight.
Life will always knock you down but you need to get back up, you need to have a strong enough why to keep you going. Why are you staying up so late to study? Why are you staying after Parli Pro practice? What is driving your why? And always remember, if it was easy everyone would do it.
In the after fight interview they asked Buster Douglas how did he take down Mike Tyson he said “Before my mom died she told everyone her boy was gonna beat Mike Tyson, when she died I had a decision to make, I could let this dream die with my mom or I could wake up and live for mom.” He beat Mike Tyson simply because his why was stronger then the blows Mike Tyson was laying on him.
Before you do anything make sure you know what your why is, make sure your why is strong, and get ready for life to throw the punches. I have been saying this since day one. I you want to succeed as bad as you want to breathe then you will be successful. And it is true but it is all up to you. What is your why?

Keep climbing, keep grinding, keep succeeding
Travis Cadman

A Lesson from a Goose
May. 04, 2017

Sarah Van Asten - Vice President
Wrightstown FFA Chapter
Section 9

Serving as a state officer, I’ve learned a lot about leadership. But I’ve also learned that being a leader isn’t always what we should be focusing on. I’ve learned that impact is more important. Somebody can’t make a difference for everybody but everybody can make a difference for somebody.
I want everyone to think about why you either joined or support FFA. What is that reason? Now I want you to think if that is the true purpose of this organization. You see, we can all take away great success from what we do in FFA. Each of us are able to grow as individuals and be rewarded for the work that we have done. However, is that our sole purpose?
Since I was a little girl I have been a huge animal lover. I would follow them around the yard, amazed at how different every single one was; I learned from each of them too. Every species behaves differently for a specific reason, and I soon took interest into what that reason was.
One of the coolest animals I came in contact with was birds. I loved the way they moved, the beautiful colors, and how tiny they were compared to everyone else. So naturally, as a child, I needed to catch one. But no matter how fast I ran or what I tried, I would never be able to catch them because they could fly away from me.
There is one particular bird however, that I never really took a liking to. They are big, annoying, and sometimes even mean. Geese.
It wasn’t until I entered a high school Agricultural Science class, that I realized I could learn something from them. And I took away these three big things:
1. We often see geese fly in a V formation and they do this for a very practical reason. Geese must fly a long distance for migration. Each bird flies slightly above the bird in front of them, resulting in a reduction in wind resistance. This helps conserve the birds’ energy. In fact, the v formation adds 71% greater flying range than if the birds were to travel by themselves. Geese don’t try to do things individually because they know they will have greater success with others. By working together, they are able to make a successful journey across the nation. Each bird is affected by those flying both in front and behind them. Just like geese, we as people are affected by those around us. We can do great things as individuals but when we come together, we are able to go the extra distance.
2. We’ve all heard that incredibly annoying sound of geese honking overhead. But again, they do this for a reason. They honk because they are encouraging those around them to keep flying, to not give up. Just like geese, we need encouragement and support to fly further.
3. Sometimes, the lead bird gets tired. And when that happens, they fall to the back of the formation, and a new bird takes his place. As each of them are able to encourage each other to keep flying, they also encourage each other to take the lead. For some, taking the lead may be easy and the challenge might be giving it up. But there comes a time when we must let others take the lead. The lead bird does this without hesitation because they just want their flock to make it to the end.
Our purpose is about impact. FFA’s purpose is to make an impact, a positive difference, in the lives of others. We can actually learn a lot from geese. They work together to go the distance, always encouraging each other to fly further. What I once thought was a useless animal, happens to be a perfect example of the impact we should be making on others.

Forever Blue,

Great Achievement
May. 03, 2017

Dani Angotti - Vice President
Freedom FFA Chapter
Section 8

It is now banquet season which also means the election of new chapter officer teams. There is a lot of excitement and emotion that goes into that. However, there is also now going to be a lot of hard work and dedication put in over the next year. I think one of the biggest things to remember while serving over the next year is to never be selfish. I am currently addicted to a Netflix series called “The Ranch”. In this show a father has two thirty-year-old sons, one has stayed by his side his entire life to help with the ranch while the other one left to go and play semi- pro football. After playing for a while in Canada he returned home to try out for a team closer to his hometown. While in the area he stayed with his dad and brother, and his brother got to talking to him that he never left the ranch because he didn’t want to leave dad to take care of the ranch all alone, he continued to say that he was proud of his brother but also found him very selfish. He went to the tryout and made the team however he decided not to play because his family needed him more. He made the tough decision to sit out on something he loved doing to help the ones he loves. Throughout your next year of service remember that there will need to be sacrifices but remember you are doing them for the ones you love and for an organization that means so much to you. Not everything is about you and be sure to make your next year about your members and how you can make sure they have an incredible year. “Great achievement is usually born of great sacrifice, an is never the result of selfishness.” -Napoleon HIll

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