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Officer Profiles

Meet Your Section 8 Officer
Jun. 29, 2017

Elisha Riley - Treasurer
Waupaca FFA Chapter
Section 8

Hello Wisconsin FFA! My name is Elisha Riley and i'm originally from the Waupaca FFA Chapter. Meet your Wisconsin FFA Officer representing Section 8! I will be attending the University of Wisconsin River-Falls majoring in Biotechnology. I am so excited to be representing all of you this year and hope to fill it with happiness, meaning, and excitement! Here is a little bit about myself!

Well for starters, I grew up on a 180 acre Organic Dairy cattle Farm, Riley Crest Farm, in Amherst, WI. I gained a passion for the dairy industry my first year showing at the Waupaca County Fair in 2005. I showed a registered spring calf named "Cheque" in a youth showing event and started my showing career. Since then I have shown over ten heifers at the Waupaca County Fair, and six heifers at the Wisconsin State Fair in West Allis. I excel in showmanship, taking third in my class at the Waupaca County Fair. I have become very skilled at clipping and fitting heifers for competition. I also own a small herd of Mini Lop and Rex rabbits. I purchased my first rabbit when I was seven, a broken blue Rex buck named BB. I absolutely love animals and love farming even more!

I began my FFA career when I was in 7th grade. FFA is tradition in my family, so joining FFA was a natural decision for me. When I first joined FFA, I participated in the FFA Opening-Closing Ceremonies Contest. Since then, I have been extremely active in all aspects of the FFA. The FFA has taught me a lot about speaking to crowds, making friends, and building connections. The FFA has give to much to me and as a state officer, I want to give back.

So that is a little bit about myself! I am so excited to representing all you as your Wisconsin FFA State FFA Treasurer! I am thrilled about taking on this wild adventure with you, if any of you have any questions or comments, feel free to email me!

Section 8, Signin’ out!

Elisha Riley

Meet your Officer from section 2
Jun. 29, 2017

Brooke Brantner - Vice President
Menomonie FFA Chapter
Section 2

Hello Wisconsin FFA! My name is Brooke Brantner, and I am proudly representing section two! I look forward to these next 348 days of service with an open mind, and full heart ready to walk in leadership along-side all of you! Here are a few facts to help you get to know more about me!

1. My roots in FFA began as an 8th grader and excelled throughout my high school career. I had the chance to participate in activities such as the creed speaking contest, dairy judging career development events, and a wide range of community service opportunities. My SAE projects were based around beef entrepreneurship and diversified livestock production placement. Outside of FFA I am involved in 4-H, the Dunn County dairy judging team, and have been playing the piano for the past 13 years.

2. I. love. cows! Showing cattle has been a way of life for my family and I throughout generations. It has instilled in me a caring nature, hardworking personality, and a drive to reach challenging goals. Most importantly it has allowed me to meet and work with so many amazing people who have greatly impacted and shaped me into who I am today. I have grown up on a hundred-acre beef farm where I have been fortunate enough to show and judge cattle on a local, state, national, and international level.

3. Currently I am sophomore at the University of Wisconsin River Falls where I am majoring in animal science with a meat animal emphasis – science option degree. My career goal is to stay connected to agriculture as an embryologist in the cattle industry.

4. My family is everything to me. I am blessed to be a triplet and to have grown up with two forever best friends by my side. My family has taught me the importance of staying humble in all that I do, helping others in all that I can, and to be thankful for all that I have.

I am looking forward to a great year with all of you! Thank you for this opportunity to serve as your section two state vice president!

Sincerely,
Brooke Brantner

Meet Your Section 5 Officer
Jun. 29, 2017

Liz Grady - Secretary
Oregon FFA Chapter
Section 5

Hello Wisconsin FFA! My name is Liz Grady and I am from the Oregon FFA Chapter in Section 5. I am humbled and honored to serve as your 2017- 2018 State Secretary. I have completed my freshman year at Purdue University where I am pursuing a Bachelor’s Degree in Agricultural Communications. With this degree, I hope to work as a County Extension Agent or work in public relations for an agricultural company. Here’s a little bit about myself and my experiences in FFA and agriculture.

My FFA experience began when I joined FFA my freshman year in high school. The decision to join FFA was easy as FFA is a family tradition. I love FFA because of its focuses on agriculture, leadership, and service. My favorite FFA activity is Food For America because I love being able to share the story of agriculture with other students in my community.

Growing up on my family’s fourth-generation dairy farm is what grew my passion for agriculture. Through FFA, I advanced my knowledge of the dairy industry and responsibilities on the farm by developing my Dairy Cattle Placement SAE.

I hope you learned something new about me. Thank you for allowing me to represent you as your Section 5 State FFA Officer. I am most excited to interact and get to know members and advisors from my section and from across the state. If you have any questions or comments at any time, feel free to contact me at lgrady@wisconsinffa.org or find me on Facebook. I am so excited to start working with all of you!

Sincerely,
Liz Grady

Meet Your Section 3 Officer
Jun. 29, 2017

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

Hello Section 3! My name is Ciara Koboski and I grew up in Black River Falls, Wisconsin. I plan on transferring to University of Wisconsin- River Falls to major in Agricultural Education and receive a minor in Science. The top three things to know about me include, I have two pet turtles, I have a passion for agriculture in and outside the classroom, and finally I am always willing to listen and give advice.

My turtle’s names are Franklin and Shelly, they have shown me what it is like to take care of reptiles. One lesson I have learned from Franklin and Shelly is to make sure to always wash your hands before and after touching turtles. I learned this recently when I got salmonella from Franklin and Shelly. My passion for agriculture started when I was really little, but back then I didn’t even know what agriculture was or even what the word agriculture meant. The path I took in finding out what my passion included, was a little different for me. I never grew up in an agriculture background, my family is more into sports and music. I knew since I was a little kid that I enjoyed laying in the grass and watching the grass grow. If I were to get upset in a fight with my brothers, the first place you would have found me would have been outside with my pets or climbing a tree. This interest continued throughout my years in school, it was not till the summer after my seventh grade year that my friend told me about this great organization called the FFA. When I went to my first chapter FFA meeting I realized this was an organization that was for me that would help me overcome my fear of public speaking, grow as a leader, and let me explore my interest in agriculture.

I am really excited to serve as your Section 3 State FFA Officer this year! If you want to know more about me just send me a message or email. If you have any questions at all, need advice or someone to listen do not be afraid to send me a message. I am looking forward to a great year in Wisconsin FFA.

Meet Your Section 9 Officer
Jun. 29, 2017

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

Hello Wisconsin FFA! My name is Sam Pinchart and I am from the Luxemburg-Casco chapter and will be serving as your section 9 state FFA Vice-President. I graduated high school this last spring and will be attending South Dakota State University after my service in the FFA. At SDSU I will majoring in agricultural education and animal science. I will then pursue a teaching license and return to Wisconsin to become an agricultural instructor. My dream is not only to educate students about agriculture but to positively impact their lives as an agricultural educator. This year I intend to use my positive energy to attack every problem our section and state faces. I hope to utilize my strong enthusiasm for agriculture and agricultural education to help FFA members across Wisconsin.

I was born on a dairy farm in the small town of Casco. Around the age of 10 my parents converted their dairy farm into a beef operation. After saving money for years I bought my first cow when I was 11. Since then I have expanded my operation into about 25 beef cows. I dabbled in dairy, beef, poultry, and rabbit projects at my county and state fair. In high school I enrolled in 5 agriculture courses in order to broaden my horizons in agriculture. I have four SAE’s which include beef placement, beef entrepreneurship, diversified agricultural production, and agricultural education.

Outside of agricultural practices my favorite thing to do is play music. In high school I was in band class and belonged to many different bands. I played saxophone and percussion. In my spare time you can often find me playing a swing/jazz or pep tune with my saxophone or playing a “sick” beat on my drum set. I also belonged to many science clubs and organizations in high school. I have to admit that I am a science nut. In high school I took 7 science classes ranging in the areas of biology, physics, and chemistry in addition to my agriculture classes. I firmly believe that agriculture is a science, business, and technology based industry.

The last thing I want to leave you with is my philosophy. I believe we all have a purpose and that purpose is the same for each and every one of us. I believe we were put here to make someone else's life better. We do this through our passions and talents. My passion for agriculture and agricultural education has driven me to become a state officer. Why? I want to improve FFA members’ lives. I look forward to meeting FFA members across Wisconsin as I attempt to Live My Why. May your FFA journey be blessed and remember to always “Live Your Why.”

- Sam Pinchart, Section 9 State Vice-President

Amelia's Top 10
Jun. 29, 2017

Amelia Hayden - Vice President
Big Foot FFA Chapter
Section 10

Hey Wisconsin FFA! Serving you from Section 10, my name is Amelia Hayden and I am super excited to be a Vice President for Wisconsin FFA in the upcoming year! This year, the 2017-18 theme is “Live your Why” to encourage us to not only know why we do what we do, but also to share that why with others through our actions. So to help you get to know me, and because I am from Section 10; here are my Top 10 ‘Whys.’

10. Pancakes. I don’t know about you, but I get out of bed a lot quicker in the morning if we are having pancakes.
9. Learning all of the power claps.
8. Traveling to new places & learning more about the world around me.
7. The opportunity to tell terrible jokes
6. Hosting my Ag department’s hedgehog, Gusetta (legitimately her name) over the summer!
5. Living in the #1 cheese producing state! (We’re cheesin’ for a reason)
4. I would definitely not be here without the support of my home chapter & advisors.
3. My family. While I am an only child, I do have two fantastic ‘sisters’ that my parents hosted as foreign exchange students while I was in high school.
2. The opportunity to help others & show that I care.
1. And at number one on my list of whys, is YOU.

Now you all know why I’m here: from the silly why I get out of bed quickly (pancakes) to the most important why (you, the members). I look forward to getting to know each & every one of you, and to have the opportunity to live my why through my interactions with you! Reach out to me anytime, through Facebook or at ahayden@wisconsinffa.org

Grateful to have 20,864 whys,
Amelia Hayden

Section 6 Intro Blog
Jun. 29, 2017

Sam Jesse - Sentinel
Lodi FFA Chapter
Section 6

Hello Section 6!
My name is Sam Jesse and I am looking forward to serving you this year as your state sentinel. Here are 6 quick things about your Section 6 state officer.

1) My FFA experience began in seventh grade. I utilized FFA as an organization to show my steers. However, later that year at the FIRE conference I met my first state officer and was inspired. From that day on, I dreamed of becoming a state FFA officer. I have enjoyed my years of FFA, participating in Leadership Development Events (LDEs), National Ag Sales CDE and countless conventions and conferences.

2) I love all Wisconsin sports, whether I am watching the Badgers in the March Madness tournament, cheering on my favorite farmer, Jordy Nelson catching passes for the Green Bay Packers, seeing Bernie Brewer slide down the slide at Miller Park or my favorite of all, seeing the Greek Freak of the Milwaukee Bucks dominate the hardwood night after night.

3) Beef, it's what's for dinner. At least it is each night at my house. My SAE resides in Beef entrepreneurship where I manage a herd of cross-bred beef cows. With breeds ranging from black angus, red angus, charlois and shorthorn, each of my 12 cows is a descendant of my original cow purchased in seventh grade. But don’t worry, I've got milk too. I began working on my neighbor's dairy farm in seventh grade, originally just milking cows. I now chop silage and manage the farm when he is gone.

4) I graduated from Lodi High School in 2016 and currently attend Madison College at the Truax campus. I have one semester remaining before I will transfer to UW– Madison to pursue a degree in crop and soil science. I hope to one day become an agronomist and operate my own farm.

5) Growing up as the oldest of three children has been a great experience. It has been a pleasure to see what great kids my younger brother and sister have become. I am thankful for my family, having raised me with a strong faith in God, but for also teaching me to work hard and have fun. Though I live in a house of five, I have been raised alongside 32 amazing cousins as well as amazing aunts, uncles and grandparents who have supported me in all things.

6) I have always been fascinated by old things, be it 1940's farm magazines or an old Johnny Cash vinyl. But as a 14 year old, I was on the search for something different. I ultimately purchased a 1968 Chevy C10 Pickup from Southern Illinois for a steep $600. Needless to say, it needed some work. Thanks to my grandparents, family and a few community members, I was able to restore it in 2 years. Just in time for my 16th birthday.


I look forward to serving you all this coming year, if you ever need anything feel free to contact me!

Thank you,
Samuel Jesse

Meet Your Section 7 Officer
Jun. 29, 2017

Kathryn Lampi - Parliamentarian
Owen-Withee FFA Chapter
Section 7

Hey, Wisconsin FFA! My name is Kathryn Lampi, and I am from the Owen-Withee FFA Chapter in Section 7. I am so incredibly honored to serve each and every one during my year of service to Wisconsin FFA, representing Section 7. I graduated from Owen-Withee High School in 2016. I just finished my freshman year of college at the University of Wisconsin - River Falls majoring in Agricultural Education with minor in Farm Management. At college I am actively involved in Ag Ed Society, Intervarsity and Sigma Alpha.

I grew up on an 80 acre hobby farm in Owen, Wisconsin with my Mother and Father and two little brothers, Donny and Dylan. My passion for the agriculture industry began at a young age while spending lots of time on my own farm but also spending time on both of my grandfathers’ farms. The days of working with my grandfathers have taught me so many lessons, not just about agriculture, but also life lessons. I soon joined 4-H, where I showed rabbits at the county fair and began to develop as a leader.

I joined FFA the summer before my freshmen year in high school, that was the same summer our chapter was chartered after a 20 year break. I started my FFA career as the Chapter Sentinel and participated in the Creed Speaking Contest. I was also able to start my SAE program where I raised dairy goats on my farm that I hand milk. With the goat milk, I make soaps and have begun a successful business that I hope to continue to grow throughout my life. Throughout my FFA career I have gained so many life and career skills, gained so many friends and made unforgettable memories.

Ready to Serve,
Kathryn Lampi

Meet your Officer from Section 1
Jun. 28, 2017

Meikah Dado - Reporter
Amery FFA Chapter
Section 1

Hello! My name is Meikah Dado and I am from section one, serving as your state FFA Reporter! I will be sophomore at UW-Madison this Fall where I am working on a double major in Dairy Science and Life Sciences Communication. I am super excited for this year and hope to fill it with kindness, joy, and service! Here is a little about me and my FFA experience.

I began my FFA years as a middle school quiz bowl student. Although, I did not enjoy all of the memorizing of dates and names, it gave me the knowledge and start to the FFA I needed. I went on to participating in the creed, going to workshops, and enjoying all FFA had to offer me. I was able to keep my FFA ties while continuing to participate in other organizations and sports such as 4-H, student council, figure skating, choir, and band. I took advantage of the variety of activities FFA has to offer and I hope you do or will start to do the same!

The FFA grew my love for agriculture, and the dairy industry. My SAE is dairy proficiency. I grew up on my family’s 450 registered Holstein farm where I mostly worked with calves, but I also assist with heifer and cow management and field operations. I loved growing up on a dairy farm where I was able to experience hard work, joy, and perseverance all in the same day.

Now, as a Badger, I am involved with Association of Women in Agriculture, Collegiate Farm Bureau, and even an acapella church choir! I am very excited to share this year of service with you. Thank you for allowing me this opportunity. I am honored to serve as your section one state reporter!

Sincerely,
Meikah Dado

A Little About Ciera
Jun. 28, 2017

Ciera Ballmer - President
Clinton FFA Chapter
President

Hey, hey, hey Wisconsin FFA! My name is Ciera Ballmer and I beyond excited and humbled to serve as your Wisconsin FFA State President this year. I can’t wait to continue learning more about all of you and making memories with all of you this upcoming year! But first, here’s a few things you should know about me.

1. I love sporting the Blue Jacket! When I joined FFA in 7th grade, I was extremely excited to continue my family’s tradition and wear the Blue Jacket. I quickly realized that the FFA offered 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. Throughout my 8 years as a Clinton FFA member, I have thoroughly enjoyed participating in Dairy Judging, Speaking Contests, Food For America and Partners in Active Learning Support (PALS), and the Wisconsin FFA Honors Band.

2. I am a huge Badger fan! This fall, I will be a junior at the University of Wisconsin - Madison where I am majoring in Dairy Science with a certificate in Agricultural Business Management. After I receive my bachelor’s degree, I plan on pursuing a master’s degree in Agricultural Education so I can establish a career as an Agricultural Educator.

3. I not only love wearing the Blue Jacket, but I also bleed green! I was a 13 year 4-H member, and have done almost anything you can imagine in 4-H. Some of my highlights in 4-H were serving as the Rock County 4-H Jr. Leaders Council President, a Rock County 4-H Ambassador, and a camp counselor. Also, I loved participating in community service, playing 4-H softball, and being in the Rock County 4-H Showchoir, HeatWave. Just like FFA, 4-H allowed me to develop many life skills, travel to different places, and meet some amazing, life-long friends. Now, even though I’m too old to be a 4-H member, I enjoy continuing my connections through the organization as a leader.

4. My family is extremely important to me. They have instilled in me a love for agriculture, dairy cattle, and red tractors, and they have taught me how to enjoy and appreciate the little things in life. Whether we’re playing euchre all night long or singing along to the Pitch Perfect soundtrack the whole seven hour ride back from National FFA Convention, many of my favorite memories include my family.

5. I love arts and crafts! Drawing, painting, floral arranging, sewing, quilting, and so much more! I love using my creativity to create something truly unique.

I am extremely excited to serve Wisconsin FFA again this year! I hope to meet as many members and supporters as possible and help FFA members be aware of their opportunities in FFA so they can individualize their experience. If you ever have questions, please feel free to reach out and send an email to cballmer@wisconsinffa.org or find me on Facebook! I’m looking forward to a great year!

Forever True, Forever Blue.
Ciera Ballmer

Meet your Officer from Section 4
Jun. 27, 2017

Morgan Fitzsimmons - Vice President
Mineral Point FFA Chapter
Section 4

Hello, Wisconsin FFA! My name is Morgan Fitzsimmons and I am originally from the Mineral Point FFA Chapter located in Section Four. I am so excited and honored to be serving as a State Vice President on the officer team, and I look forward to getting to meet many of you.
I grew up on my family’s 500-acre dairy farm. This was my first interaction with agriculture and one I am still fond of today. I may have grown up on a dairy farm, but I love showing livestock with my family. More specifically, sheep, pigs, and even boer goats. We show on local, state, and national levels. I also worked in Military Ridge Veterinary Service as a Veterinary Technician Assistant. I worked to help ensure the clinic ran smoothly and efficiently. In FFA I enjoyed a variety of activities including Supervised Agriculture Experiences, Career Development Events, and Leadership Development Events. My SAEs included showing pigs, working in the veterinary clinic, working on my family’s farm, and teaching agriculture education. These SAEs allowed me to fill out several proficiency award areas including Swine Production Entrepreneurship, Veterinary Science, Diversified Livestock Production, and Agricultural Education. I competed in the Livestock Evaluation CDE and Meat Evaluation. I was fortunate to represent Wisconsin on the national level in the Livestock Evaluation contest. Finally, I was involved in Discussion Meet and Employability Skills throughout my time in competing in Leadership Development Events. I am excited to help serve you in your experiences based upon mine!
Growing up I was also very active in 4-H, and served as my county’s 4-H queen and participated in livestock judging and quiz bowl and meat judging. I also participated in Forensics, Band, and National Honor Society in high school. I am currently a freshman at Iowa State University where I am studying Animal Science. Finally, some fun facts, I love pigs, baking, and being in the outdoors.
I cannot wait for Sectional Leadership Workshops and chapter visits! In the meantime, in order to meet some of you please email or message me the answer to this question. What is your favorite summer activity? I cannot wait to hear from you!

Signing out from Section Four,

Morgan Fitzsimmons


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