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Officer Profiles

Hey There, Wisconsin FFA!
Jul. 30, 2016

Brenna Bays - President
Adams-Friendship FFA Chapter
President

Hello Wisconsin FFA and Welcome to the new State Officer Travel Blog!

It is an honor to be representing Wisconsin FFA for another year. My name is Brenna Bays and I am humbled to be serving as the 2016-2017 Wisconsin FFA President. I am a 2015 graduate from Adams-Friendship High School, where I was actively involved in FFA, 4-H, Dance Team, Band, NHS, and HERO (freshman mentoring program). I have grown up on my family’s third generation dairy farm in Adams, WI and have loved every minute of it. I developed my Dairy Production Placement SAE at a young age by going outside to do chores with my grandparents and father. I now partake in all the milking, feeding, record keeping, and cow and calf care. We have a 45-Holstein Cow herd, but we are in the middle of a transition to a replacement heifer operation rather than a milking operation! Besides my Dairy Production Placement SAE, I began my Diversified Livestock SAE in 3rd grade when I began purchasing Market Hogs to raise and sell at the Adams County Fair. In 6th grade, I began purchasing Market Beef to raise and sell at our County Fair too! Because of my experiences in FFA and Agriculture, I have decided to major in Agricultural Education at UW-Platteville. After college, my plans are to become an agricultural educator, continue helping out with the family farm, become an active FFA Alumni member, and volunteer to be a member of the Adams County Livestock Committee and the Adams County Fair Board.

As we can see, blogs this year are going to be a little different than in years past. Rather than each State FFA Officer having their own blog, the team decided to have a group blog. The State Officer Travel Blog will be updated weekly to keep everyone up to date on our many travels and experiences throughout this year. My hope is that we all stay up to date on the stories the State FFA Officers have to share.

Again, I am honored to be serving the Wisconsin Association of FFA for another year. I am excited to see what small acts we will create this year to make a big impact on ourselves, our chapters, our communities, and our association.

Yours Forever in Blue,

Brenna Bays
2016-2017 Wisconsin FFA President

The Upcoming Year
Jul. 29, 2016

Laura Munger - Secretary
Holmen FFA Chapter
Section 3

So there I was, just this past week, in the show arena at the La Crosse County fair. I was on my little seven year old 15 hand pleasure horse, Dexter. We were lined up waiting for the results of Grand Champion and Reserve Champion for Western Pleasure. The loud speakers came on, and they started to announce Reserve Champion, my best friend Jennifer’s name was called. They then proceeded to call out Grand, where I heard my name come out. I was in disbelief, there were at least ten horses in the arena that all qualified to be Grand Champion, yet Dexter was chosen. I had never won a Grand on Dexter, so at first I could not believe it. This year was one of my last years showing at the fair. After winning Grand Champion, I started to reflect on two things: how far I have come since my first ride, and how much I worked to get to the spot I am now.

The first time I ever got on a horse, it was a stubborn mare. As soon as I got on, she would immediately go to the middle of the arena, walk in a small circle, and refuse to leave or listen to any of my commands. We have all been in that situation before, when we feel we are just going in circles and not moving past the place we started. Maybe, like I did, we feel a little hopeless, and completely clueless of how to break that pattern. Sometimes, we just need to ask for help, if I hadn’t, I would probably still be fighting that stubborn horse and walking around in circles.

The hard work. The time and frustration and achievements that followed my first ride on that horse. A few years later, I was on Dexter for the first time. My initial thought was “This horse is small, pretty laid back, and seems easy to control.” When people say don’t judge a book by its cover, listen to them, because I was very wrong about Dexter. One of my first shows on him proved that. I was in my Western Pleasure class riding around the arena, when Dexter decided he had had enough for the day, and took off bucking through the entire arena. Once I managed to stop him, I was confused, emotionally hurt, and disappointed that he had done that. I felt defeated. I thought my entire year of hard work was worthless.

After that show, I approached Dexter in a different way, I looked at each of his actions and behaviors in a new perspective, and was better able to work with him. I decided to work from the ground up. I took extra time doing the small things with him, so that I could learn how his mind works, and he could learn to trust me.

Two years later, we were at the county fair, and our names were announced for Grand Champion Western Pleasure. That award meant more than just the five minute ride of which we were being judged. That award recognized the first time I ever got on a horse, to the time I first showed Dexter, and then the many other challenges we faced between the time he first bucked and now.

From what I have realized, there are going to be multiple struggles from the time you start, to the time you end. When things feel like they are not going anywhere but in circles, ask for help, break the pattern. When faced with a barrier, find a new way to overcome it, and change your perspective.

I’m going to live my year as a WI State FFA Officer a lot like I did when I was first learning to ride. Throughout this year, I’m going to do three things:
1) I am always going to remember my roots, where I came from, and my first ride in FFA.

2) I am going to offer my help to others that may be on that stubborn horse. I’ll help them stop going around in circles, and help them realize that sometimes it’s best to build from the ground up. I will look at each challenge I face with a new perspective, and think of them not as a sign of weakness, but as a chance for growth.

3) Lastly, just like my ride this past week with Dexter. I’ll remember that succeeding feels good; but in the end, knowing you stuck with it even in challenging times when you didn't want to, THAT is what makes a champion.

Meet your Section 7 Officer!!
Jul. 27, 2016

Ashley Zimmerman - Vice President
Spencer FFA Chapter
Section 7

Hello Wisconsin FFA my name is Ashley Zimmerman from the Spencer FFA chapter and I am currently serving as one of your State Vice Presidents. I got my start in FFA and Agricultural Education at a young age. Both of my parents have degrees in Agricultural Education and with my dad being an Ag teacher and FFA advisor for 28 years I have had the opportunity to be around FFA for my entire life. Although I have been around it for 19 years I really got involved when I was in seventh grade. I got my first official FFA experience through the junior high quiz bowl contest and being elected as the junior high treasurer. Since then I have gotten very involved in a variety of FFA opportunities. I have competed in numerous speaking contests including FFA Creed Speaking, Prepared Public Speaking, Job Interview, and Discussion Meet making it to the National level in Creed Speaking and Prepared Public Speaking. These contests have really helped me to grow as a person because when I was younger I was extremely shy. Another opportunity I took advantage of was my Supervised Agricultural Experiences and Proficiency Awards. I have four SAEs including Beef Production Entrepreneurship, Swine Production Entrepreneurship, Sheep Production Entrepreneurship, and Agricultural Education. The two SAE areas I really focused on were Beef Production and Agricultural Education. I have been raising Purebred and Percentage Simmental cattle with my family for twelve years. I have shown my cattle at the local, state, and national levels being successful at each level with my bred and owned heifers. Through my Agricultural Education SAE I created Agriscience Camp and created and updated Agricultural Literacy programs for our Agricultural Education department. These are programs that have helped to educate elementary students about agriculture in a hands-on way. I have worked hard to grow and improve my programs enough to be recognized at the state and national levels with both Beef Production and Agricultural Education proficiencies earning gold at the state level and being named the 2015 National FFA Agricultural Education proficiency winner. I was also named the 2015 Wisconsin FFA Star Farmer and runner-up for Wisconsin FFA Star in Agricultural Placement. Supervised Agricultural Experience programs are excellent opportunities to find a future career. My SAEs have led me to my future career. I am currently a student at the University of Wisconsin-River Falls majoring in Agricultural Education with a minor in Animal Science. I hope to attend South Dakota State University or Kansas State University to obtain a master’s degree in either Agricultural Education or Animal Science. My career goal is to become an Agricultural Education Instructor and FFA Advisor or work for a livestock based company. I hope to use all of my experiences from my time in FFA to help students take advantage of all the opportunities available to them and become successful with each of them.

I am looking forward to working with each one of you throughout this year and I am excited to see how each member can make an impact!!

Who's the guy in Section 2?
Jul. 25, 2016

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

What's up Wisconsin FFA! My name is Caleb Green and I'm rolling out of Section 2 as one of your State Vice Presidents! I am super excited to work with each and every one of you! However, before I have the privilege of meeting all of you, you guys deserve the chance to know a little bit more about me. I'm from the town of Stanley, Wisconsin. I never grew up on a farm, and lived in town for most of my life. Through my four years of High School, I was involved in FFA, Math Team, and Science Olympiad. I was also a three sport athlete in Football, Basketball, and Track& Field. I became active in all of these my freshman year. Some other clubs and organizations I was a part of in High School include FCCLA, FBLA, Drama Club, Student Council, and the Freshman Mentor Program. With all of these things to do, I never had a lot of time to have a typical SAE, so I decided to take advantage of what I had at the time and did the Food Service Supervised Agricultural Experience through my work at McDonald's.

I got involved in FFA by taking an agriculture class my freshman year. From there, it all took off. I began participating in contests and heard about all the cool trips that were offered. My favorite contest by far was the Forestry CDE. I really liked getting out and working with all of the different variety of trees Wisconsin has to offer. My Junior year, the team was fortunate enough to make it to the National contest. Sadly, this meant I had to find a new contest to poar myself into. That's when I fell in love with Job Interview. I also have competed in Parliamentary Procedure and Nursery/Landscape. I was also the Student Advisor for my chapter my Junior and Senior year. This position gave me the opportunity to work with the awesome middle school members.

My family is a huge reason I am here. It consists of my parents, Glen and Shannon Green, and my two younger sisters, Madelynn and Issabella. I love watching sports and throwing shot put in my free time.

Now that you guys know a little bit more about me, I can't wait to get to know all of the great members Wisconsin FFA has!

Until next time,
Caleb Green

Who's that Section 4 Officer?
Jul. 25, 2016

Kari Fischer - Parliamentarian
Argyle FFA Chapter
Section 4

Hello Wisconsin FFA! My name is Kari Fischer from Argyle, Wisconsin, and I will be serving as your 2016-2017 Wisconsin State FFA Parliamentarian. I have grown up in Argyle my entire life and have many values and morals that are rooted from the community. My mother and grandfather used to own the local grocery store in town, therefore I was exposed to all members of the community and everything it had to offer. No matter where I go in Wisconsin, Argyle always holds a special place in my heart. I am the daughter of Roger Fischer and Caroline Rossing, both who live in Argyle and have supported my FFA career from the beginning. I also had the privilege of growing up with three sisters, Kelli, Kim, and Krista. All three went through FFA and it’s from watching and learning from them that I decided to join the FFA. I was quite young when my sisters Kelli and Kim were in high school, so while being babysat, I often attended FFA meetings with them. Those were my first experiences in FFA and while I didn’t quite understand everything that was happening, I knew I wanted to join when I was older. So that’s where my FFA experiences began! Through the years life had changed and I eventually did join FFA my seventh grade year. My family also grew with my father becoming remarried and my stepmother Christy, two stepsisters Ana and Kayla, and a little brother Chase, joined the family. Throughout high school, I was very involved in FFA, being elected as an officer all four years of high school, being presented various awards, and attending almost every single event. I was also involved in activities outside of FFA that were important to me, including softball, National Honor Society, Student Council, Art Club, Drama Club, and Class President. The FFA and my other activities have shaped me into the individual I am today.
Now, what about that crazy thing called an SAE. Do I have one? Of course I do! Since I grew up in a grocery store, if allowed, I could have started my SAE in kindergarten. That isn’t allowed though, and my first SAE project began in seventh grade in agricultural sales. My mother and grandfather always strived to find local producers and sell their products in our store. Therefore, I had the opportunity to learn about our local producers and how agriculture affects our area. Another SAE project that I started in seventh grade was dairy production. Even though I didn’t grow up on a dairy farm or any farm for that matter, I had very generous family friends who allowed me to show their dairy cattle every year at the Lafayette County Fair. I have continued this SAE throughout high school and am considering extending it to next year as well. My third SAE project was in food service. For two years in high school, while still juggling my activities and schoolwork, I had a part time job at a local Subway. There, I served customers and prepared food.
Coming from a small school, I haven’t had the most experiences in FFA. Due to our size, we were limited on many of the activities that we could do on the state and national level. I hope that this year will be a learning experience for not only you members, but also for me. I know that you all have so much knowledge and expertise in certain areas of FFA, and I’m ecstatic to listen and learn from all of you. If you have any more questions for me, want to to get to know me better, or just need someone to talk to about FFA in general, feel free to shoot me an email whenever you want or need to. Thank you so much Wisconsin FFA for electing me as one of your state officers. It’s an honor and I can’t wait to serve and meet all of you throughout this great state.

Sincerely,
Kari Fischer

Hello Wisconsin FFA!
Jul. 25, 2016

Travis Cadman - Sentinel
East Troy FFA Chapter
Section 10

Hello Wisconsin FFA my name is Travis Cadman and it is my honor, my pleasure, and my service to be your State Sentinel from section 10! Just a little about myself I grew up in East Troy where I was involved in wrestling and FFA. I competed in speaking contests such as the Creed, Job Interview, and Discussion. When I am not sweating it out on a wrestling mat or working on a FFA event I am working with my swine projects. There is nothing I enjoy more then raising, caring, and exhibiting the swine my cousins and I produce. I exhibit my swine projects at a county, state, and national level. I will be attending UW-Platteville after my term and will be majoring in Agriculture Education. My dream is to take over the Cadman Farm, get my swine operation in the direction I would like it to go, and to also become an Agriculture educator anywhere that is close to home.

I got involved in FFA when I was a freshman, my FFA Advisor who was also my wrestling coach,
asked if he could see me after wrestling practice. So after practice I stepped into his office. There he asked if I was interested in going to the FFA National Convention that was being held in Indiana. Surprised that he asked me since juniors and seniors are usually the only ones that go I took him up on the opportunity. And my life was forever changed. I saw how many FFA members there were and I knew I wanted to become a member. After meeting members from different states and really learning about the FFA organization, my chapter and I had the opportunity to sit and listen to Alicia Hodniks retiring address. After her emotional and empowering speech I knew not only did I want to become a FFA member, but also a Chapter Officer and a State Officer.

My family has always supported me through all the things I have done, whether it is a sport or a speaking contest. I know that when I see them the first thing they will say is "you did a great job." My parents Mark and Tammy have seen their child get slammed on to the mat, and have seen their child receive awards for the work ethic they have taught me. With my parents support, there is one person that will always motivate me and that person is my older sister Emily. She has cerebral palsy and can not walk. She has been a 4-H and FFA member, a 4-H and FFA Officer, and is now a 4-H State Officer. Nothing has ever stopped her, when something slows her down she just says she has a different ability not a disability and then she achieves her goals.

Well my FFA family that is all about me I hope you enjoyed this blog and if you would like to get a hold of me my email is tcadman@wisconsinffa.org please do not be shy!

Until next time,
Travis Cadman

Who am I?
Jul. 24, 2016

Hannah Taylor - Reporter
Poynette FFA Chapter
Section 6

Hello FFA! My name is Hannah Taylor and I am so excited to be serving as your Section 6 Wisconsin State FFA Officer and State Reporter. Being a state FFA officer has always been a dream of mine, which is funny considering it all still feels like a dream. I’m not sure when it will finally sink in, but I’m just ready to enjoy this crazy ride! Let me tell you a bit about who I am.
I am a crazy sheep girl! I am one of four children in my family. We have all raised and shown sheep since we were old enough to walk. Our family vacations are actually national sheep shows. I personally have my own flock of Southdown sheep, with about 15 ewes and 2 rams. My sheep are my babies and I love them!
I am a K-State Wildcat! Last year I finished my freshman year at Kansas State University, majoring in Agricultural Communications and Journalism with a minor in Spanish. I chose K-State because I wanted to find a competitive livestock and meats judging program and I love the family atmosphere there. I lived in a cooperative living house called Alpha of Clovia, a house for women who were in 4-H/FFA or similar backgrounds. I would not have survived my freshman year without my Clovia sisters and am so thankful that I found a house full of my best friends.
I am a band geek! I play the French horn in concert band and the mellophone for marching band. For those of you who don’t know what a mellophone is, it looks like a giant trumpet. I marched in the K-State Marching Band last year and had a blast. However, my all-time favorite bands to play in were the Wisconsin State FFA Honors band and the National FFA Honors band.
I am also an amateur chef, a fairly bad driver, an elementary-level artist, a Harry Potter fanatic, and a child at heart! I am super thrilled to start my year as a state officer and I can’t wait to meet all of you! We have an amazing year ahead!

5 Things to Know about Ciera
Jul. 24, 2016

Ciera Ballmer - Vice President
Clinton FFA Chapter
Section 5

Hey Wisconsin FFA! My name is Ciera Ballmer and I am beyond excited to serve Section 5 and Wisconsin FFA as a 2016-17 State FFA Vice President! Here are 5 things you should know about your Section 5 State FFA Officer.

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 7 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 sophomore at the University of Wisconsin - Madison where I am majoring in Dairy Science with a certificate in Agricultural Business Management. After I receive my Bachelors 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 am a 13 year 4-H member, and have done almost anything you can imagine in 4-H. Some of my highlights in 4-H are serving as the Rock County 4-H Jr. Leaders Council President, a Rock County 4-H Ambassador, and a Camp Counselor. Also, I have 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.

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 7 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. One of the many things that I am looking forward to this year as a State FFA Officer is making flip charts with everyone’s favorite, “Mr. Sketch,” markers! So if you ever need help making a poster, I’m your girl!

I am extremely excited to serve Wisconsin FFA this year! I hope to meet as many members 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!

Yours truly,
Ciera Ballmer

All About Me!
Jul. 24, 2016

Sarah Van Asten - Vice President
Wrightstown FFA Chapter
Section 9

Hello Wisconsin FFA! My name is Sarah Van Asten, and I am ecstatic to serve as your 2016-2017 FFA State Vice President. I am very excited to get to know each and every one of you but first, let me tell you a little bit about myself.
I grew up on a hobby beef farm in Wrightstown, Wisconsin. We had beef, swine, rabbits, dogs, and of course, a ton of kittens. From an early age I had been excited about agriculture; however, I had no idea the plethora of opportunities that would become available to me. I joined the FFA when I was an eighth grader at Wrightstown Middle School. It was from this class on, my passion for agriculture truly began. As my high school career began, I became involved with my FFA activities. A few activities include speaking contests, Ag issues, Ag marketing, and fundraising for my local chapter. Outside of FFA I was involved with National Honor Society, Vacation Bible School, Sting Cancer, and Yearbook Club. My SAEs including Beef Production-Placement, as a raised beef cattle on my grandfather’s farm, and Agricultural Education-Placement; I worked with my local Ag department implementing my lessons and labs into the classroom.
I was very involved in high school but it is my family that is most important to me. My parents, Tom and Susan, have been my biggest supporters since I was born. I have a brother, Bryan, who is 32; he is married and has two beautiful boys, Devyn and Damian. My older sister, Jacqi, who is 30, is married and the mother of my godchild, Clay. I also have a younger sister, Samantha, who is 16; she definitely not old enough to be married so you can find her playing soccer with all of her friends.
Here is a little bit about me but my year as a state officer is about YOU. I cannot wait for what this year has in store, and I hope that I can be of service to all of you. It’s going to be an awesome year!

Get to know the new officer in 8
Jul. 24, 2016

Dani Angotti - Vice President
Freedom FFA Chapter
Section 8

Hello Wisconsin FFA my name is Dani Angotti from the Freedom FFA chapter in section 8! I’m very excited to be serving as your 2016-2017 State Vice- President. I can’t wait to meet and work with you all, but first here is a little about me.

My FFA experience all began when I was a freshman. My dad was an FFA member and I couldn't wait to be one either! I joined as soon as I could. I always stayed very involved in FFA and took advantage of any opportunity that came my way. FFA was easily my favorite high school activity!

Apart from FFA in high school I participated in many things throughout my four years of high school. I was a cheerleader, played soccer, did forensics, auto club, yearbook and many other various activities. In high school, I also really enjoyed band. I played the clarinet and I also started to learn the alto saxophone and piano. I even had the opportunity to play in both the state and national FFA Bands and had a ton of fun and met so many people while doing so!

Thee Next thing to know about me is that love cows! I currently own a heifer and a few steers. But, I don’t live on a farm. All of my animals stay at my grandparents farm which is only a few miles from my house. I show at the Outagamie County Fair along with other various shows around the state! I also show pigs, but only at the county fair. My family is also starting to breed pigs! We will hopefully have some piglets in a few months!

My college and career plans are to attend UW- River Falls next year to earn a degree in Agricultural Education. My goal is to become an Agricultural Educator and FFA Advisor in the Fox Valley area.

Next, My family is pretty important to me. My parents names are Daniel and Michelle Angotti and I also have 2 sisters! There names are Sam and Grace. Sam will be a junior and Grace will a freshman. I’m also pretty close to my grandparents on each side. I know I can count on any of them to be there for me, no matter what!

I hope everyone enjoys the rest of their summer and if you need me for anything don't be afraid to email me at dangotti@wisconsinffa.org.

See you all soon,

Dani

Meet Your State Officer!
Jul. 22, 2016

Rylee Black - Treasurer
Amery FFA Chapter
Section 1

Hey, Wisconsin FFA! I hope you all are having an awesome summer! For those of you I haven’t had the pleasure of meeting, my name is Rylee Black. I am from the Amery FFA chapter and live in Deer Park, WI. Because I will be representing Section 1 for 2016-17, I figured a few of you might want to know a little about this random girl from a tiny town that you probably haven’t heard of before.

I grew up on a small hobby farm just North of Deer Park. I grew up playing, fighting, and laughing until I felt like I was going to puke with my two amazing brothers, Sam and Shane. I started showing beef cattle with my younger brother Sam when I was nine years old. I now raise a few purebred Charolais and club calves to show. Shortly after beginning to show cattle, I fell in love with showing horses, too. They are two of my biggest hobbies.

Besides showing livestock, I also enjoy sports and working out. Staying healthy is very important to my health physically, but also taking a break to work on myself helps keep me sane when things get a little chaotic. I did the long jump, relays, and the 800 in track and played volleyball in high school.

My favorite activity in high school was by far the FFA. My local FFA chapter was and always will be like a family to me. My advisor Mr. Derrick Meyer and many other mentors throughout my FFA career have given me the support and guidance to get me where I am today. I will openly admit I couldn’t have done it alone. In FFA, I participated in every speaking contest except the Discussion Meet. I also loved the Agronomy, Livestock Evaluation, and Horse Evaluation Career Development Events. I could go on and on about all of the FFA events I participated in and how much I loved them, but to save you some time, I’ll give you the short version: I love the FFA, the people it has blessed me with meeting, the opportunities it has given me, and everything the association stands for.
If you have any questions about myself or about the FFA, feel free to email me at rblack@wisconsinffa.org or find me on facebook! I am so excited to have been given the opportunity to serve you as members and the association as a whole as a Wisconsin State FFA Officer! I hope that I can use my talents and experiences to pay it forward by doing everything in my power to make each FFA member’s experience with the FFA an influential one. I am a strong believer in the idea that small, random acts of kindness as simple as striking up a conversation with someone you don’t know or even just saying hello as you pass a stranger in the parking lot can greatly impact their day for the better. Small acts truly can make a big impact.


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