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Officer Profiles

Leaders for All
Nov. 26, 2018

Lydia Williams - Reporter
Shawano FFA Chapter
Section 8

Hello Again Everyone,

With the Thanksgiving break behind us and the end of the fall semester coming up fast I wanted to take a moment to reflect on my chapter visit thus far. My time with our members has been one full of memories made and lessons learned. Although most of my time has been spent cheery and light-hearted, there have been moments that have required a more solemn attitude. One of these moments has repeated itself more than once.

During an activity in which students reflect on leaders in their lives, I have had several students share that they have no leaders to look up to. There are so many emotions that come forth all at once, but this unfortunate truth leaves me speechless every time.

I bring this up after Thanksgiving because I want all of us to remember and be thankful for the leaders that helped us get here today. Some of us may take these leaders for granted, I know I have, but I hope we all take this opportunity to appreciate their impact.

Finally, for those of you looking for a leader, don’t be afraid to start with your chapter advisor. If you aren’t comfortable there, strive to be your own leader, there is no reason you can’t be a role model for others and yourself. I challenge you to be the best that you can be.

Thanks again and take care,

Mitchell

Give Thanks Today and Every Day
Nov. 22, 2018

Grace Morrissey - Vice President
Shullsburg FFA Chapter
Section 4

It’s no secret that we seem to be hearing Christmas songs being played over the radio earlier and earlier every year. Even before Halloween, stores were advertising Christmas candies and TV shows were revealing “How to Score the Perfect Holiday Gift”. Don’t get me wrong, Christmas is one of my favorite times of the year. I love decorating with lights outside, putting up the Christmas tree, and sipping hot chocolate after a cold day. But, sometimes when we get so wound up in Christmas excitement, we tend to overlook a very special holiday: Thanksgiving!
We need to take a step back and realize how great Thanksgiving really is! It is so exciting every year to watch the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade or Football in the morning while you smell all the delicious food cooking that you are going to eat over the next few hours! But, thanksgiving is more than just food, fun parades, football, and shopping. It’s for spending time with family and reflecting on all of our great blessings.
It’s easy to forget how fortunate we all are to have houses to come home to, nutritious food on our dinner plates, schools to attend, and families that loves us unconditionally. The Thanksgiving holiday might only be celebrated one out of 365 days in a year, but that doesn’t mean we can’t have an attitude of gratitude every day!

Happy Thanksgiving,
Amber

Continuing the Traditions
Nov. 17, 2018

Daniel Clark - Vice President
Spencer FFA Chapter
Section 7

Hello Wisconsin FFA!

With rifle deer hunting underway, Thanksgiving just days away and Christmas right around the corner come many traditions. Traditions that happen year after year never changing. For some maybe deer hunting is your favorite tradition, hunting with all of your family. Others maybe you love Thanksgiving and Christmas dinner, sharing good food, funny stories and memories from throughout the years. Maybe it is secret Santa with your cousins or decorating the house for the holidays with your family. If you have read my profile you will see that cutting down the Christmas tree is my favorite holiday tradition.

This tradition is something that my family has done ever since I can remember. Going to the tree farm, walking the endless aisles of trees until we finally pick out the perfect tree. Then squeezing it through the front door and cutting off whatever necessary, so that way it can stand up without bending on the ceiling. Even after my older siblings and I have graduated high school and began college this tradition still remains in our family today. You see that is what is so special about traditions, they happen year after year never changing.

Looking back to the state FFA theme, Our Tradition. Our Future. Our Legacy. What are the traditions within your FFA chapter? What are your traditions as an FFA member? Do these traditions help to mold your future? Will they help change the lives of future FFA members? The holiday traditions we have as families are traditions that help make us who we are. As we grow up, move on and lose some of those we love, we are left with traditions, the legacies of those who came before us.

Today, tomorrow and every day forward push yourself to start a new tradition, leaving your legacy and changing the future for the better. If you ever need anything I am always happy to help, just give me a call, message me on Facebook or email me.

Continuing the traditions,
Jillian Tyler

Opportunities Are Presented
Nov. 12, 2018

Joe Schlies - Parliamentarian
Denmark FFA Chapter
Section 9

This past weekend we had the opportunity to make a stop in Stevens Point for the 212/360 Conference. This gave us the chance to catch up with old friends as well as make some new ones as we explored our virtues and vision.

In the 212 conference we looked at how our virtues can lead us down the right path and how we can use accountability partners to help us reach our goals. In the 360 conference we learned about how our vision and how we can use persistence to create followers and achieve our goals. In both conferences we are able to improve our leadership skills and learn more about how setting goals can help us be successful in creating plans for tasks we look to accomplish.

On Friday night we were able to meet new people on and off the dance floor at the Dance and Pizza Party. This was a time for members to interact with each other and meet new friends whether that was on the dance floor or through a friendly game of cornhole. All this fun was not had without sporting our best Red, White, and Blue outfits to show our thankfulness of the great country we live in.

These conferences are always a wonderful way to improve ourselves and those around us through the leadership skills gained. I am thankful to FFA for providing so many wonderful opportunities for us as members to take advantage of.

Remember to always be thankful for the opportunities we are presented with and take advantage of as many as possible in your years in the Blue Jacket.

Until Next time,
Sarah Calaway

Giving Thanks
Nov. 11, 2018

Jared Mack - Secretary
Sauk Prairie FFA Chapter
Section 6

Hey Wisconsin FFA!

I hope everyone has been doing swell during these past couple of blistery weeks! Seeing that snow has already been falling all across Wisconsin, it’s almost time to cut the evergreen trees down, hang the ornaments, and get the cookies and milk ready for the Christmas holiday season! But we must take a step back and first focus on another important day: Thanksgiving. Now, I know we all love Thanksgiving for the delicious food (Is three servings of stuffing socially acceptable?!?) and the time spent with family members that we may only get to see once or twice a year, but we must also remember the important significance of the day itself: giving thanks. Thanksgiving is one day out of 365 others that we take the time to reflect on all that we are blessed to have in our lives, as well as the people, places, and events that bring joy and purpose to our everyday existence. So, the real question is: What are you especially thankful for?

If you are anything like me, you might sometimes take for granted the people and experiences that have brought you to your present state of life. We sometimes forget to thank our parents or siblings for all they do to help us out, whether it be giving rides to and from practices, doing our chores, or cleaning our official dress after an FFA conference. It might slip our minds to remember all of the support and love that our friends and families give to our lives. We might sometimes forget all of the things that our FFA advisors do and sacrifice for us in order that we can compete at an FFA speaking contest or attend a leadership conference, such as Half-Time Conference or the Washington Leadership Conference. There are so many incredible things to be thankful for in each and every day of our lives, but yet there is only one day out of the year that we specially recognize and give thanks for everything we have and experience.

I ask you all to give thanks each day, for the little and big things, and for everything you experience, feel, and think. Give thanks daily for friends, family, and mentors in our lives who inspire and bring out the best in us. Be thankful for the clothes on our backs, the food in our bellies, and the roofs over our heads. Be thankful to play a role in an amazing industry such as agriculture, and for contributing to a long-standing legacy of feeding the world and being at the forefront of innovation and technology. Let us give thanks for the promise of better days through better ways, and for how we can contribute to the success of our future. Give thanks for all that we have done to get ourselves to where we are today, and the journey that lies ahead for each and every one of us to get where we want to go.

This holiday season and every day, remember to give thanks for all that we have, encounter, and dream. If you ever need anything, I am only a phone call, Facebook message, or email away! Have a wonderful next couple of weeks and enjoy the upcoming holidays!

Thankful and grateful,
Ashley

Goals and Gondola Rides
Nov. 10, 2018

Emily Sheehan - Sentinel
Parkview FFA Chapter
Section 5

Happy November, Wisconsin FFA!

November brings us from the picturesque cheery fall to a festive and bright December, bridging the gap between pumpkins and scary movies to hot cocoa and holiday cheer.

As I get into November and look forward to December, however, all I bring myself to thinking is how to make the most out of these cold winter months. Now, you see, I am not by any means a fan of winter, but there’s a few winter activities I can rally behind- one of those being snowboarding.

As we roll into the start of snow dusting the ground, I think back to one of my best memories from the winter is my family’s vacation to Lake Tahoe, California, for a ski trip with my sister as my dad went out for a business trip. We arrived at the start of Squaw Valley’s opening for the season, and Aidan and I were exposed to what true alpine snowboarding was like. Of course, I had been to the local ski hill back home, but here was a whole new ballgame, as saplings stood on the paths and steep trails connected me at the summit to the ground below.

After a quick ride up the gondola, I found myself at the top of the mountain. Now, here I am trying my best to make it from the top back down to the ground on courses more challenging than I ever expected, feeling the mountain air hit me as I snuck in and out from trees as I went down. As I flew down, I focused on the path directly ahead of me; I stared at my two feet. However, after a few runs, I felt bold, and lifted my head up to see the mountains stretch out below me. Trees dotted the landscape around Lake Tahoe, as I stood on top of the world! I saw the full picture of the beautiful Sierra Nevada mountains.

Oftentimes, we focus on our day to day tasks; we focus on our homework for the night, our next practice after school, or getting ready for the next FFA meeting and drag ourselves from activity to activity. We focus on only what was in front of us. However, we must focus on more than just what stands directly in front of us. We must look up from the ground in front of us, from the day to day activities, like we are on our own ski slope to see the entire picture, to see why we are where we are.

As we come into the middle of the school year and the cold days of winter, focus less on your next day and focus more on your goals. Take time to look past just another practice- see it as a chance to be with friends on your road to the playoffs. More than just another homework assignment, your nightly workload is part of the path to an education. An FFA activity is more than just one thing to plan- it’s building an FFA career for you and your members. Today is more than just one day; today is an opportunity to become great!

We need to never lose track of those big picture moments in our lives. We must always live with the mountains on our horizon.

Keep your head up,

Gaelan Combs

Fall is Here
Nov. 04, 2018

Curtis Weltzien - Treasurer
Arcadia FFA Chapter
Section 3

Hello Everyone,

Well, November’s here! The “Just One” and only National Convention has come and gone, Halloween is over, corn fields are getting cleaned off, bowhunting is in full swing, football season is getting serious, and the frosty mornings leave no doubt that winter’s on its way. What a beautiful time of year!

When I was in high school, I always looked forward to the start of November. I knew November meant harvest season which transitioned into deer hunting, which led to Thanksgiving, and before long, we’d be cutting down a Christmas tree. As Friday Night Lights started to fade and I prepared for basketball season, I remember thinking about all that had gone on up until this point and looked forward to all that was still coming. November was my tipping point. Once November hit, time seemed to grab another gear.

This year is no different. The transition to November has allowed me time to reflect on the past couple of months. It’s hard to believe how many people I’ve met and places I’ve visited on this journey of a lifetime so far. Between Sectional Leadership Workshops, FIRE Conferences, National Convention, and chapter visits, this fall has been one I will never forget. And as I reminisce on the experiences I’ve had so far, I can’t help but look forward to the remainder of the year. It’s coming. And it’s coming fast!

Let’s all take a moment in November to appreciate what we’ve accomplished and how we’ve grown so far and ponder what we aim to accomplish in the months ahead. I’m eager and enthusiastic to learn what the rest of the year has in store, and I hope you all feel the same. National Convention should have us all fired up, so let’s capitalize on that newfound ambition and use it to keep driving us forward through the FFA year. We’ve come a long way already, but we’ve got a long ways to go! Let’s keep the pedal to the medal and hold on tight because we have more to learn, more to experience, more FFA members to meet, and more memories to make. But we’re ready to rock, so bring it on!

Please let me know if I can ever be of assistance to you!

Take Care,
Collin

RA....
Nov. 01, 2018

Lindsey Augustine - Vice President
Ellsworth FFA Chapter
Section 2

In FFA we like to shorten the names of things, its just a fact of life. Who here has even heard of an RA? The first time someone said this did you think, "what in the word are you talking about?" RA...radically astonishing or retiring address? You be the judge.

The first time I went to national convention and sat through a national officers retiring address I was in awe. Since that time I have been hooked. Each year I look forward to hearing all the RAs, even if I'm not in attendance. I am not even ashamed to admit that there are RAs from past national officers still safely stored away on the DVR at home.

Since I have this fascination with RAs, you all may be surprised to learn that this year was actually the first time I have ever had the chance to attend all the sessions at national convention with RAs. I was in heaven! Just as I suspected, none of them disappointed this year. However, there was one in particular that stood out to me, and had me reaching for the kleenex in my bag.

Erica Baier really struck a cord inside me when she was on stage, it didn't help that they showed her getting emotional back stage during her RA. This RA was funny and relatable, similar to most. I was left in awe by how vulnerable she was during this time. She shared her story about something which is all to real and relatable to many of us, she shared her story and struggles of her last 6 months serving as a national officer and battling cancer. Many of us have been impacted in some way by cancer, and it has become all too familiar.

Erica not only shared about cancer but that she has fears, we all have fears. She challenged us to, "Stop fearing the fight and start fighting the fear." Later in her speech we all took a few seconds and were put in a situation that forced us to identify who and what in our lives were important. We aren't alone, there are many other people who care about us, so we need to "Stop fighting fear alone and start fighting fear together." We all have baggage, battles, fears we fight ever day some are larger than others, but we can all take the opportunity to take those things on together.

This was only one of the RAs this year, if you weren't at convention or if you missed a session go search on Facebook or Youtube if you need a little inspiration or a motivational message. I'll be honest, for the specific reason of feeling motivated and inspired when I'm having a bad day or maybe when I'm sick and want something to watch on TV that's why I have past RAs saved on the DVR.

Until Next Time,

Paige


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