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Officer Profiles

Trying Something New
Apr. 25, 2017

Ashley Zimmerman - Vice President
Spencer FFA Chapter
Section 7

Every accomplishment starts with a decision to try. This is a quote that most FFA members live by whether they realize it or not.

Over the last couple of weeks, I have had the opportunity to attend eight banquets all of which have been nothing short of amazing! I have loved getting to see the different banquet programs from these chapters. I have seen everything from Alumni support during an auction, FFA chapters celebrating anniversaries, to a legit FFA rap! These members truly love what they do and do what they love! These FFA members have shown what a decision to try can really do.

On Monday night, I had the opportunity to attend the Auburndale FFA banquet. This year is a special year for their chapter as they are celebrating 80 years! During the banquet the officers noted some huge highlights of their chapter since their charter. It was amazing to see so many supporters and Alumni for their chapter at the banquet celebrating these milestones with them. These FFA members who are accomplishing their goals today is because of the members who made the decision to try chartering a new FFA chapter in 1937.

Many times, advisors talk about their members who are receiving an award or retiring from an officer position. Advisors always say how that member who started out as a shy middle or high school student decided to try something new whether it was joining the quiz bowl team or running for chapter office.

It is amazing to see so many new members receiving their first FFA degree pins or recognition for competing in their first competitions. They are the members who are creating a strong future for the FFA and will continue their strong chapter traditions. These new members eventually transform into high school seniors receiving their senior medals, retiring chapter officer plaques, and ultimately putting on official dress for one of the last times.

Every accomplishment starts with a decision to try. So whether you are just starting in FFA or closing in on your last couple of months as a high school member every accomplishment that you have received is because you made the decision to try out being a member of the FFA.

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

Changing the Guard
Apr. 23, 2017

Hannah Taylor - Reporter
Poynette FFA Chapter
Section 6

A few years ago I went to Washington DC with my high school band. We got to see lots of amazing sights, but one that will always stick with me is watching the changing of the guard at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. What struck me most was the pride and honor with which the soldiers pass on their duty.

I was recently able to attend the Mauston FFA Banquet and hear one of their advisors, Mr. Hines, give one last thank you speech as he retires after 39 years of teaching Ag. When he talked about the new generation taking over, he referred to it as the “Changing of the Guard.” These words automatically brought back the image of the soldiers passing on their sacred duty with such pride.

We have all heard many times about the aging farmer and what that means for agriculture. According to the Department of Labor, the average age of a farmer in the US is 58 years old. We may also know that many Ag teachers like Mr. Hines are getting ready to retire and hand their positions over to the next generation. I have thought of these issues many times, but hearing Mr. Hines refer to it as “Changing of the Guard” gave it a whole new meaning.

Of course passing on our duties in agriculture should be taken with honor and pride. It is our job to keep people safe and healthy through a secure and bountiful food supply. Whether it means coming back home to take over the family farm or getting certified to teach agriculture and continuing the legacy that our own Ag teachers have upheld, it is going to soon be our turn to take over. So as we look forward to taking on those valued responsibilities we should always bear in mind the pride with which we serve and strive to reach the standards that past generations have set for us.

Thank you so much to Mr. Hines and all the retiring ag teachers and farmers, for all you have done and continue to do for not only the agriculture industry, but for the whole world in effect.

Forever blue. Forever true,
Hannah Taylor

Don't Blink
Apr. 19, 2017

Ciera Ballmer - Vice President
Clinton FFA Chapter
Section 5

One thing about my year as a State Officer is that it has been filled with many car rides. Driving to and from Chapter Visits, leadership conferences, and now banquets, I have spent many miles on the road. And honestly, I have learned to love car rides as my car rides are always filled with many good karaoke jam sessions and a lot of quality time to think and reflect.

Just over a week ago, on my way home from the Belleville FFA Banquet, one of my favorite throwback songs came on the radio: “Don’t Blink” by Kenny Chesney. I use to just think this song had a good sound and a great story. But suddenly when I heard it again that Sunday night, this song really stuck with me and gained a whole new meaning.

As I was singing along, “I've been trying to slow it down. I've been trying to take it in. In this here today gone tomorrow world we're living in. Don’t blink,” those lyrics really stuck with me.

It’s banquet season in the FFA world which means we are quickly approaching the end of the school year and the end to yet another year in Wisconsin FFA. Being in the banquet mindset and hearing this song, I couldn’t help but connect it with my last year. It seems like just yesterday when my teammates and I were introduced as State Officers at the 2016 Wisconsin FFA Convention. Like it was just yesterday when we starting meeting all of the amazing Wisconsin FFA members at Sectional Leadership Workshops and chapter visits. And like it was just yesterday when we celebrated National FFA Week. But now we are less than two months away from the 2017 Wisconsin FFA Convention! So much has happened within the last year, it really is amazing!

No matter how small, every single moment and every memory this last year with FFA, especially those spent with Wisconsin FFA members and supporters, really has been a blessing, and it all really has gone by extremely fast.

So as we prepare to turn the page on this FFA year, let’s remember to stop and take a moment to look back on all the great times. Stop and take the time to cherish the moment. Stop and take a moment to listen to the music, because you never know what you may learn from it. Whether it’s “Don’t Blink,” “Fast,” “You’re Gonna Miss This” or another classic, there really are so many great songs that remind us to take a moment to stop and cherish the moment you’re in.

Kenny Chesney couldn’t have said it better, because looking back, it goes by a lot faster than you think. It really does go fast, but we can slow it down by taking that time to appreciate the little things.

Don’t Blink,
Ciera

Thank You Seniors.
Apr. 18, 2017

Kari Fischer - Parliamentarian
Argyle FFA Chapter
Section 4

Happy April Wisconsin FFA!

I hope every single one of you had a fabulous Easter and a nice, relaxing break from school. Now, during this break, we probably ALL saw how beautiful it was outside, right? 60 degrees, sunny, and just so nice out that we didn’t want to go back to school at all though. But, whether it was Monday, Tuesday, or whatever other day, we all found ourselves sitting back at school in our desks again. You see, you all have something that I called the “Pre-Summer Jitters” when I was in high school. Our thoughts loom towards the many adventures that we’ll be having this summer with our friends, the money that we’ll be making during our summer jobs, and how relaxed and stress free the next few months will be. But remember FFA students to “be all there” these next few weeks in school. Being an active FFA member is a precious, short amount of time. Some of us may have six years total, some four, but either way we should be living in the moment and appreciating the time that we have now in our local FFA chapters, because we’re never going to get that time back. As a high school freshman, sophomore, and junior, I never realized how precious and important those moments were until my senior year, and I bet that’s what a lot of high school seniors are thinking now. So, with that thought, I want to send a huge thank you to our senior leaders out in our FFA chapters. For some, you may have been involved since 7th grade, or maybe you just joined this year, but either way you have created a lasting impact on your FFA chapter that will last for years to come. You’ve spent countless hours assisting your FFA advisor with tasks, drummed up thousands of dollars in sales for your Fruit Sales, and won a few awards along the way. You have all made the Wisconsin FFA so much more amazing and successful and I wish you all the best on your future endeavors, whether that’s in the agriculture industry or not. Just remember that FFA has prepared you with the skills and talents needed to succeed in your future career. So seniors and Wisconsin FFA, enjoy your last month of May and make it one that will be remembered for a lifetime.

May the Force Be With You,

Kari Fischer

Leading on to Others
Apr. 12, 2017

Laura Munger - Secretary
Holmen FFA Chapter
Section 3

This past Monday, Ashley and I had the chance to attend the World Food Prize in Madison. During this event, high school students were able to come together and present their solution for one factor that challenges a specific country. Students brought forth ideas from vertical farming, incorporating agricultural technology, and increasing means of education into our society. The discussion was fascinating, and the ideas would be able to impact the lives of so many people around the world.

As I was observing the presentations, one girl's story pulled on my heartstrings a little more than the others. Veronica told her story about her childhood in Ukraine during the civil war and tension that has threatened the lives of millions. Veronica told us about how her country's capitol was bombed only thirty minutes from her house. She told us of the fear many Ukrainians live with every day, the hoops they have to jump through for basic survival necessities, and the inability to confidently fight back because of the lack of education.

Veronica's eyes glistened with emotions as she talked about her home country and the turmoil they live in. She gushed over her chance to come to the United States to attend school for a few months as an exchange student. She talked about how she learned about so much more than the basic subjects in her classes. She was first exposed to the concept of volunteering, which she hadn't heard of before. Veronica explained how she found her voice through the community service, Leadership Development Events, and chapter activities she participated in through her school's FFA chapter. Veronica had seen two completely different worlds within the two countries, and was determined to close the gap between them.

Veronica's World Food Prize plan was to help more people benefit from the exchange program. She hoped that they will be able to return to their country and help educate others in their community about how they can help end the turmoil. Veronica became a leader and gained a voice and has developed a goal of helping others do the same.

Show Off Those Mad Skills!
Apr. 08, 2017

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

With Regional Career Development Events in the books and the State contest right around the corner, I have learned something great: Wisconsin FFA members have some mad skills. From agronomy to wildlife, our members have some outstanding skill and knowledge of the CDEs they participate in. It truly is something special.

Have you ever seen a livestock, horse, or dairy cattle CDE competitor give oral reasons? It is spectacular. They really know how to use their vocabulary and knowledge of the area to put together some convincing reasons. I really encourage you to check it out.

How about watching a floriculture participant put together an arrangement? Definitely impressive. Knowing where to place the flowers along with the knowledge of the flower types.in general is fascinating.

Another impressive event is my personal favorite in the forestry CDE. Seeing members find DBH, merchantable height, and even pacing between points, for sure astounding. They really know how to work with all of the different tools a forester would need.

I have seen all of this and more in just the regional contests. I can't wait to see the improvement to be made for the State contest in Madison. If you have never tried a CDE before, I definitely recommend it. Keep on working hard and striving for greatness.

Until next time,
Caleb Green
Wisconsin FFA State Vice President

Attitude Is Everything
Apr. 05, 2017

Rylee Black - Treasurer
Amery FFA Chapter
Section 1

The other day, my friend Libby told me a story that really resonated with me. It was more of a parable than a story. Libby is just one of those people who has a story to teach any lesson. I'm still not sure if she has an old soul or just watches too many TED talks. Anyway, the following is the story she told me:

There was a woman with beautiful, luscious locks of hair. She was very proud of her hair. One night, she went to bed. When she awoke, she had only three hairs left on her head. Instead of freaking out and becoming upset about the loss of her beautiful hair, she said, "I was planning to try wearing my hair in a braid today anyway!"

The next day, she awoke again but only had two hairs left on her head. Again, she did not get upset. Instead, she said, "I guess I'll try a middle part today!"

On the third day she woke up with only one hair left on her head. She still did not get mad or freak out. She simply said, "This will be the easiest ponytail ever!" and went on with her day.

Finally, she woke up again with no hairs left. For pretty much every girl and even most guys, waking up bald would be one of the most horrifying things they could think of. This girl however, decided to say, "I'll never have a bad hair day again!"

Attitude is everything. We ultimately have control of our lives. We can't impact everything. It's unrealistic to think that aren't outside factors that we can't influence, but how we react is what makes the biggest difference. The saying goes, life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you respond to it. We all have the ability to remain optimistic and to keep on moving, even during the most challenging of times.

National Ag Day
Mar. 31, 2017

Brenna Bays - President
Adams-Friendship FFA Chapter
President

Hey Wisconsin FFA!

Time has been flying by quickly, especially since the State FFA Convention is nearly 70 days away. Two weeks ago, Kari Fischer and I flew out to Washington DC to celebrate National Agriculture Day on Capitol Hill. We met up with Past Wisconsin FFA Officer and current AFA (Agriculture Future of America) member Jared Retzlaff at the National 4-H Center in Chevy Chase, Maryland. While at the National 4-H Center, we worked with attendees from many colleges and organizations from all across the country to create our message. We listened to Agriculture Policy experts share how agriculture is being brought up in upcoming policy and different proposals included in the upcoming Farm Bill. Within the groups representing our states, we worked together to create the messages we were to share with legislators on Capitol Hill. We created our purpose, shared our agriculture story, and then created an ask of keeping the youth of the agriculture industry at the forefront of their minds when discussing and voting on upcoming agriculture policies.

On National Agriculture Day, which was March 21, 2017, Kari, Jared and I met with the offices of Senator Johnson, Senator Baldwin, and Congressman Ryan to share our agriculture stories. We enjoyed being able to provide a perspective of upcoming agriculturists on topics ranging from internship and apprenticeship opportunities to safety training within the industry. It was a great day spent in at our Nation’s Capitol being able to advocate for agriculture and represent the Wisconsin Association of FFA!

Through this experience, we all learned how easy it is to share one’s agriculture story. Everyone has a unique reason to how they were introduced to agriculture, how they continued their involvement in agriculture, and how they plan to further their involvement within agriculture throughout their future. Though our agriculture story may not seem unique to us, it is a very powerful story that deserves to be told. Everyone has the ability to advocate for agriculture to change the perspective of our entire industry. It only takes one moment, one story, and one voice to make a big impact in our local communities. How will you begin making a difference?

Proudly Advocating,

Brenna

Pig Season
Mar. 29, 2017

Travis Cadman - Sentinel
East Troy FFA Chapter
Section 10

Guys, Spring is finally here! You know what that means? Show hogs are for sale! I remember when we had our first litter of show hogs and I got to pick out my pig for the year. In my head I went through my mental list. “Crossbred for county fair, Spot for state fair, and a Hampshire for nationals.” When it got down to my pick for nationals I went straight to the hamps, only to find out the hamp pen was empty. “ Well looks like I am not going to Nationals.” I said to my cousin as we stared at an empty pen.
“but there is a nice Chester gilt over there.” Now there is nothing wrong with a chester. But it was not the pig that I wanted to compete with at all. But since there was nothing left we took her. I worked with her all year and thought to myself “she is horrible, chesters are not show pigs, she will not go anywhere.” Finally the day comes where we head off to nationals. I walk my chester off the trailer and into a pen. And then we hear the chester show will start in a few hours.
I groom her and get her ready for the show, as I walk into the ring I just think “well it is time to take last.” and then the unthinkable happens. A meteorite comes crashing through the roof and knocks the judge out cold. Okay that did not happen, but how crazy would it be if it did? The judge points to me and says “your class winner.”
Hard to believe I walk out with my chester and get ready for the champion round. Once the day was almost up we walked into the champion ring. I just kept driving my gilt and kept hitting a figure eight in the show ring. Finally the judge turns on the mike “ It is easy to pick out a champion in this group and it is the young man over here.” as he points at me. And that was the day I won my first National show.
In life we always get the hand of cards we didn't want. The trick is to always find the best card in your hand and find a way to make it even better. With the power of positivity the world is yours.

Be like Cinderella
Mar. 22, 2017

Sarah Van Asten - Vice President
Wrightstown FFA Chapter
Section 9

“A dream is a wish your heart makes.” – Cinderella. As a child I grew up in love with the Disney princesses. They embodied everything I wanted – great hair, beautiful dresses, and a dreamy prince. One of my favorites was the story of Cinderella. For those of you who don’t know, Cinderella is a young girl who lives with her step mother and two step sisters. They are jealous of her beauty, and therefore treat her as though she is nothing. Cinderella dreams of one day leaving this life to be with her prince charming. Spoiler alert! By the end Cinderella finds her prince charming, making all her dreams come true. But as many of us know, fairy tale endings aren’t always the easiest to obtain.
Dreams are only dreams unless you decided to do something about it. Everyone has a dream; some more wild than others. Freshman year, I had the dream of becoming a Wisconsin FFA State Officer. This seemed far out of reach at the time but with some hard work and dedication, I could make it happen. As a few years went by, I continued on growing my FFA journey. I participated in events I thought I would enjoy, however, I didn’t necessarily have an end goal in mind.
Senior year began, and I realized I hadn’t done much to further my dream to become a State Officer. I got to work, planning and preparing for the months ahead. A dream written down with a date becomes a goal. A goal broken down into steps becomes a plan. A plan backed by action makes your dreams come true. I decided to take action. I decided to make my dreams a reality.
Little did I know, all of my past experiences would help me through my year of service. Although, I can’t help but look back on all the things I could have done to continue to grow me in this opportunity. A dream is only a dream unless you do something about it.
I am so thankful for the opportunities I have been given over the past year. With the love and support of so many, I was able to make a dream a reality. Never give up on your dreams, no matter how wild you think they can be. Once there was a small town girl, who didn’t know what FFA was, and yet she became a woman who wouldn’t give up FFA for the world.

Forever Blue,
Sarah

Spring is in the Air
Mar. 20, 2017

Dani Angotti - Vice President
Freedom FFA Chapter
Section 8

Today is officially the first day of Spring, which means in a few short weeks we will have beautiful blooming flowers, green grass, and a bright warm sun. Spring is one of my personal favorite seasons. I love being able to see everything come back to life after a long harsh winter. One of the only negative sides of Spring is everything gets VERY muddy. Every time our puppy goes outside he gets covered in mud and immediately has to go back into his kennel.

With every positive thing there can be some negative aspects. A negative to Spring is mud and a negative to Winter is ice and cold. But, it is our job to realize the negatives and then to determine how we can benefit from them rather than let them drag us down. A benefit from the mud is now we can have a mud slide or look for some worms for fishing. A positive to the cold and ice of winter is the ability to go ice fishing or ice skating. Instead of looking at the negatives and letting them stay negative, find a way to use them in your favor. I know we are all guilty of sometimes thinking of something to do and then thinking of a negative reason as to why we shouldn't do it instead.

This year I was talking to someone about sports and this is what they told me, "I didn't join basketball this year because I am a freshman and no one likes freshman, so I would just get picked on." This student realized a possible negative side to joining basketball. They realized the possibility of being picked on for the fact that they were a freshman. However, instead of pushing this fact to the side and joining anyways, they let that negative hold them back from something they may have really enjoyed. Yes, they may have been picked on, but they could have used that in their favor and used that to make themselves work harder and to be the best they possibly can be.

Throughout this spring season, we can be sure to realize the negatives, but lets not let them hold us back. Lets turn the negatives into positives!

Tale As Old As Time...
Mar. 17, 2017

Ashley Zimmerman - Vice President
Spencer FFA Chapter
Section 7

Today after the state officers finished our March board meeting some of us decided to go see “Beauty and the Beast.” Excellent movie I will add, definitely go see it! Some of us may remember watching the Disney cartoon version when we were little. Some of us may have had a yellow Belle dress much like a little girl we saw at the movie theater tonight. When we were little we loved watching the colorful characters dancing and singing and watching all of the everyday items come to life! Something we may not have seen in our favorite movies are the lessons that they teach us.

Belle was always known as the most beautiful girl in the village but it never failed that she was called peculiar in her village because she loves to read. When she tries to teach another little girl how to read the townspeople spill her barrel of laundry on the ground. Belle was different than everybody else in the village but that doesn’t mean there was anything wrong with her. Its ok to be a little different from everyone else. As Lumiere says “You don’t have time to be timid. You must be bold, daring.” Be your own kind of beautiful!
While in the castle, Mrs. Potts says “There’s always time for tea!” While you may not be drinking tea, this is a lesson we can all take from Mrs. Potts. Give a little time for yourself every once in a while! We get so caught up in the hustle and bustle of everything that sometimes we forget to take time to breath.

Probably the most prominent lesson throughout the movie is given by Belle and the Beast. Even though the Beast was a rough looking creature that was alone in his castle. When Belle first met him, well, she wasn’t a fan to say the least. As Belle spent more time with the Beast and learned more about him she began to see the beauty underneath the beast. Beauty isn’t based off the appearance of something but rather what is inside. “Everything has beauty but not everyone sees it.” ~Confucius

Beauty and the Beast has messages that we can all learn from and relate to. These messages can also be seen in the FFA. We each find our own place in the FFA with something we are talented in. Even though we get down to business we still know how to have fun. FFA members really do find the beauty in everything they do by keeping an enthusiastic and positive attitude.

Be your own kind of beautiful, take time for tea, and find the beauty in everything! Once again from the wise words from Mrs. Potts, “It’ll turn out all right in the end. You’ll see.”

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

March Madness
Mar. 15, 2017

Hannah Taylor - Reporter
Poynette FFA Chapter
Section 6

Yep, it’s that time of year again, March Madness. I’m filling out a bracket for the first time ever, but with the extent of my basketball knowledge, I’ve decided to choose the winning teams based on whose mascot would win in a fight. I can’t think of a more fitting way to describe this time of year than with the word madness.

It seems like the month of March always sneaks up on you and as soon as it’s here, it’s over. This year my monthly schedule is jam packed with banquets, meetings, conferences, homework and many, many deadlines. My planner is almost scary to even look at. Not to mention all the work that needs done on my sheep. There are fall lambs that need shorn, spring lambs that need vaccinated, winter lambs that need weaned and I’m still waiting on three ewes to lamb yet. On top of it all, the constant change in weather is practically driving me insane. So how does one make it through March Madness?

I guess we have to look at our own madness in the same way that successful basketball teams do: one game at a time. Any team who wants to be successful and make it through the brackets has to focus all their energy on each individual game as they play. They can’t have their heads in a future game, or they will never even make it there.

Just like that, we have to take our month one game at a time. It’s important to focus on one task until we get it done. I find that when I focus too much on the overall insanity of my schedule, I tend to get intimidated and discouraged and turn to Netflix to make me feel better. Then I end up procrastinating and things just build up even more. But if we take it one game at a time, one step and a time, I promise we will make it through this month together!

Bring on the Madness!

~Hannah Taylor~

In Your Jacket
Mar. 13, 2017

Ciera Ballmer - Vice President
Clinton FFA Chapter
Section 5

Everyone recognizes it when they see it. It’s made of corduroy, and FFA members rock it at many conferences, conventions, and many other events. It’s the FFA Official Blue Jacket! It’s a symbol to the National FFA Organization that has so much meaning for every single person who has ever worn it. Although the Blue Jacket is an overall symbol and commonality for FFA, each individual Jacket is unique.

Each Jacket is visually unique as it is customized with your state, chapter, and name. But even more than the stitching on the outside, each FFA Jacket is filled with that individual member’s experiences and memories. When I look at my FFA Jacket, I am reminded of many of the wonderful people I met and places I went while wearing it.

But possibly more importantly than being filled with experiences, FFA Jackets often hold fond physical items too. Inside my chapter jacket, I have an FFA pen from the first conference I went to, a few business cards, a playing card with a quote on it from a state officer’s retiring address, and a fancy key that I received as a token at Washington Leadership Conference (WLC). Every time I reach in the pockets of my chapter FFA Jacket, I am instantly reminded of some of the key moments in my FFA career. As I hold onto each item, I am reminded of how I received that item, how inspired I felt at that time, and the meaning behind that item. For me, my key from WLC empowers me every time I see it. I am able to place myself back into the moment that my facilitator gave it to me, the kind words she said to me, the goals I set for myself that week, and all the ways I was taught to unlock my potential at the conference.

This last week at the Section 5 Leadership Development, I had the pleasure of meeting the only other State Officer from my chapter, Mr. Mark Taylor. Mr. Taylor and I had a great conversation about some of our best memories as a state officer. But one thing really stood out from my conversation with him and that was his story about a rock.

He told me that he and his teammates overheard someone saying something about someone having a “rock personality.” They all were a little confused and a little put down by the statement at first. But then, Mr. Taylor decided to take that statement and build up from there. He and his teammates used that claim as a place to grow.

From that moment on, Mr. Taylor kept a rock in his FFA Jacket. When he reached in his Jacket pocket, he remembered the statement and was reminded of how much he had grown from it. In fact, he even took the rock out of his pocket at all of his Section 5 Chapter Visits to share his story with FFA members. Now, 25 years later, Mr. Taylor and the story of the rock he keeps in his FFA Jacket, was able to make an impact on me. It was a great reminder to use criticism as a way to grow and to always build up from weak points.

Mr. Taylor keeps a rock with a great story in his FFA Jacket. I keep a few different FFA mementos in my FFA Jacket, including my key from Washington Leadership Conference. What do you keep in your Jacket?

Forever Blue. Forever True,
Ciera

#TeachAg
Mar. 12, 2017

Kari Fischer - Parliamentarian
Argyle FFA Chapter
Section 4

Throughout my time as a state officer, I’ve seen some pretty amazing things. I’ve seen members that have huge, expansive honey bee SAEs, schools that have multiple award winning CDE teams, and some that have some of the most talented public speakers that I’ve seen. While all of this is wonderful to see, I can easily say that one of the most amazing things I’ve seen throughout my travels is the dedication of our Agricultural Educators. Now, I’d seen it in chapter visits, LDEs, and other events, but it didn’t hit me so hard as when I was at Proficiency Judging the other weekend. As I walked into the room, I saw over 40 agricultural teachers, many that I knew, patiently waiting at tables to judge the over 500 proficiency applications. I assumed that these teachers got some sort of compensation for their time there that weekend, so I turned to my teammate Ciera and asked, “What do these advisors get for coming here and judging proficiencies?” Ciera looked at me and said, “Nothing. They just come to for the good of the students.” I was blown away. These advisors, who had family, friends, and other priorities outside of their jobs, had come and offered their time and talents during their free time for the betterment of FFA members. It isn’t just this weekend either. It’s multiple weekends, holidays, and vacation days over the course of the school year and summer that our agriculture educators give to help us as members and give us an amazing experience in FFA. So, make sure when you see your agricultural teacher, to give them a huge thanks for everything they do for you and Wisconsin FFA.
If you would ask most of these teachers, despite how hard they have to work, they would say they love their jobs and they love their students. Agricultural Education is such a rewarding career, and oftentimes, a lot of us forget it as an option in the vast field of agriculture. The job opportunities in agricultural education are tremendous, and span across your county, state, and nation. We need agricultural educators for the future of the FFA, so don’t forget, when you’re looking into possible careers for your future, consider agriculture education as one of them.

Signing off,

Kari Fischer


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