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Brenna Bays - Parliamentarian
Adams-Friendship FFA Chapter - Section 6
From Farm to Fork
Aug. 15, 2015
Good Afternoon Wisconsin FFA!

It is a great morning to be finishing up the Wisconsin State Fair. The past 10 days have been filled with so much excitement, team bonding, and education. The State FFA Officers have been busy working the Veggie 500 Race in the Department of Agriculture Trade and Consumer Protection (DATCP) building and in the Farm to Fork Activity in Badgerland Financial’s Discovery Barnyard. Though the Veggie Races are always exciting to watch and work, the team and I have found it rewarding to teach the general public about Wisconsin Agriculture.

As an $88.3 Billion industry, Wisconsin Agriculture is important in the lives of many across the State and Nation. Though agriculture plays such an important role in everyone’s everyday activities, the knowledge of “Where my food comes from” is not getting out to the public. As workers in the Farm to Fork Activity, the State FFA Officers completed our goal by making sure everyone that steps foot in our room will learn something new about Wisconsin Agriculture. Whether it be that cranberries are Wisconsin’s #1 Fruit Crop or that Wisconsin is home to more than 600 varieties of cheeses, the fairgoers here at State Fair are learning a lot.

I never truly saw the importance of educating the public about Wisconsin Agriculture until I became an FFA member. I grew up knowing that all cows produced white milk and that one day, our meat animals need to be harvested to feed the continually growing population. I came from a rural community and a farming background, but not everyone is like me. The average American is three generations removed from the Family Farm, which makes them three generations removed from production agriculture. Though a few always come back to their family roots and stay involved in the agriculture industry, many individuals do not know what goes in to making a nice home cooked meal at the end of a busy week. Working in the Farm to Fork activity has honestly opened my eyes to the potential all of us have to advocate for agriculture.

We are what E.M. Tiffany stated in our FFA Creed: “The Future of Agriculture.” As the world population grows in size, who is going to work their hardest to reach out to the modern consumers about agriculture? FFA members. Who is going to ensure that production agriculturists have the opportunity to increase their yields and productions of all their crops? FFA members. Who are the individuals that are joined together by the blue corduroy jacket with the same roots as 33 young farm boys did in 1928? FFA members.

We all have the potential to advocate for agriculture in our own communities. Hold a Farm Day or activity at your county fair to stress the importance of where our food, clothing, and necessities in life come from. Host a petting zoo for your community so they can see the animals that make the milk they drink, the eggs they eat, and the wool that is made into their clothing.
If you need any help finding ways to advocate in your chapters, please feel free to email me at I wish you a great rest of your summer and I cannot wait to see you all soon.

Happy Advocating!

Brenna Bays
State FFA Parliamentarian
Old Memories Never Die
Jul. 30, 2015
This past week was the Adams County Fair and I loved every minute of it. Somehow, those four days are the craziest, but they fly by! This year, I had the opportunity to speak at the different events held for the sponsors throughout the week. I also took the chance to announce during the tractor pull and many animal shows with Ms. Babcock (who is one of the Mauston FFA Advisors)! Though participating in the swine, beef, and dairy shows is my all time favorite, I found out that watching others relive their childhood memories tops it. This year at the Adams County Fair, we held an Adult Showmanship class for swine, beef, sheep, and dairy. It was by far the most serious and hilarious showmanship class I had ever seen before in my life and yours truly had the chance to organize and announce them!

The fair began Thursday night with the Swine Adult Showmanship. We had many willing competitors ranging from all ages! The judges decided to leave the gate open to the show ring so all of the adults were scrambling to keep their pigs on the far end of the ring. The next day was the Beef and Sheep Adult Showmanship. Some of the beef heifers and steers were very tired from their two hour show prior to Adult Showmanship and were not at all cooperating, but it definitely added to the crowd’s entertainment. Saturday brought Dairy Showmanship, that had 21 participants! It was the largest Adult Showmanship class of the week.

Though each Adult Showmanship had its own entertainment, it was great to see how each person in the ring enjoyed having the opportunity to do what they loved again. A great number of the adults who participated in Adult Showmanship had shown that species when they were younger, which made the chance to do it all again even more special. The look on their faces as they entered the ring was definitely unforgettable. Each of them enjoyed every moment to relive a large part of their childhood.

Though one door may close to opportunities, new doors open. We always hold the same interest and love for our childhood memories and when we have the chance to relive them, we will take that opportunity in a heartbeat. It is challenging to accept the fact that we are given a limited amount of time to be a 4-H or FFA member or even show at our county fairs, but we need to make the most of the time we have doing what we love.

“Sometimes you will never know the value of a moment until it becomes a memory.” ~Dr. Seuss

Loving my opportunities,

Brenna Bays
State FFA Parliamentarian
Everyday is a Great Day to...
Jul. 22, 2015
So, I know I promised my next blog would be about how awesome, eye-opening, and memorable the Adams County Fair was for me, but something came up the other day that I just needed to share with you. I, along with many others, have officially become Platteville Pioneers! After patiently waiting for six years years, I, Brenna Bays am a student at UW-Platteville. Though it may not seem like a big deal, it truly is a big step in my life. I have wanted to go to further my education at UW-Platteville not only because it is one of the only schools in Wisconsin that offers a degree in Animal Science, but my parents both graduated from UW-Platteville. I can feel the family pride as I continue the tradition attending such a great school!

As I was sitting in at New Student Registration, every speaker stated how, “Everyday is a Great Day to be a Pioneer.” Not only is it great to be a part of the UW-Platteville family, but a Pioneer. A Pioneer is not only the mascot of UW-Platteville, but a Pioneer paves the path for others. They are the leaders, the innovators, and the motivators. They are the risk-takers and the adventurous type that aren’t afraid to make and take their own path in life.

As FFA members, we all are Pioneers. We each come from different backgrounds, but we all want to write our own stories through FFA. Whether we push ourselves to excel in Proficiency Awards, Career Development Events, or even to take away new skills or ideas by attending leadership conferences, we all find our niches in FFA and push towards them. We may be going out on a limb by trying something new or paving the way for future FFA members to follow in our footsteps, but we all are making a difference in our organization, our chapters, and ourselves. Everyone has their own specialties in FFA and it is definitely okay to go out and try new things.

My goal for each of you this year is to be that Pioneer. Take new opportunities in FFA. Don’t worry about being the only one dancing at a Sectional Leadership Workshop because once you start, everyone else will begin to join you. Purposefully take advantage of the wonderful and never-ending experiences that you are offered from being an FFA member. Everyone has the chance to excel in FFA, so take yours now.

Always remember, “Everyday is a Great Day to Be a Pioneer!”

Forever a Pioneer,

Brenna Bays
2015-2016 State Parliamentarian

***QUESTION-Email me your answer:
What other State Officer will be attending UW-Platteville with me next year?
Jul. 16, 2015
Hey there Wisconsin FFA!

I can not tell you enough how blessed I am to serve you all for the next year. Though it has only been 30 days since we all were elected, it feels as if we have known each other for a lifetime. After spending the past three weeks with my teammates, it seems unnatural to be at home with my family. Family time is always a great time, but I have just adopted 10 other siblings into my family!

Just last week, the Wisconsin State FFA Officer Team traveled down to Springfield, Illinois to attend the National Leadership Conference for State Officers (NLCSO) with the Illinois State FFA Officer Team. Throughout the week, we learned how to use our personal and team strengths to better the organization, how to develop and present workshops, how to utilize our accountability partners, and how to facilitate. We also all had the opportunity to really get to know National President, Andy Paul, as well as our facilitators, Andy and Daniel. They each did a fabulous job and made the most of the conference to share their personal experiences to better our year as State Officers. Besides learning how to improve your experiences in FFA, we had the chance to be tourists in Springfield! The first night we were there, my teammates and I toured Abraham Lincoln’s rebuilt community, which is a few blocks away from their state capitol. Later that week, we all toured the Lincoln Museum, which was stunning. Everyone was able capture the moments of Lincoln’s life before and during his presidency. Did you know that over Lincoln’s five years as President, his facial features changed drastically? There were two face molds taken of Lincoln: one when he was first elected and one right before he was assassinated. It is incredible to see how being a strong leader can change someone mentally and physically. After three weeks of training, we each are developing different leadership traits that will help us serve you throughout the year.

For me, these next few weeks will be crazy. Though I am away from my teammates, I have my county fair next week that I am preparing for.

Look forward to my next blog for a recap of the Adams County Fair, which is July 23 - July 26!

I hope to see you there!

Brenna Bays
State FFA Parliamentarian
Stars and Stripes Forever
Jul. 05, 2015
Happy Belated 4th of July everyone!!! I hope all of you had a blast yesterday celebrating America’s 239th Birthday. I had a great experience getting to ride in our town’s parade with my best friend, Faith, who is this years Adams County Fairest of the Fair. Riding through town reminded me of how lucky we are to live in the United States of America: the land of the free and home of the brave. The sight of the crowds cheering for every individual in the parade was breath taking. Sometimes, we are so caught up in the moment that we fail to realize the support that our community give us. Whether it be for an FFA event or even a float in a parade, our community members are always willing to push us toward our dreams. After the parade, I was able to attend some fireworks that night. The National Anthem played and then the bright lights in the sky began. I have always loved fireworks and they still leave me in awe.

Though the 4th of July is filled with many patriotic traditions, it is always important to remember those that gave their life for the freedom of our country. They have and will continue to work together for the sake of their country. Their bond for their fellow siblings and country are unbreakable. Their service to our country will never be forgotten.

Tomorrow, the Wisconsin State FFA Officer Team is traveling down to Springfield, Illinois to attend NLCSO (National Leadership Conference for State Officers) with the Illinois State FFA Officer Team. At NLCSO, the team will learn about how to work together as a team for the Wisconsin Association of FFA and the 19,484 Wisconsin FFA Members. I am so excited to see where this journey takes my teammates and I!

Forever Thankful,

Brenna Bays
2015-2016 State FFA Parliamentarian
Hello, Wisconsin FFA!
Jun. 27, 2015
Hello Wisconsin FFA! My name is Brenna Bays from the Adams-Friendship FFA Chapter and I am honored to serve as your next Section VI State FFA Officer and State Parliamentarian. This past week has flown by and I can only begin to imagine how quickly this year will go by. At the WAAE (Wisconsin Association of Agricultural Educators) Professional Development Conference, my team and I were able to begin getting to know each other, but also meeting all of your amazing Ag Teachers! Over the past week, my teammates were able to learn a lot about me, but I believe it is time for you to know some interesting facts about my life.

First of all, my name is Brenna Minoka Bays and I have lived on my families third-generation dairy farm in Adams, Wisconsin all of my life. On the farm, we milk 35-head of Holstein Dairy Cows, where we have been transitioning to a replacement heifer operation rather than a milking operation. I own two Crossbred Market Hogs and two Hereford Steers, which I raise to sell at the Adams County Livestock Sale. My parents are Jim Bays II and Molly Wiese. I have one brother named Collin and three dogs names Jack, Casey, and Bella. My grandparents are Jim and Mary Ann Bays and the late Jim and Joan O’loughlin. I graduated from Adams-Friendship High School in 2015 as Valedictorian and will be attending UW-Platteville to major in Animal Science. After college, I am undecided of what I want to do for my career. I am interested in cattle genetics and reproduction, but I also am beginning to develop an interest of becoming an Ag Teacher. My favorite color is purple and I am a HUGE Frozen fan. I absolutely love meeting new people and sharing my story about agriculture.

This past week at the WAAE Conference I was able to learn about how special it is to be an ag teacher. As Sally was introducing the team at the WAAE Banquet, she said these words that are so important in all our our lives. She said that, “though we may be standing on center stage, achieving our goals, our Ag Teachers and FFA Advisors are always standing back-stage cheering us on.” For sure, I know I would not be in the position that I am without my Ag Teacher, Ms. Grabarski. Our Ag Teachers and FFA Advisors dedicate their lives to making sure all of us live ours with no regrets. Thank you for all that you do.

So Wisconsin FFA, that is a little about me and I hope to get to know all of you more throughout the year!

Stay True and Blue,

Brenna Bays
2015-2016 State Parliamentarian
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