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The Country Today

Brenna Bays - Parliamentarian
Adams-Friendship FFA Chapter - Section 6
bbays@wisconsinffa.org
BE Learning
May. 18, 2016
Hey there Wisconsin FFA,

On Monday, I submitted my last essay on the last day of school of my first year of college. I know, that can be pretty confusing to think about, but one year of school has come and gone, just as many of our school years are coming to an end. I remember last year, anxiously awaiting my last day of high school to arrive. The Adams-Friendship Class of 2015 had a giant countdown in our hallway for every student and teacher to know how many days we had left of high school and how many days until we were “free.” Seniors, I am pretty sure you can understand the feeling. The thoughts of no more class, no more homework, no more learning and no more high school rush through our heads. We are just ready to move on to the next chapter of our lives.

But, then reality hits. We turn in our last assignment on our last day of high school ever. We practice for graduation with our classmates and set up for our big day. Then, in the blink of an eye, we walk across the stage, receive our diplomas, and walk out of our high school doors for the last time with our classmates.

Though we graduate from high school, we are never done learning. As a senior in high school, I can easily say I was under the impression that I would be done learning. I knew that I would always be learning in the classroom when it came to my education, but I wasn't familiar with the ideal of learning about life. Everyone always told me that you will learn so much in college, but I was under the impression I knew it all. I could meet new people, organize my crazy busy life and schedule when I needed to work compared to when I could go to the movies with my friends.

Right after I graduated, I learned the true meaning behind communication. I found out that communicating with the people I graduated with was harder than I thought. Everyone was doing their own thing and beginning their own path whether it was to college, a technical school, the military, or even the workforce. I also learned how important it was to have motivation. I was enjoying too much not having to go anywhere each and everyday that, to a point, I became lazy. I learned the importance of making room for new friends, but always keeping room for the old friends. I learned, I learned, I learned. I could go on and on about how many critical life skills I developed this year, not only as a State Officer, but as a college student.

The best advice I can give each of you, whether you be graduating high school in the next few weeks or even starting high school for the first time next year is to have a growth mindset. Though we may know a lot, there is always room for us to grow.

Always BE Learning,

Brenna
Be a Super HERO
Apr. 17, 2016
Just about every morning, I will grab my Captain America coffee mug out the cupboard and make myself a giant cup of tea. Of course, I always feel like a Superhero: ready to tackle the mission ahead.

In all honesty, I am no Superhero. I can not fly. I do not have a shield. I do not turn into a green muscled giant. I do not own a cape nor any super suit. I can not compare to the amount of muscle-strength that each one of them have.

But, I do have a lot of strength and power. I have dedication, ambition, and the ability to excel. I have my own flashy costume which contains a lot of blue corduroy and an emblem to go with it! Throughout this year, I have learned the importance of being your own person, because everyone else is taken.

In our lives, we are faced with a variety of situations that lead us to believe that we are not actually a Superhero. We feel discouraged and incapable of completing the given task. We know that we are unworthy of accomplishing any goal, especially if we have previously failed. But that is where we are wrong. Sometimes, we are so caught up in our faults and fail to recognize our true strengths. We all have our superpowers that we use on an everyday basis to become excellent students and great leaders.

As FFA members, we are all Superheros!
Always time for "ME"
Apr. 03, 2016
March has came and gone, just as the other months before. We kicked March off by hosting the Section VI Speaking Contest at my high school in Adams-Friendship. It was a great night that was filled with amazing individuals sharing their enjoyment for public speaking. Then, we had the March Board of Directors Meeting, where we began finalizing and brainstorming State Convention tasks. The rest of the month, whether it was 212/EDGE, banquets, Greenhand Formals, or the Wisconsin Public Service Farm Show with Abby and Jared, has been more than enjoyable.

Though March has been more than just plain busy, I have learned that it is critical to start implementing more “ME” Time. Going for walks with my dogs, helping my grandpa milk cows, or catching up on my favorite Netflix series are all activities I need to start doing more. Every single day, I, along with many others, devote all of my time and interest into homework, a job, a sport, or an activity. Though we may enjoy participating in each of these activities, we run out of energy fast. Giving all of our heart to every single activity we participate in is normal for our nature, but we need to make more time for “ME” time. I remember being in high school and barely getting any sleep because I would have meetings at school beginning at 7AM, school all day, practice until 6PM, work on other activities until 8PM and homework after that, which traditionally would take me a while. After five days of packed schedules, I was getting worn out and began not putting all of my effort into school, homework, and practice. After seeing the effect it was having, I wasn’t okay with the outcome. Instead of making the rest of my class or team suffer, I began putting my everything into all of our tasks, like I had before, but began making more time to sit down at night with my family and to getting more sleep.

As our school year comes to a close, remember to always make time for yourself. It is critical to make you as happy and healthy as possible while putting all of your hard work and dedication into your activities. “ME”time is something we all should invest more time to throughout our lives.

Spending "ME" Time with my family,
Brenna
Section 6 Speaking Results
Mar. 21, 2016
I can not begin to explain how blessed I am to represent Section 6: The BEST Section around. At the Section 6 Sectional Speaking Contest, each participant deserved to be there and compete. The judges had a really tough time picking the top student in each category to go to the State Contest. Here are the lucky individuals who will be representing Section 6 at the State Speaking Contest:

Creed Speaking: Katie Yanke, Sauk Prairie FFA
Discussion Meet: Elizabeth Krueger, Berlin FFA
Extemporaneous Speaking: Micah Harpold, Lodi FFA
Job Interview: Victoria Timme, Portage FFA
Parliamentary Procedure: Sauk Prairie FFA
Prepared Speaking: Caitlyn Warren, Portage FFA
Quiz Bowl: Adams-Friendship FFA


Good luck at State!
Confidence is Key
Mar. 07, 2016
Take a minute to go back to a time in your life that you didn’t have the confidence you needed to do your best. Think of how that lack of confidence affected your performance. How did you feel? Were you nervous that you didn’t practice enough before hand? Did your negative comments about yourself rush through your mind?

Now, imagine how that game, that test, or that speech would have gone differently if you just took the time to believe in yourself. No one on this beautiful Earth is perfect, nor will anyone ever be perfect.

That word, perfection, is one that continuously is stuck in each of our minds. Perfection: the quality of being free from all flaws. I remember growing up that I always strived for perfection, but always fell extremely short. It wasn’t until my senior year of high school that I began to focus less on the perfection of everything I did and focus more on my strengths and what more I could do. When we take that step, we are able to become “perfect” in always being confident.

As our Sectional Speaking Contests approach, always remember to be confident in yourself and be the absolute best you can be.

I always have confidence in you!

~~Brenna :)
And That's a Wrap!
Feb. 28, 2016
And the 2016 National FFA Week is in the books. I can not begin to grasp the fact that National FFA Week is already over, which means State Convention is right around the corner.

All week long, a smile has not left my face because we have all “Turned Facebook Blue!” Whether it be changing our profile pictures, participating in the photo challenge, or sharing what we were doing throughout the week, we came together, again, to show why we are #FFAProud!

I have discovered that FFA Week shouldn’t only be treated as a celebration within our chapter. Yes, it is critical that we celebrate together with our FFAmily, but we should all begin to celebrate within our communities. FFA Week is a great time to dive into the community to educate for FFA and agricultural education. We all have realized what happens if we don’t take the chance to advocate for FFA or agriculture, but that doesn’t always have to be the case. When we begin to take those opportunities to educate within our communities, we will be able to change the world one person at a time.

Watching us celebrate National FFA Week this year has been nothing shy of amazing. Please continue to take the opportunities today to educate our communities! And always remember to Amplify FFA!


~Brenna
District 18 Results
Feb. 17, 2016
Hey all!

Here are the final results of the FFA members attending the Sectional Speaking Contest in Adams-Friendship. Congratulations to everyone that participated! Again, I would like to thank the Sauk Prairie FFA Chapter for hosting the District 18 Speaking Contest.

Here are the results...

Creed Speaking:
1. Katie Yanke - Sauk Prairie FFA
2. Joye Hellenbrand - Lodi FFA

Discussion Meet:
1. Sam Jesse - Lodi FFA
2. Craig Dallman - Mauston FFA

Extemporaneous Speaking:
1. Micah Harpold - Lodi FFA
2. Jared Mack - Sauk Prairie FFA

Job Interview:
1. Jared Mack - Sauk Prairie FFA
2. Margo Weiland - New Lisbon FFA

Parliamentary Procedure:
1. Sauk Prairie FFA
2. Lodi FFA

Prepared Speaking:
1. Crystal Cafferty - Mauston FFA
2. Micah Harpold - Lodi FFA

Quiz Bowl:
1. Mauston 1
2. Sauk Prairie 1

Congratulations everyone!
District 17!
Feb. 04, 2016
Hey all!
This past Monday, it was great to spend the night with the District 17 Speaking Contest Participants! Coming from District 17, it felt like I was basically home. I had a blast talking with all of you and helping you through those pre-contest nerves! I wish you all the best of luck!
Here are the results from the District 17 Speaking Contest:
Creed Speaking:
1. Molly Cujak - Westfield FFA
2. Justin Taylor - Poynette FFA

Discussion Meet:
1. Samantha Corso - Montello FFA
2. Collin Bays - Adams-Friendship

Extemporaneous Speaking:
1. Alexis Brauner - Portage FFA
2. Sarah Daentl - Portage FFA

Job Interview:
1. Tori Timme - Portage FFA
2. Alli Walker - Portage FFA

Parliamentary Procedure:
1. Adams-Friendship FFA

Prepared Speaking Contest:
1. Caitlin Warren - Portage FFA
2. Emily Taylor - Poynette FFA

Quiz Bowl:
1. Adams-Friendship 1
2. Adams-Friendship 2

Good luck at the Section 6 Speaking Contest March 8, 2016 in Adams-Friendship!


Happy February,
Brenna
District 16 Reults
Feb. 02, 2016
I can not say enough about how proud I was of all of the District 16 FFA members that participated in the Speaking Contest. You all represented your chapters very well and should be proud of your accomplishments. Another huge thank you to the Berlin FFA Chapter for hosting the contest!

Here are the individuals that will be representing District 16 at the Sectional Speaking Contest March 8 in Adams-Friendship:

Creed Speaking:
1. Kelli Bonack - Waupun FFA
2. Katrina Pokorny - Waupun FFA
Extemporaneous Speaking:
1. Megan VanRulswyk - Waupun FFA
2. Hazel Reck - Berlin FFA
Discussion Meet:
1. Elizabeth Krueger - Berlin FFA
2. Ashley Walther - Randolph-Cambria-Friesland FFA
Job Interview:
1. Maverick Guenther - Randolph-Cambria-Friesland FFA
2. Hannah Olsen - Berlin FFA
Parliamentary Procedure:
1. Markesan FFA
Prepared Speaking:
1. Bailey Wetzel - Waupun FFA
2. Jessica Lins - Columbus FFA
Quiz Bowl:
1. Randolph-Cambria-Friesland FFA
2. Waupun FFA
Vacation to Paradise
Jan. 26, 2016
As many of you may have saw, the State Officers took a little vacation down to Southern Missouri for a few days. We all wanted to take quick break before we really dive into the Spring Semester, Banquets, and Speaking Contests. Over the days we were there, we had a great time being tourists, enjoying the warmer weather, and of course, spending time together. On the way down to Missouri, we stopped in St. Louis to see the arch before making our way down to our townhome. We did hit some unpredictable weather on the way down, but it definitely didn’t stop us from making the best of our given paradise. In the time there, we were able to attend a Country Show in a really cool Music Hall, walk through the Titanic Museum, and also tour a Big Cat Rescue in Arkansas.

After a few days away, we all were able to realize how important it is to make time for ourselves. Now, Missouri isn’t the paradise we all dream about, but it was our paradise for the week. We have the ability to make any place our own paradise: a place that we know we can relax, have fun, and take a break from our stress. Yes, it is always important to stay dedicated to our jobs, tasks, and teams, but always remember to take some time for yourself.

Take a break and BE ready for the upcoming year!

~Brenna
The Case of the Missing "BE
Jan. 18, 2016
I can not believe it has already been over a week since the Halftime Conference was adjourned. Two FFA members from each FFA Chapter had the opportunity to come to Stevens Point for the 2016 Halftime Conference. This two day conference allowed all FFA members in attendance to gain the information and motivation they needed to keep their chapter running smoothly for the second half of the year.

Throughout the Halftime Conference, it was the job of FFA members to look for clues to find their “BE.” Finding our “BE” is harder than anyone could ever imagine. To find our individual “BE,” each of us needs to really think about our personal strengths. We need to remember what we have accomplished and continue looking forward to what we want our goals to be. We should never concentrate on our weaknesses. Looking at what we aren’t the greatest at brings us down, which in turn, places us farther away from finding our “BE.” But, we should look at what we can improve. Every time we bring into consideration one of our strengths, we collect more clues to finding our own “BE.” Once we discover what we want to be in life, our “BE”, we will be unstoppable. We now can accomplish anything we set our finds to.

No one else will do it for us. No one else can discover what we truly are until we start giving 110% to accomplish our goals. We want everyone to know we are FFA members: the ideal students that have the ability to work hard, stay dedicated, and positively influence others. Our “BE” describes who we are as individuals and will always keep us searching for more challenges.

Always stay Dedicated to Finding you “BE”


~Brenna
Celebrate the Year!
Dec. 31, 2015
Happy last day of 2015 everyone! It is crazy to think one year has gone by already. Time never stops, but neither do the memories.

Throughout this year, each of us have been granted with the best years and the best days ever. We have all had our fair share of achievements and favorite memories that have happened. Just because 2015 is coming to a close doesn’t mean all of those best times are done either.

Today is the day to celebrate and remember everything that has happened throughout the year. We are able to look back on all of those great memories and reflect on all of those that have helped us achieve our goals. Whether it be our family, our friends, our teachers, or our FFA advisors, we have individuals around us that want nothing more than to watch us grow. Always remember the people that helped get us to where we are today and be thankful for what they do.

Now, with a new year coming, we need to make a goal for our futures. Our New Year’s Resolution this year should BE powerful. It should BE inspirational and it should BE giving. Challenge yourself to create a resolution that will help us grow as leaders, but also help those be around us. I challenge each of us to create 2016 into the year to BE Giving!


Have a Happy New Year,

Brenna
I'm Dreaming of...
Dec. 26, 2015
Merry Christmas, Wisconsin FFA!

Yes, it is December 26, but the season of giving is not over yet. I hope you all have a great Holiday Season celebrating with your family and friends. My Holiday Season has been jam-packed with planning the Halftime Conference with my teammates, already planning for State Convention, and of course, baking cookies with my grandma, mom, and cousins.

Christmas is my favorite time of year, but this year, it seemed as if something were missing. I couldn’t put my finger on it until about a week ago when I realized that I could wear a sweatshirt outside and wasn’t slipping on ice. Somehow, Jack Frost and Mother Nature weren’t creating the magical snowfall I always dream about during Christmas time.

On Christmas Eve, we finally had a Christmas Snowfall. Now, it isn’t the snowfall many of us would have wanted, but in South Central Wisconsin, a dusting was just enough to bring on the Christmas Spirit!

We all have our different favorite parts of the Christmas Season whether it be the goodies, the presents, the tree, the family, or for me, the snow. Somehow those facts can make our break our favorite time of year. Though they seem important now until we take the time to look at the big picture. We can see that we are being surrounded with those we care about most and are ready to continue making memories on this wonderful Holiday. No matter what our favorite parts are, make the best of the season with our family and friends!

Remember to always BE Giving!

Brenna
Right Around the Corner
Dec. 05, 2015
Hey there Wisconsin FFA!

I just wanted to give you all a quick little preview of what the State FFA Officers are up to. The 2nd half of the school year is right around the corner and we are busy preparing to make sure each of you will BE Excited for the new opportunities to come!

To kick of December, the State Officers are all currently at Kalahari in Wisconsin Dells at the Young Farmers and Agriculturalists Conference through the Wisconsin Farm Bureau Federation. We are all having a blast meeting young leaders across the state, learning how we can make a difference as Farm Bureau Members, and of course spending quality team time together. This is the first time I have seen my teammates since National Convention, so it is amazing to be reunited with my best friends. On Sunday night, the State Officers will all head toward Marshfield where we begin our December Meeting. This upcoming week is jam-packed with planning upcoming events such as the Halftime Conference and even State Convention! We also will work on making sure we are all prepared to help each of you out throughout the next six months!

Before we know it, Christmas will be upon us as well as the New Year! I can not wait to see what the rest of December has in store!

Talk to you soon,

Brenna Bays
State FFA Parliamentarian
bbays@wisconsinffa.org
snapchat: wiffasection6
Forever Thankful!
Nov. 27, 2015
Happy Thanksgiving, Everyone!

I know this is a day late, but yesterday was a day full of fun and food with my closest family and friends. I hope you all had a great Thanksgiving Day celebrating with your closest family and friends and enjoying all of the food possible (and of course leftovers for the next week!)

Over the past week, I have found myself contemplating and thinking about everything that I am thankful for. There is so much to be thankful for, especially this year, that I felt it would be important to share them with you.
Here are my a 5 of the important things I am thankful for:

My Family- From day one, they chose to support me and all of my crazy dreams. They are the greatest bunch of individuals that are always there for me and continuously bring a smile to my face everytime I see them. I am blessed to have spent this Holiday Season with them!
My Friends- For some reason, they chose to stick with me. I can always count of my friends to be there for me through the thick and thin. They mean the world to me, though we don’t see each other everyday anymore! I am thankful to find time to meet with them this week and throughout the Christmas Season.
My Teammates- The ten individuals I have the opportunity to work with this year are an absolute blessing on my life! I could not have asked for anyone else to work with and better yet, become my new brothers and sisters. I am thankful they are always there for me!!
Agriculture- The food that I was blessed with this week and always is all because of the dedicated individuals that make up production agriculture as well as the entire agriculture industry. I am thankful to be involved in producing the food that one day creates a delicious meal for someone else.
YOU- Because of all of you, I am in the position I am today! I can not thank you all enough for teaching me how to be myself and to have fun everyday with the blessings I have received. Thank you all so much.

Now, it is your turn. Take today to think about the people, experiences, or interests in your life that you are thankful for. What makes you, you? What are you thankful for?

BE THANKFUL!


Best wishes,

Brenna Bays

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