Supervised Agricultural Experience
The Supervised Agricultural Experience (SAE) that I focused on the most was my Agricultural Education SAE. My family lives on a dairy and beef farm, but also has hosted animal learning centers every summer since I was eight. Once I jumped feet first into FFA my freshman year of high school, I realized that these animal learning centers could be part of my SAE, and I took on more responsibility organizing, setting up, getting animals ready, and teaching people hands on about our animals. To me, there is nothing better than a smile from a child or adult alike when they are first learning how to hold a 1-day old chick or duckling! I also had the opportunity to chair a few animal learning centers for my FFA chapter. Along with all of this, I focused on educating both elementary and high school students on nutrition and where food comes from. With the help of my advisors and county extension agent, I was able to find a partnership between Tomah FFA and UW-Extension Monroe County which allowed FFA members to teach six-week nutrition programs to many elementary classrooms across our school district. Both the FFA members and the elementary students learned about not only how to make healthy food choices, but also that their food comes from some sort of farm and not just the grocery store. This program not only touched these people's lives, but mine as well.
What was your first memory in the FFA jacket?
My first memory in the FFA jacket was during Sectional Leadership Workshop (SLW) my freshman year of high school. I remember that there was lots of hustle and bustle all day long because having a State Officer that year, SLW was held at my home chapter. Throughout the whole day, we were getting everything ready; it was so exciting! Once the final school bell rang, my friends and I rushed down to the ag room to grab our official dress and go change. At the time, little did I know that there was nothing like putting on official dress and helping each other make sure our scarfs were straight before we headed back to the ag room to find the FFA jacket that we were going to wear for the evening. Our ag teacher handed each of us a jacket that we could wear. I remember the joy that overcame me as I zipped it up for the first time. The next thing I knew, we were in the auditorium surrounded by other FFA members wearing that same jacket. The energy was huge and the smiles even bigger! Ever since that day, every time I zip up my blue jacket, that tremendous feeling of joy and blessings comes back. I hope that every FFA member can have this feeling one time or another during their FFA career!
What is a tradition you do every summer?
Ever since I remember, the only time that my whole family took off to go anywhere was for family reunions, weddings, and funerals. My favorite summer traditions include hosting and going to family reunions. My family hosted what we called the "Preuss Family Reunion" at a local park every August. I remember being so excited to help mail out invitations, figure out how everything was going to work, and just being there with family. When the day came, my mom, brother, and I would go down to the park very early in the morning to clean and set up for the potluck family reunion. Once it hit 10am, distant family members flooded in! Seeing the young and the old and catching up on stories about life and farming was my most favorite part of the whole day.
What is one thing you are excited for as a state officer?
I am most excited about meeting all of YOU, the FFA members, advisors, alumni, and supporters, and hearing your stories! Though this year will be different, I strive to ensure that each of you continues to grow not only as an FFA member or supporter, but also as a person, student, advocate, agriculturalist, and so much more. I cannot wait to see and be a part of all of the amazing things you do this year, Wisconsin FFA! Please know that I am here for YOU! Please do not hesitate to reach out! Let's grow, together, as we navigate through this year both online and hopefully, in person!