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FFA Officers: Travel Blog

Different Approach, Same Mission
Sep. 23, 2020
Ben Styer - Vice President
Menomonie FFA Chapter
Section 2

Wisconsin FFA,

The state officers finally had the chance to visit Jag Lake! We had a fantastic time getting away from technology and continuing to plan our year of service. However, like most things since March, our time there was unique to this year.

For example, we stayed at Jag Lake later in the year than past state officer teams. Due to this, the temperature was a little cooler than normal. My teammates and I were often found using blankets or sitting near the electric heaters. However, this didn’t stop us from swimming in Jag Lake. (For reference, the low was 32° F and the high was 64° F on the day we swam!)

Another difference was that we were the only group to visit Jag Lake this year because it had been closed for the summer. As a result, the water hadn’t been tested and we didn’t have any running water during the trip. We knew this coming into the trip, so we bought water for drinking and cooking. While we weren’t able to shower, we did wash up while swimming in the lake. Let’s just say that an experience like this really made me grateful for showers when I arrived home.

Additionally, the dock was pulled out of the water because it wasn’t being used. This meant we weren’t able to take the infamous Jag Lake dock picture where the state officers hang their feet into the water. Instead, we took a picture on the dock, but with the ground beneath us.

Even though the trip may have been slightly different this year compared to past years, it was still an absolute blast from start to finish! We still accomplished tasks such as finalizing Chapter Officer Workshops, finishing Sectional Leadership Workshop plans, and solidifying our Agriculture Tour schedule. We still made the traditional banana split, even though we ate it out of separate bowls and not the traditional gutter. We still took a break from the hustle-and-bustle of state office and just relaxed. Jag Lake reminded me that it’s good to get outside and take a break once in a while!

Wisconsin FFA, the state officer’s trip to Jag Lake is very applicable to our lives in this virtual world. Both in and out of the blue jacket, we, as FFA members, will face obstacles that we haven’t experienced before. At the same time, we will have brand new opportunities that we can make the most of. Some of these opportunities might include creating new chapter recruitment events, revamping an FFA social media account, or even being present and in the moment when interacting with others. This year, even though our approach may be different, our mission stays the same.

Instead of looking at our unique circumstances as obstacles, consider that you have an outstanding opportunity to make the year ahead what you want it to be.

Best,
Ben Styer
Take your Time
Sep. 20, 2020
Jackie Rosenbush - Sentinel
Spooner FFA Chapter
Section 1

Wisconsin FFA, It’s official; your State Officer Team has taken on Jag Lake! Although our stay wasn’t quit like most, it was exactly what we needed.

We all arrived at the State FFA Camp on Thursday, September 17 and our stay lasted up until Sunday, September 20. When the State Officers met up, we hit the ground running! We have been busy working on the details of SLWs, COWs, Ag Business and Industry Visits, and much more. As a team, we have totally committed to making every experience the absolute best it can be for each and every member during our year of service! That being said, it was time for a little break.

Don’t get me wrong, your State Officers have been dedicated to perfecting every experience when we have work time; but, break time is for US!

The moment we got to camp, Mr. Joe Schlies (your WI State FFA President) was committed and determined to make the long swim to ‘the island’. For those of you that haven’t been to Jag Lake or haven’t heard of it, Wisconsin State FFA rents a lot of 5 acres from the DNR. This infamous cabin is beautifully nestled on Jag Lake. Almost exactly in the center of this small lake is a mysterious island. Every year, FFA members and State Officers alike have the goal to reach this island by taking the nearly 300 yard swim to it’s mucky shore. This, was Joe’s goal.

Being from a chapter that doesn’t visit the vast beaches of Jag Lake, this was a whole new experience for me and I had never heard of ‘the island’. Nonetheless, if Joe had a goal…I had to follow! Something about me that you may not quit know yet is that I am ultra-competitive. Joe’s goal was to make it to the island, my goal was to make it to the island. We only saw one major problem; it was beginning of fall and the air temperature was 63°. This was going to be a COLD swim!

Even with the adversities facing us, we persisted. We were determined to make the swim over the lake…We got in, IT WAS FREEZING! We persisted!!! The swim was long and I was full with spaghetti from lunch. I was starting to doubt myself. Was I a good enough swimmer? Was I strong enough to swim the stretch of the lake? Was I going to cramp up from all the spaghetti and red sauce coursing through my veins?

After what seemed like an eternity of self-doubt, I came to a realization; take your time. Why was I trying to rush to the island. No matter what, I was going to make it and I mind as well enjoy it! I decided that I would float around and enjoy the view, chat with my teammates on the trailing ‘emergency’ boats, and take in the full experience of Jag Lake.

So many times in life, we rush through the stressful moments because we want to ‘relax’. What we don’t realize is that if we would just take our time the stressful moments become positive memories, the anxiety becomes laughter, and the troubles become stories for another day. Wisconsin FFA, take the time to float around and enjoy the experience because these are the good-old-days!

Until next time,
Jackie Rosenbush
No Task Is Too Hard
Sep. 16, 2020
Joe Schlies - President
Denmark FFA Chapter
President

Hello Everybody,

The first couple weeks of school are now in the books and I hope they’ve gone a little smoother than you initially planned! For the state officers, we’ve been busy with workshop training and planning for the fall semester. There was a whole lot of brainstorming happening to say the least, but I couldn’t be prouder of my teammates for the effort they are putting in to make sure these next few months are engaging for FFA members. In fact, the team created a new leadership development opportunity for chapter officers to engage in called Chapter Officer Workshops (COWs) in addition to the other events we plan on hosting this fall- Sectional Leadership Workshops and F.I.R.E Conference.

Currently, the team is working through all the details of what these events are going to look like, and if I said it’s a piece of cake, I’d be telling you a straight lie. Changing to a whole new style of delivery really gets brain sweating as we started back at square one to figure out all of the logistics for each event. What platform will we host these events on? What activities can we do virtually and keep members engaged? How long will the event be? And the list continues on.

As I sat in my dorm room tonight working on the to-do list, I took a moment to reflect on the amount of effort the team is putting forth to prepare for our fall activities and figure out the reason why our motors haven’t lost a single ounce of motivation even with all the added stress of creating a new leadership workshop and starting the year at the drawing board when it comes to planning events. Thought after thought, I seemed to constantly come back to one reason- we know that the effort we put in now will be more than just worth it in the end because nobody can pay for the reward of hard work and the feeling of accomplishment.

Just like the state FFA, your chapter may have traditional activities each year. And you too may be going through the same brainstorming process the state officers are doing by figuring out what events can still take place in our current lifestyle. It’s simply not an easy task-it’s a challenging one. But if there’s one thing I’ve learned from members these past few months, it's that there isn’t a hard-enough task to make FFA members come to a halt. The extra amount of work, stress, and time you will be putting into events this year to make them even possible will be worth it in the end, and I can guarantee that! Why? Because there is no greater satisfaction than achieving what’s thought to be the impossible during this time.

Impressed is an understatement for the chapter events I have seen take place so far this school year and I can’t wait for what the next couple of months have to bring. Stay tuned as our team will shortly be releasing big updates regarding the state FFA events happening this fall!

Let’s Keep Workin!
Joe
Learning to Do
Sep. 12, 2020
Melissa Konkel - Vice President
Big Foot FFA Chapter
Section 10

How is it going, Wisconsin FFA?! What a year it has been! As all of you are diving into this crazy school year and learning so much, we as a team have been jumping headfirst into our pool of planning for this coming Fall semester. This past week, we have been hard at work learning how to design and facilitate workshops at our Checkpoint #1 training. From creating activities to figuring out how we can deliver a great experience to you all virtually, it has been a jam packed week of learning just how to do workshops.

One of my favorite parts of the FFA Motto is “Learning to Do”. Learning has always been that staple for me in all parts of life and is a skill that can benefit everyone. Throughout this week and heading into the next few, we have had many different opportunities to learn exactly how we “do” a workshop that you as a member will enjoy. With all the challenges Covid-19 has presented us, we are learning as we go, using new platforms available to us to tackle the hurdles we face every day. You all are doing the same.

Every day I see more and more members facing and overcoming their own challenges. Whether it is within your chapter or just personally, Wisconsin FFA, you are Unstoppable. You are learning from each new experience and letting that show in everything you do. I admire each and every one of you for having the courage and determination to continue

No matter what challenges you face, keep on learning to do!


In Service to You,
Melissa Konkel


"What we learn to do, we learn by doing." - Thomas Jefferson
The Best Is Yet to Come!
Sep. 09, 2020
Katrina Hoesly - Parliamentarian
Denmark FFA Chapter
Section 9

What’s up Wisconsin FFA? Can you believe we are all back in school already? Just as you are all adjusting to your new school "normal," the state officers are finding our new normal as well! This week, my teammates and I are spending time in our home away from home at the Marshfield Holiday Inn for our Checkpoint # 1 Training! Part of our training was creating workshops for you all! While we were sketching out our workshops onto a flipchart, it was at that moment I remembered one of my favorite phrases… "The best is yet to come."

I have been eagerly looking forward to creating our workshops for the fall. Though the idea of creating an entire virtual workshop for students was intimidating, the team and I are ready to serve you whatever way we can! Even though we may not know exactly how this year will look, as 2020 has been anything but “normal,” I do believe we all have something to look forward to. It may be one huge moment or multiple small moments throughout this year. We all have the choice to look forward to the future or to fear it. There will be bumps in the road, but it’s again our choice to remember in those moments that the best is yet to come.

Change can be scary, but once we step out of the mindset that it is going to be scary, we can walk into a positive mindset that we learn to live. I hope just as my teammates and I have been able to continue preparation for this year no matter how it looks, you too can also look forward to the future.

Stay safe, be kind, and remember, the best is yet to come!

All the Best,
Katrina Hoesly
Enjoy the Little Things
Sep. 08, 2020
Katie Loehrke - Secretary
Weyauwega-Fremont FFA Chapter
Section 8

Hey, Hey Wisconsin FFA!

There is no doubt, this school year will look different. From delayed sports seasons, learning how to use google meet, having to wear masks all day, smaller classes, going to school half the regular days, or even no in-person days at all, it’s something none of us have ever experienced before. And that’s okay! Even with all of these changes, we must persevere throughout this school year - you and me included! Think of it as this, our education is our passport. With that passport, our knowledge, it guides the path for our future.

For the near future of the Wisconsin FFA, the state officers have some great plans cooking up! The cool thing about the FFA organization as a whole is that we are so versatile, or in other words, we’re quite adaptable. Nothing can stop our awesome members, leaders, alumni, and sponsors from putting on a significant and memorable year!

If you ask me, I believe that time-old-tale that time moves way too fast! For me, looking back, it really is the little things that make up the best memories of my life. My suggestion to you is to take time to focus on those little things. Maybe it’s your last first day of school, maybe it’s a late night ice-cream run after chapter officer camp, or about to attend your first FFA event ever. For me, it’s spending time with my friends, family and fellow officers that gets taken for granted at times.

Curveballs have been and will continue to be thrown at us. There is no doubt things will get in the way of our plans or goals. I challenge you to continue the legacy of this great organization, finding ways around those obstacles, and always continuing to reach for excellence. Additionally, make every day the best you can as you tackle this new school year! Live in the moment, for the time is now and remember to take on those challenges!

Keep on Keepin' on,
-Katie Loehrke

“You’ll never do a whole lot unless you try” - Dolly Parton
We're headed back Wisconsin FFA!
Sep. 02, 2020
Cortney Zimmerman - Vice President
Spencer FFA Chapter
Section 7

We're headed back Wisconsin FFA!

Yep! That’s right! School is almost back in session. Where did Summer even go? I’m sure that most have different opinions about starting school. For some it may be exciting to get back into routine, see your friends daily, and of course indulging in the delicious cafeteria food, while others are nervous and upset that they must have a pass to walk anywhere. Maybe your first day is different this year. Waking up at 8 to log into a Zoom meeting or watching lectures from the comfort of your bed. Although going back to school is different across the Nation, we all have to experience our first day. For me, I absolutely dreaded this day. I wanted to be able to go outside at any time of day, run to the fridge for a random snack, and take road trips with my family. I lived for that. Going back to school was always just a reminder that more work was to be done. But as I got older through school, I started to realize of how many first days I had left. Like many, 1st day Senior year was just a door opening to the BEST year of high school yet, so we thought. Senior year ended for many on Friday March 13th. No prom, no last day shenanigans, no graduation, and even no State FFA Convention. As many thought, the fun was now over. We did not first look at this as an opportunity, but an inconvenience in our lives. No matter if you are an incoming Freshman, the middle child Sophomore and Junior, or in the Superior Senior class, make this year yours. Set goals for yourself and don’t let anything stop you. This may not be an ideal situation, but it will get better. The State FFA Officer Team and State Staff have been working so hard to keep delivering new and exciting content to members. We want to give as many opportunities we can, and we will keep serving them up once we can all get back together again. But until then, work hard within your chapters, plan activities, and don’t forget the team is always a zoom or call away! Good luck conquering your first day!

See You Soon!
Cortney L. Zimmerman
Make The Connection!
Aug. 29, 2020
Olivia Lulich - Reporter
Mauston FFA Chapter
Section 6

Wisconsin FFA,
This past week my team and I had the opportunity to meet and connect virtually with the Minnesota State FFA Officer Team! Talk about the power of technology! We had an awesome time learning more about our neighboring state and being able to gain perspective into how another association is impacting students during these challenging times. My team was able to take a lot away from that short time and turn it into ways to serve our state.

I couldn't help but remind myself of the importance of connecting with others, no matter what form it may look like. To be able to learn from others and share different ideas is something truly powerful. The new school year is quickly approaching but I encourage all of you to continue to find new ways to connect with each other. Some of the best ideas come from sharing out and listening to those around you.

Wisconsin FFA, I don't have a single doubt in my mind of your ability to continue to create and innovate for our organization. Push the envelope and ask yourself, "How can I best serve those around me?" The future is in your hands and myself along with my teammates can't wait to see what you come up with to benefit those who surround you.

Let's work together to better connect! If you ever want to collaborate about ways to serve others or have any thoughts or questions please don't hesitate to reach out olulich@wisconsinffa.org or call/text me (608)-548-1301. Let's make the connection!

Always,
Olivia Lulich
WORK!
Aug. 26, 2020
Brooks Lueck - Vice President
Wisconsin Heights FFA Chapter
Section 5

Hello Wisconsin FFA!!!
When I think of the word work, one song comes to mind, that one from Hamilton. You know which one I am talking about, “The Schuyler Sisters”. As we are finishing up summer and are about a week away from the school year starting, the term work is beginning to change. For me, this summer was not my ordinary summer of working two jobs. Work over the summer started with an online summer class. Then became prepping for running for state office as well as starting a job at Kwik Trip. Then, after State Convention, it ramped up: going to training for state office and working around the house in the flower beds. All while continuing to pick up a few shifts at Kwik Trip. No matter what it looked like, I was happy to be busy.
As we head into the school year, a lot of us are going to be doing school work from home. I know I will be having classes online. Here are some tips that I find helpful for doing classes from home:

1. Setup a little class space: This could be a spot in your room or at your kitchen table. Have it set up for you to work at and do all your school work there.
2. Keep to a schedule: Having a set schedule of when you wake up and when you have classes is important. It will help you become more organized and more productive.
3. Don’t work somewhere comfy: Stay away from doing your work in your bed or on the couch, as it will be easier to lose focus. Also, these areas are for relaxing and getting away from work.

However, don’t overwork yourself. A proverb that is very helpful to remember is “all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy”. Remember to take a break from work, enjoy the time with your family and friends. Just think of all you will be able to do with some extra time on your hands. You could find a new hobby, read a good book, finish a show you’ve been wanting to watch. It is going to be different and it might be difficult, but remember that others are going through the same situation. It’s a beautiful time to be UNSTOPPABLE!!!

Keep on keepin’ on,
Brooks Lueck
Make It Happen
Aug. 22, 2020
Kendra Jentz - Treasurer
River Ridge FFA Chapter
Section 4

Hello Wisconsin FFA!

To say that the last month and a half has been a whirlwind for the new Wisconsin State FFA Officer Team, would be a very big understatement! From the moment we found out that we were state officers, we were thrown into a completely different world that none of us were used to or would have ever expected. We have had the opportunity to participate in the State Officer Summit, week two of officer training, Wisconsin FFA Foundation Southern Golf Outing, Base Camp, and much more. We have had the chance to work with sponsors, National FFA Officers, FFA members, advisors, and this is just the beginning. At the local level, I have had the privilege to help with the distribution of state convention awards, two ag products handouts,and a sheep show. Yet, my favorite experience has been to see how in a few short weeks eleven total strangers have somehow developed into a team who loves and supports each other. Truly, the members of the state officer team are some of the best people I have ever met, and I am so excited that you will get to know them throughout the year.

Since I have been home this week, I have had more time to reflect on the last six weeks, and I realize that all of the opportunities I have been able to experience happened because somebody was willing to MAKE IT HAPPEN.

Let me explain…Folks, we are at a fork in the road. We have two choices:
1. We can mope about how our lives have changed, about everything we missed, about how we just wish life was back to normal, and fall into an attitude of sadness. OR 2. We can strap on our work boots, see that there is still opportunity in everything, and make the best of the circumstances that we have been given.

I know that it is easy to fall into choice one. I unfortunately do, at times. If I had a magic wand, I would turn everything back to normal in a heartbeat. Yet, this is not an option for us. We have to stop using excuses to justify our lack of action. It is our duty as leaders to make it happen for others. If you see a problem, do not complain about it, find a solution. If you want to become closer to somebody, don’t wait until they contact you, reach out to them with a call, text, start a conversation, or maybe even go old fashioned with a letter. If you want to become better at something such as sports, showing, or academics, don’t talk about how many advantages other people may have, get up everyday and work to achieve your goals.

The State Officers have been able to experience so much because leaders in our organization recognized that things may have to be modified from years past, but they were willing to put in the hard work to modify our events and make it happen for us. Now, I am not denying that this year IS different, but if we come to each situation with the attitude of let’s make it happen, the world may look a little more hopeful and promising. MAKE IT HAPPEN attitudes will make us UNSTOPPABLE!

Most importantly, our focus as state officers is on you as members. We know this year has looked nothing like we would have ever expected. However, I can promise you that the Wisconsin State FFA Officer team is going to pour their hearts into making it happen for Wisconsin FFA members this year. We can’t wait to meet, interact, and see all that you will accomplish during the upcoming year.

Please reach out to me with your stories, questions, concerns, ideas, or if you want to chat! I can be reached by email at kjentz@wisconsinffa.org or by phone at 608-642-1253.

Wisconsin FFA members, I am so proud of all you have accomplished during these times of uncertainty, and I can’t wait to see how you will make a difference in your chapters, communities and our state. Wisconsin FFA, let’s make it happen!

Until next time,
Kendra Jentz
Find the Good
Aug. 19, 2020
Carisa Cleven - Vice President
Tomah FFA Chapter
Section 3

Howdy Wisconsin FFA!

Can you believe that it’s been a month since our Online State Convention? It sure has been an interesting ride! Though we may not have been super-fast paced so far this year, it certainly has been a month I will never forget and that will jumpstart our year. Wisconsin FFA members, your 2020-2021 State FFA Officer team has been working hard to not only learn our new positions, but to also create new ways to connect with all of you. You are the focus of this year! It is because of you that the traditions of the Blue Corduroy Jacket can continue and can be added to. These traditions are part of us, but no matter what this year looks like, we can find the good within our communities and FFA chapters.

In a few short weeks or so, most all of us will be back at school. However, this might mean back at school in our kitchens, in our rooms, or in our brick and mortar school buildings. The good is that we will still be able to learn and advance our knowledge. We will still be able to connect with each other in some way or another. We might not be able to hang out with our friends all of the time, but we can still be there for each other. After all, that is what we as FFA members do. We find the goodness by giving the goodness. When someone needs a hand, we are there. When someone need to practice a speech, we are there. Finding the good is a very important part of becoming UNSTOPPABLE and pushing through all that is happening.

Throughout this month, the State Officer team has been blessed to have the chance to meet in person; however, just like all of you, there are many guidelines we have to follow. It can be tricky. I am not going to tell you that it was easy, but we were able to find the good. For example, every day, we had to go get food. Many of the restaurants were closed other than the drive through. So, what does your state officer team do, we find the good. We decided to walk through the drive through at KFC. No matter what is thrown at you, find the good!

Maybe you have to wear a mask, but at least you are able to go back to school. Maybe you cannot host huge FFA events like you used to, but at least you can still connect at a distance or virtually. Maybe you are not as busy and not sure of what to do, but at least you have more time with family and those close to you. Maybe you are not sure where you are going to go from here, but at least you have your FFAmily that has your back.

Wisconsin FFA members, let’s continue to find the good in everything we do as we start the school year! If you ever want someone to chat with, bounce ideas off of, or just be a listening ear, please do not hesitate to reach out to me via email at ccleven@wisconsinffa.org or via phone call at (608)343-3154. We all are part of one big FFAmily, and I am here for you no matter what you are faced with. Continue to find the good!

Talk with you soon!
Carisa Cleven
Know Yourself
Aug. 15, 2020
Ben Styer - Vice President
Menomonie FFA Chapter
Section 2

Hey Wisconsin FFA! This week, my teammates and I were spending some time in Marshfield for our Base Camp training. We were able to work with the fantastic Gracie Furnish via Zoom as she led us through the Base Camp curriculum. During Base Camp training, we were specifically looking into personal growth in order to become closer as a team and better serve our members. As we dove into growth, Gracie shared a quote with us from John C. Maxwell, and it read, “To grow yourself, you must know yourself.” This simple, yet memorable quote resonated with me as I looked into learning more about myself, specifically, my values, talents, strengths, and motivation.

In defining my motivation for being productive during my year of service, I identified three sources. They were:
1. Serving the members and recognizing all of their hard work.
2. Recognizing how fortunate my team and I are to be serving in our positions.
3. Remembering all the sacrifices others have made that allow me to serve as a state officer.

First and foremost, I strive to be productive for the members, advisors, sponsors, alumni and supporters, and parents in order that they may get the most out of their experience with FFA. I also need to remember how blessed I am to serve in my position and represent the state association. Additionally, there are countless people who have made sacrifices in order for me to have the opportunities that I do. Between my family fulfilling my duties back home, my advisor and supporters who helped me to practice and gave their time, and all of our trainers, mentors, and facilitators who devote time and energy into making me and my team more influential leaders, I know that I cannot go through the year without my support system. I owe it to all of these people to be the best state officer I can be over the next year. These three reasons serve as my purpose as my teammates and I are preparing for the upcoming year.

Having a purpose behind my actions reminds me why I serve. It is necessary for us to find our purpose and remember it throughout our time pursuing that purpose. Wisconsin FFA members, I encourage you to discover your purpose, or your reason, for your actions. Whether that reason be helping a friend in need, serving as a mentor to younger children, wanting to become more active in your community, or even looking to experience personal growth, opportunities for you to devote yourself to a specific purpose are endless. No matter what you decide to pursue in life, remember to know yourself in order to grow yourself, just like Maxwell said, and in learning more about yourself, identify your motivation that directs your decisions.

Feel free to reach out to me with any questions, comments, or just to chat either by email (bstyer@wisconsinffa.org) or by phone (715)505-8900. I am really looking forward to meeting you throughout the year ahead and establishing connections as we grow together!

Best,
Ben Styer
Bring on the Crazy!
Aug. 12, 2020
Jackie Rosenbush - Sentinel
Spooner FFA Chapter
Section 1

Hey Hey Wisconsin FFA!

Let me just start by stating that this has been one of the craziest years of my life and I’d venture to say it’s been one of the craziest years in your life too. Not only are we in the middle of a global pandemic; but, I’m a Wisconsin State FFA Officer. Like, WHAT?!? When did that happen?

When you think about a travel blog, you think about really cool opportunities that are being shared on a virtual platform. These opportunities include chapter officer visits, preparations for SLW conferences, community service events and much more. Well, that’s not quite what this travel blog is going to be about.

I feel, as an individual that has been given so many opportunities, that I need to reflect my gratitude on the people that have helped me get where I am today. Of course, my family is a huge supporter of my FFA journey and I couldn’t do anything that I’ve done in my life without them. Instead of talking about the obvious choice of family I’m going to talk about my newly formed FFAmily.

First of all, I think it’s important to note that the 2020-2021 State Officer team is incredible! This year’s officer team has the potential to bring in perspectives from every part of agriculture. Whether that be from production agriculture, agribusiness, unconventional agriculture experiences, and everything in between. Not only that, but there are so many stages of life on this year’s State Officer Team. We have students coming straight out of high school and we have students going into their third year of college. Overall, the perspectives that are being brought to the table from this year’s 2020-2021 Wisconsin State FFA Officers are immense and it’s something that Wisconsin FFA should be proud of.

Ok, let’s talk about travel! Although I haven’t done much traveling as a State Officer, there is one event that I have been able to travel to in Section 1; State Convention Awards distribution held in Barron, Wisconsin on August 3rd. At the distribution, I was able to have my first face-to-face interaction with many of the Ag Teachers and FFA Advisors in Section 1. Not only that but last year‘s Section 1 Officer, Ryan Erickson - 2019-2020 Vice President, and his advisor, Ms. Kristin Hanson, gave me some helpful tips and tricks on the coming year. Although our conversations were brief, they were powerful and they energized me for the coming year. It was so exciting to hear from different schools across Section 1 on what there hopes for this year look like.

As you may or may not know, the last Wisconsin State FFA Officer from Spooner was in 1957 when Ervin Kraemer served as the state Vice President. That being said, Spooner is coming into this experience as rookies. I’m so excited to work closely with Ms. Kristin Hanson and Ryan Erickson in the coming year so that I can be the best State Officer possible.

Overall, this year may not have started how any of us had hoped, but I know that if we work together with the people in our lives with wisdom, knowledge, and different perspectives, nothing can stand in the way of our success. As this year starts to develop and return back to normal (hopefully), y’all better get ready to share your amazing stories with me! If you feel like that time is now or even that you have some concerns that you’d like to see addressed, please feel free to contact me by emailing me at jrosenbush@wisconsinffa.org or by shooting me a text at (715)205-3735.

Can’t wait to hear from you,
Jackie Rosenbush
Unstoppable
Aug. 08, 2020
Joe Schlies - President
Denmark FFA Chapter
President

Hey Wisconsin FFA!

Hard to believe we just hit the last month of summer and before we know it, school will be back in session. What the fall semester looks like for many of us is still somewhat up in the air. Surprisingly, the last month was by far the busiest out of the past five but it seems as if Wisconsin FFA members have been keeping busy through it all. From dairy products giveaways, hosting drive-thru farm breakfasts, selling Dairy Strong yard signs, to organizing virtual Food for America programs or drive-by plant sales, chapters around the state haven’t stopped living to serve. More recently, I have seen many members staying active with county fairs and livestock shows as they’re becoming more prevalent.

As the Wisconsin FFA Online Convention wrapped up at the beginning of July, the new team has been busy too with two weeks of training already in the books. A week after being elected, we participated in the virtual State Officer Summit and met with state officers from across the nation. The team also spoke with Senator Baldwin, Representative Grothman, and Representative Pocan to discuss the different challenges the FFA organization has faced lately. Two weeks ago, the team headed back to Marshfield learned everything there is to know about Wisconsin Team Ag Ed. My teammates and I also spent some time deciding our state theme for this year.

Coming up with the state theme is sure not an easy task on the to-do list, but my team and I are excited about what this theme means to Wisconsin FFA members. After multiple nights of looking back on the past few months and what this year could look like, we started brainstorming theme ideas that would give FFA members the fuel and fire needed for what is to come. The 2020-2021 Wisconsin State FFA Theme is…Unstoppable!

Talk about meaning, that word has tons of it. Our team discussed how we wanted a theme that represented the driven mindset members of this organization have. A mindset that no matter how large or small the challenge may be in front of us, one will always overcome it. In fact, an unstoppable mindset is one that thinks of every challenge as an opportunity they can capitalize on. And FFA members are the ones with that same mindset. We also wanted to deliver a message of determination, persistence, and commitment which are just three characteristics that represent FFA members. These qualities come from inborn fondness we as FFA members hold for this organization. You realize the importance of the FFA. Not only what it has to provide for you but your neighborhood and the agricultural community. That understanding creates you into the unstoppable person you are today. Our team also mentioned how this next year will challenge members to come up with new ways of continuing their chapter’s success rather than taking the traditional route. I sure love traditions as they carry a lot of meaning but that doesn’t imply non-traditional events cannot hold a purpose. FFA members are the ones who are innovative and futuristic. Those are the individuals who are unstoppable. And without a doubt, I know there will be new traditions created this year as a result.

For what many may see as an obstacle in front of us, we all see the opportunity it provides for our chapters, our communities, and the organization to grow. I’m excited to see what this next year has to bring. Get ready for the best rollercoaster in your life! Throughout the year, use hashtag #wiffaunstoppable so we are able to see how you are being Unstoppable!

If you know me well, you know I could sit and talk on the phone for days, so reach out if you would like anything or to just have a friendly conversation at (920) 609-1533 or jschlies@wisconsinffa.org.

See you very soon,
Joe
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