FFA Officers: Travel Blog
Be sure to tune in to the Wisconsin FFA Facebook and Instagram pages July 6th-10th to join in on the celebration as we recognize the incredible accomplishments of our members, chapters, and supporters. It’s going to be a convention unlike any other and you won’t want to miss it!
It’s been the highest honor of my life to serve as the Wisconsin FFA State President. I was given the opportunity to serve and represent the over 21,000 Wisconsin FFA members that inspired me every single day, and I was dealt a perfect hand of teammates that stuck with me through the thick and thin. For that, I couldn’t be more grateful.
Wisconsin FFA, it’s been a wild ride, it’s been a fun ride, it’s been a humbling ride, but most importantly, it’s been an unforgettable ride. And that’s because of each and every one of you. Thank you for a year’s worth of memories I will cherish forever.
If you ever need anything, please know that I am only a phone call, text, or email away at email@example.com or (608)-863-0895.
But for now, it’s show time! So ladies and gentlemen, sit back, relax, and enjoy the 2020 Wisconsin FFA Online Convention.
Farewell Wisconsin FFA,
2019-2020 Wisconsin FFA State President
Thank you for….
Every laugh and smile.
Making me feel included and one of your own FFA members.
Allowing me to take pictures…. Everywhere and anywhere.
Being crazy and excited with me.
Showing me what it means to be authentic and true.
Embarrassing yourself with me.
Sizzlin’ with me on Sunday’s with Social Media posts, Newsletters, and Blog Posts.
Sharing with me your FFA year.
Wisconsin FFA - Section 10 FFA Members, or as I like to say last section, best section – Thank you for making me feel welcomed early in the morning and helping clean up after a chapter visit – although my tote may have been a complete mess. The diversity in the area is incredible to see and I am thankful to share it with you all.
I can’t say thank you enough. I will always BE EXCITED for you. Feel free to message me and I will be there for you.
Continue to Sizzle. Sizzlin’ with Agriculture. Sizzlin’ with Stangler.
Continue to Rise Up and Stand out.
For the Final Time.
2019-2020 State Vice President
State fair brings about many emotions. You feel excitement, happiness, stress, exhaustion, and everything in between. The feeling of excitement can happen in a split second and roughly about three seconds later you could be at a feeling of exhaustion. However, I did find a simple solution to overcome the drastic change in emotion.
You may not believe it at first, but hugs do wonders. My teammate Emily and a familiar face in FFA, Amelia Hayden, also went a little crazy over hugs during state fair. There wasn’t a day without a hug. In fact, the three of us have a group chat called “Hug?” And I literally got to the point where I Google searched, “How many hugs a day does a person need?” Here are the results:
4 Hugs for Survival
8 Hugs for Maintenance
12 Hugs for Growth
Excessive, right? No. Hugs give people a sense of comfort as you hold on to someone else. Back at the state fair, it helped lessen all feelings of exhaustion and stress. Everything started to come together as to why I was feeling better after each hug once I saw the relationship it had with the little research I had done.
While these types of hugs are ones we let go of within a short amount of time, there are experiences in our lives we don’t have to let go of. As I reflect on the year, I think of countless memories and experiences that I will never forget and be able to hold onto for the rest of my life. Fun times that are on top of the list include the Halftime Conference (Especially the skit where FFA members created a mosh pit while singing to Livin on a Prayer), traveling across the state hosting Sectional Leadership Workshops, and being welcomed into the classroom multiple times for chapter visits! Those are all moments I’ll cherish and will hug. They bring a person comfort to remind themselves of how grateful one should be.
The past year sure flew by and I cannot express how thankful I am for every moment of it. They say state officers can leave an impact on others' lives. But, you all have made a greater impact on mine. It has been a pleasure getting to know countless members and supporters across the state.
Get ready for the online convention in a few short days!
Signing off one last time,
2019-2020 Wisconsin FFA Parliamentarian
The moment came and my half smile started to get all half like. And… She literally walked right by me without even realizing that I was there. Like what? How in the heck didn’t she even see me? My half fake smile was on point!
At this moment I realized she was connected without having a connection. She was so glued to her phone that we never had a chance to make a quick interaction. Although in her defense, I also wasn’t going to make the connection if I had my phone either. This got me thinking that both of us were connected by being at the same school and by simply just walking down the same hallway, but even though we were connected, we never built a simple connection.
Another time just about every FFA member has experienced being connected with each other is at a leadership conference. Imagine getting to your favorite conference right after school on a Friday afternoon. You go and get changed into an official dress and meet your advisor in the hotel lobby. In FFA we definitely like to eat, and a lot! Every conference has a dinner right away before the evening sessions begin. Many of us have experienced this next situation where your advisor says “go find a table. I’ll be right there” and then they never come because they start talking to all of their advisor friends. Then you and your chapter members go around and find a spot to sit. The table then becomes full with members from all across the state. This is where the awkwardness starts. Everyone says “hi” usually and then sits in silence for the next five minutes. This is where we are all being connected by being in official dress and sitting next to each other. After about five to ten minutes someone so bravely says “so, what’s your SAE”. Then the table will either go around and say their SAE and eventually start an actual conversation.
As the meal goes on, being connected starts to turn into building a connection.
So what does having a connection versus being connected mean? Being connected is just like being similar. It might mean you have somone’s snap chat, sit next to them on the bus, have mutual friends, know of them, are in the same class, are co-workers, live next to you, have the same pair of shoes as you, or are maybe wearing FFA official dress like many of us right now. It means you have something in common but don’t truly know who the person is. There are so many ways that we are all connected.
But what about the connection? This is the part that many do not have. We are losing this aspect with many of our peers. It’s easy to be similar in some way, but how can we take our similarities and mesh them together better? It’s pretty easy. Put our cell phones down and simply live in the present. We seem to be building walls all around ourselves with the help of cell phones and being so committed to ourselves.
Be engaged with who you are with. You’re most likely connected to them in some way, but now work on building your relationship even further. We can do this by asking someone how their day was, by saying “hi” to them in the hall, get to actually know your classmates, or just being present by actually listening to the words people are saying.
Now more than ever, we are all very connected, but many of us are missing having the connection.
We all are connected in some way, but my challenge is that we start to work on building the connection. This will lead us to lasting friendships and stronger relationships. This could look like having new opportunities within your community with your FFA, or having stronger ties with an Alumni or mentor. Having connections is much better than just being connected.
As FFA members we have the chance to get to know someone on a deeper level than just getting someone's snap chat.
So I ask this, how will you turn your connectedness into a deeper connection?
I missed seeing everyone this past week as it was originally the dates for our in person state convention but I absolutely can not wait for our virtual convention, it is going to be so exciting! One thing I’ve been doing lately to keep my mind and my hands busy is helping my family remodel our house! It has been a long time coming because we have been talking about doing it for years but we finally started late last year but had to put it on pause because of all of our other responsibilities, such as work and family. But being at home these past few months have really been beneficial in allowing us to put the pedal to the metal and tear some walls down. We are moving 2 sets of stairs and taking down quite a few walls in order to open the house up and make it feel more spacious. But in order to make it feel more spacious when the project is done, we have to live with boxes of stuff, random piles, and worst of all construction dust! In order to move one of our staircases we had to move a couple air ducts and some different wires but the only place that made sense to move them to was in the corner of my room, right above my bed! Now I like to be a team player on this house project because we all have to pitch in so we can get it finished, whether that's removing a fireplace, packing boxes, or dusting just about everything so I didn’t mind having to put a hole in my ceiling for that.
They propped up my bed and started cutting the hole, the hole in the ceiling has to stay open till the project is done because that is where we reach our electric. Once they were done moving the ducts into my room and we cleaned up the massive amount of drywall dust everywhere we put my bed back down and I crawled in for the night. A couple nights went by and then all the sudden I woke up to my mom and my brother taking out part of the wall on the level above my room. (its a pretty common occurrence to wake up to construction in this household) But I didn’t just wake up to the sound of the drill, hammer, or loud footsteps; no I woke up to dozens of little drywall bits from the hole in my ceiling falling onto my head and all over my bed! I jump up and shake it off me, with bits still in my eyes I walk upstairs to where they are working and with some confusing looks I told them what happened. My brother said “hmm, guess you’ll just have to deal with it for a bit” and sometimes the cold hard truth is exactly what you need to hear.
I am so excited about the idea of my house being completely finished but for right now, there might be drywall in my hair, I might trip over some boxes, I might wake up to construction noises but I know that all of this stuff that I have to suffer through right now will ultimately be completely worth it once I get to experience that final product. Similarly, in life our goals that we set might excite us to the max but the process of getting there doesn’t. That is okay because life is all about working through the here and now in order to get a better and brighter tomorrow.
What is one thing that you are going through right now that will build you a better tomorrow?
Stay cool Wisconsin FFA,
Love your friend, Emily Sheehan
The hay is harvested and in the silos just in the nick of time for State Convention! Well, I guess we have to wait a couple more weeks than usual until the big dance but it’ll be here soon enough.
Haymaking went pretty smooth for Weltzien Farms this year. No major breakdowns or torrential downpours of rain got in the way to slow us down. However, the last two days we were making hay, there was one thing that made it much less enjoyable than usual. A south wind.
Yeah, a south wind. Now where I’m from, we tend to only have a south wind once or twice a year, so pretty uncommon. What's the big deal about a south wind? Well, when you are unloading chopper boxes in silos that are lined up from east to west, during a south wind, the dust from the haylage comes straight into you on the tractor, making it unbearable to sit on while unloading. It gets in your eyes and ears, up your nose, and every little crevice it can find, so you bring out the dust mask and safety glasses and stand to the side. Brutal. You come in the house at night with haylage in places where haylage should not be. It’s safe to say a shower feels pretty darn good.
So where am I going with this? Well, a south wind is an uncommon misfortune at Weltzien Farms that we have no control over. It makes a mess and there’s nothing we can do about it. Nevertheless, something positive usually comes out of the situation; a beautiful warm and sunny summer day always seems to follow. I’d say we’ve had a strong gust of south wind blow across the end of our FFA year. It’s made a mess and there’s nothing we can do about it. That said, I can just about guarantee the beautiful warm and sunny summer day that follows is coming. It’s tough to see that right now with our dust masks and safety glasses on amongst everything going on right now, but something good will come from the challenges we’re all enduring. Better times are on their way. And man oh man will it feel glorious!
With only a couple weeks away from the 91st Wisconsin FFA State Convention, keep on enjoying those nice summer days, especially the ones with a south wind! If you ever need anything, you can contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or (608)-863-6402!
Take it easy,
Instead of dwelling on the Used to Be’s, let us focus on the now. Remembering those good times that we have had throughout the past few months. Remember the times that we were able to see each other in person and the adventures that they took us on. Let me share with you my fondest memories that I cherish from being with my teammates throughout the year. As always, I will go in sectional order!
Ryan- Our carpools have brought us many memories. From spending hours on end in a vehicle together in Michigan, Illinois, and all over the state of Wisconsin. We have had some interesting conversations. And some long conversations on the phone when I am driving home late from places to make sure that I do not fall asleep.
Curtis- His jokes. You have the best one liners, but what I love the most is hearing his laugh fill the room.
Grace- Always having the Mountain Dew ready to go. I do not know how we would have been able to survive without the constant supply you have!
Emily- One of my favorite adventure buddies. She is always up for something new and fun! From teaching me how to milk a cow, skydiving and getting a tattoo, she is always game for anything!
Jared- Best FIRE Conference partner! I mean who can complain if you get to throw food at each other multiple times a day?
Daniel- He took up baking this year and of course we had to try some recipes out. We should not be allowed in a kitchen together. We tend to go off script and add in some ingredients that we were not supposed to. Some of the goodies that we made turned out great, others were interesting to say the least.
Lydia- Coffee and shopping are always a must with her. It is a time that we can catch-up and not worry about the things that are happening in our lives.
Joe- The man that decided to take on the big guns in a S’mores eating contest. Do not let his small figure fool you. He can eat! A rematch is in order soon.
Michelle- She is unbelievably motivated to continue to push herself to keep growing and bettering herself. She is a wiz at all social media platforms, and I need another lesson on how to make my captions sound fantastic! I need some more puns sent my way!
Collin- A friend. A teammate. A true leader. A person that I look up to. Someone that has helped me more than he will ever know. I hope to be half of the speaker that he is.
Instead of focusing on the Used to Be’s and all the things that we are missing out on, start making new memories! From being able to have supper as a family or just relaxing in the pool with my sister, I am making new memories to cherish. It is your turn to start doing the same.
Ever since the summer after my sophomore year of high school, I have enjoyed working on numerous local dairy farms. First Indianhead Holsteins in Barron, then Castell Farms of Almena, and since June of 2017, Brokers Farms in Rice Lake. From milking cows to baling hay and everything in between, I could not ask for three better families to work for and grow up with. But although I have put in many hours for these farmers over the years, I have always been a part time employee. I had become accustomed to milking nights and weekends and always helping out whenever there was hay to be made. And that has pretty much been my work schedule throughout my year of state office, milking here and there whenever I was able to. Or at least that was my schedule until the month of March.
Many Americans found themselves out of work when the covid-19 virus really began to spread in mid-March. But I found myself in the opposite situation. With all of my FFA events wiped off my calendar, I have been working at Broker Farms at least six days a week since March. And although it would be nice to sleep in here or there, it has been an awesome couple of months. For the first time in my life, I really have been able to witness everything that happens on a dairy farm on a day to day basis now that milking is the only thing on my calendar. And I have developed an even greater appreciation for our Wisconsin Dairy Farmers.
June Dairy month is usually a time for us all to support and say thank you to our dairy farmers. And although I cannot do that in person, I still want to say thank you. Thank you for the hard work that you put in each and every day whether the price of milk is good or the price of milk is bad. Thank you for wearing all the different hats that it takes to be a dairy farmer. Whether you need to be a milker or a mechanic, the business owner or the breeder, a father or a farrier, you can do it all. And finally, thank you to our farmers for always supporting Wisconsin FFA in all that we do. Even when times are tough, you still support us. But please don’t forget that during those tough times, over 20,000 Wisconsin FFA members have your back because we still believe in the future of agriculture and we believe in you. Thank you for all that you do.
P.S. - I will be attending UW Platteville next fall so if any dairy farmers near Platteville will be in need of a hired man, shoot me an email at email@example.com!!
There are few summer activities more satisfying than making hay. Whether it’s filling a silo or stacking the barn full of bales, you simply can’t beat the sense of accomplishment that comes from seeing that beautiful green field of alfalfa get stowed away for the livestock to enjoy at a later date. It’s always a process- cutting, raking, chopping/baling, hauling, and unloading- and in recent springs it’s been a challenge to get enough days in a row without rain to make that process go as planned. Regardless, when there’s hay to be made, it’s go time!
So far this spring, we’ve had pretty good conditions for haymaking but when it comes to conditions for the end of our FFA year, we haven’t been so lucky. We’ve been jumping over hurdles left and right as we’ve tried to wait for the COVID19 storm to pass. We’ve fought tooth and nail as long as we could, but unfortunately, we’ve run out of time. We should be just 10 days away from dropping the gavel at the 91st Wisconsin FFA State Convention. As fate would have it, that’s not the case, but there are still FFA members to recognize, achievements to celebrate, and supporters to thank. The show must go on!
State Convention won’t be the same this year and that’s a tough pill to swallow. It will be uncharted waters for all of us, but please know we are doing everything we can to create a meaningful online experience for everyone to enjoy. I hope you’ll join us July 6th-10th for the 2020 Wisconsin FFA Online Convention because ladies and gentlemen, there is hay to be made, and it’s go time!
The impact of COVID-19 has hit us all, particularly the agriculture industry. Growing up on a dairy farm was an experience that I will cherish forever. COVID-19 has largely impacted dairy farmers. I had visited a Dairy Farm in the Slinger area to celebrate the success of the FFA programs of Kewaskum and Slinger with their “Support Dairy” signs. We had toured this farm and although they have occurred several challenges these past few months, they were optimistic. For the first time on their farm history, they had to dump their milk in their manure lagoon because the closure of restaurants and events resulting in not much demand for milk. They were grateful for the community support with the signs as it kept them going. On this tour, I was talking to an FFA member about everything – from FFA, school, and how COVID-19 has impacted him. Although school was closed, he finished his school work and helped a lot on the farm. The year before, you would have seen him playing high school baseball and only helping a little bit on the farm because of how busy he was with school, sports, and FFA. Now, a year later, he is helping in the fields more and spending time with family. Because of this experience, he realized that he wants to stay in this industry. He enjoys it. He wants to do more and now has a direction of what he wants to do after school. He supports Agriculture.
FFA members nationwide, statewide, and in my area have helped farmers around the area. Having yard signs available that say Support Farmers or Wisconsin Needs Farmers - it brought us all together. It’s a great reminder that we, “Believe in the Future of Agriculture” as stated in the FFA Creed written by E.M. Tiffany. Through the 5 paragraph FFA creed it’s clear that as FFA members, it’s our responsibility to continue to move forward. One line sticks out to me during this time as “in the promise of better days through better ways” Think of the positive in this situation. We have learned in different methods, but our purpose remains the same, WE BELIEVE IN THE FUTURE OF AGRICULTURE.
Continue to support Dairy Farmers. Support Farmers. Support Agriculturalists. Support those who need it. Let’s do this and together, we WILL be STRONGER.
Continue to Support for the Future of Agriculture.
Roughly 20 members of the local Veterans of Foreign Wars hold this service every year by honoring one fallen military personnel. Flowers are presented and the fire squad does a three-volley salute which is my favorite part of the ceremony.
Ready, Aim, Fire!
Ready, Aim, Fire!
Ready, Aim, Fire!
The precision...stance...and timing. Perfection.
Today was a little different story for one of the three men of the rifle party. The first round came around and the non-commissioned officer-in-charge commanded, “Ready, Aim” and a rifle went off. A second later, “Fire” and the other two rifles synchronized with each other.
Putting myself in the rifle man's shoes that triggered too early, the second of realizing you shot too early would have been hard to take in because all I would have felt was embarrassment. Why? Because we often think that someone is always judging us on how well we perform especially during a public performance of some sort whether that is speaking, singing, or playing an instrument. In this case, it was performing an accurate three-volley salute. We want things to go perfect and to know every why in life, but in reality, even for myself, knowing that things will not go perfect and we will not know the reasons for everything can be hard to take in. The problem starts when we get ourselves too caught up in the so-called embarrassment and waste our time on those negative thoughts.
A simple solution we can all take from the mistake is the quick wit and response to his mistake. Within a matter of seconds, he was synchronized with the rest of the rifleman for the second and third rounds. The precision…stance...timing. Perfection.
I’m not asking for perfection. I’m asking to not waste our time on thoughts of the so-called embarrassment. The one mistake in the ceremony didn’t change a single thing to the experience of it. The purpose and impact never changed. Honoring our fallen veterans and together we did.
I hope you had a great Memorial Day weekend and are getting excited for summer as that will be here before we know it!
I worked here last year for a little while during the summer before I was elected for state office and the days I wasn’t doing FFA related events. Bayer’s a research facility that mainly focuses on sweet corn, green beans, and onions. We work about 100 acres at the Deforest station, but there are other stations around the world including Idaho, Brazil, and many other places!
My job includes working for the sweet corn crew. I love that we get to spend everyday outside doing something to maintain the sweet corn plots. Some of our jobs include thinning corn, planting, weeding, marking plots, counting seeds, and many other random tasks. I fully plan on having a great summer working here!
I hope that during these crazy days that you have found a new “normal”. I look forward to seeing many of you hopefully soon! If you need anything or have any questions at all send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Wisconsin Association of FFA
I hope everyone is safe and comfortable at home! I know none of us expected the end of the school year to go this way but I hope you are all finding a way to stay busy! My plans have changed quite a bit as have yours, I’m sure. But adapting to the ever changing world we live in is important. What is one way that you have adapted to staying at home?
One thing that our farm did was we set up a virtual farm tour. On Mil-R-Mor farms (my family farm) values community outreach so we had a couple classrooms “adopt” a calf from our farm. They get periodical updates and pictures of the calves as they grow up. The students get to see where it lives and what it gets fed, they get to understand farm life while seeing some pretty cute babies! Well since we couldn’t have anyone come to our farm, we hosted a virtual farm tour where the students got to ask questions and see our farm! We showed them their calves, how to milk a cow, where the cows live, the difference between certain feeds, and their bedding. It was definitely different from tours that I have helped with in the past but sometimes different is good. We are learning how to reach communities even further away and maybe a virtual tour will be a more regular thing.
Sometimes I feel down or upset about this whole situation but the most important part is thinking of ways that it could help. Like I said, our virtual farm tour could become a more regular thing. We are all figuring out new ways to do things; whether that be school, convention, communication, banquets, plant sales, and loads of other things. But while rethinking how we do something, we may just find a more efficient way to get them done.
If you want to check out our virtual farm tour search “Adopt A Cow Live Chat with Mil-R-Mor Farm” on youtube or click this link! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qf00CORQBHY
Loads of love!
1. The first sip of a cold, crisp Mountain Dew.
2. Finishing a meal with the perfect bite I saved specifically for the end.
3. The sound of gravel crunching as you drive slowly down a country road.
4. Waking up to the sun seeping through the blinds.
5. The smell of fresh cut grass carried by the wind through the windows on a warm day.
6. My cat booping me with his wet little nose because he wants cuddles at 3 a.m.
7. Watching the fair pigs take off running to get their zoomies out before their daily walk.
8. Hitting all the green lights in a row.
9. The moment after cleaning my room and feeling like a whole new person.
10. The smell of rain.
Some of these moments I never even realized brought me happiness until I really thought about it. But that is the beauty of it. These little moments are not there to be the center of your happiness. They are there to enhance your mood without you even knowing it so that you keep trying to find the good in the world around you. I cannot count the number of times I have felt more productive and energized just by experiencing these seemingly simplistic moments. Even though the world is a constantly changing place right now, we can find comfort in these little moments of happiness. My challenge to you, is to find the things in life that make you happy. Make a list. Search them out. Do something today that will make you happy. It’s never too late in the day to take time for yourself and enjoy it.
Keep finding the joy in life! It’s all around us.
Spring is officially here! It’s one of my favorite times of the year as things start greening up, farmers are in the fields planting, the school year’s coming to an end, and summer is right around the corner. It is also one of the busiest times of year, especially when it comes to life on the farm.
The last couple of weeks have been a whirlwind to say the least. Things are just flying around Weltzien Farms. Hauling manure, chisel plowing, digging, planting, and the list goes on and on. However, my mom and brother have built in a little time slot for a game called Yahtzee, right after lunch.
Now if you have never played it before, it’s a pretty simple game. The goal of Yahtzee is to get as many points as possible by rolling combinations of five dice. You can roll up to three times, possibly choosing to just roll some of the dice each time. You can go for 1-6, three of a kind, four of a kind, a straight, or my favorite, five of a kind which is called a “Yahtzee.” Now it’s not that often you get a Yahtzee so when you do get one, you scream “Yahtzee!!!!!!!!!” at the top of your lungs and let everybody in the house know that you got five of a kind.
And just the other day as we were playing, I got three Yahtzee’s in one game (a career high!). It was unbelievable! Man did it feel good to be lucky (and to rub it in to my brother). As a wise man once told me, I’d rather be lucky than good any day of the week.
With everything going on in the world right now, it may seem like we can’t catch a break. It may seem like we’ve got nothing but bad luck. But our Yahtzee’s coming. Our luck is bound to change. Until then, we just have to hang in there and keep shaking the dice.
If you ever need somebody to play a game of Yahtzee with or talk about your lucky day, you can contact me at email@example.com or (608)-863-6402!
See you soon,