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FFA Officers: Travel Blog

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Support Agriculture
May. 29, 2020
Melissa Konkel - Vice President
Big Foot FFA Chapter
Section 10

It’s almost June Dairy Month and do you know what that means? An excuse to eat more Dairy Products. Whether it’s ice cream, yogurt, or my favorite – cheese spread on crackers!

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.

Best,
Michelle Stangler
Honoring Together
May. 25, 2020
Katrina Hoesly - Parliamentarian
Denmark FFA Chapter
Section 9

The weather has been beautiful outside lately and what a better time to relax. My family usually stays around the homestead Memorial Day weekend with every year doing something different for the most part. This year the family and I worked on a few projects outside, went up north by my aunt and uncle, went for some ice cream at the famous Frost Tips in Dyckesville, WI, and had a bonfire. Sounds like a Wisconsin type of weekend to me. However, the one thing that stayed the same was heading down the road for the Memorial Day Cemetery Service.

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!

Thankful,
Joe
Summer Work
May. 15, 2020
Olivia Lulich - Reporter
Mauston FFA Chapter
Section 6

Hey there Wisconsin FFA! The last few months for everyone sure have been a little crazy. For me, I am finally getting back on track with a “normal” life. This past week I started my job back up at Bayer Crop Science in Deforest. This place is very neat with all of the agricultural related science that takes place here.

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 jmack@wisconsinffa.org.

Signing Off,

Jared Mack
State Secretary
Wisconsin Association of FFA
Virtual Farm Tour!
May. 12, 2020
Brooks Lueck - Vice President
Wisconsin Heights FFA Chapter
Section 5

Hiya pals!

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!
~Emily
Little Moments of Happiness
May. 09, 2020
Kendra Jentz - Treasurer
River Ridge FFA Chapter
Section 4

Continuing off of my last blog “THIS or THAT,” I wanted talk a little bit about happiness. Way to often we all get so caught up in our day to day lives, that we forget all of the little things that make us happy. During this time at home, I decided to make a list. This list is full of small little things that I never took the time to appreciate before. I put together 10 of those little moments that make me happy to share with you all.

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.

Stay happy!
Grace
Yahtzee!
May. 05, 2020
Carisa Cleven - Vice President
Tomah FFA Chapter
Section 3

Yo Wisconsin FFA,

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 ckweltzien@wisconsinffa.org or (608)-863-6402!

See you soon,
Curtis
Creating your Impact
May. 01, 2020
Ben Styer - Vice President
Menomonie FFA Chapter
Section 2

Birds chirping. Hearing the crash of the water. Feeling the water when it sprays on your body. Frogs croaking. Looking out and seeing the blue sky and feeling the sun beating on the back of your neck. The crunch of gravel underneath your feet.

This is what I live for.

The other day, I went for a hike at Willow River National Park in Hudson, Wisconsin. Something that I did not really have time to do this past year while traveling our great state of Wisconsin. During this past year, I have been busy and not taking the time out of my day to really appreciate all the beautiful things in nature.

When I was standing next to the waterfall, I noticed something. The water from the top of the waterfall came crashing down into the river at the bottom of it. You could physically hear the impact of the water. Just like the water from this waterfall, we all have an impact on the things around us. Some impacts are more noticeable, and others are more subtle like when the water hits the people surrounding the falls.

Be the impact that you want to see happen in our world.

The impact that makes others want to make a change in our world. A good change during this time of uncertainty. Call a teammate, friend, family member, or an advisor. This small act could make a large impact on someone’s life.

Get outside, enjoy nature, and make your impact on the world,
Lindsey
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