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FFA Officers: Travel Blog

A Boy and His Cow
May. 16, 2022
Emily Dahlke - Treasurer
Adams-Friendship FFA Chapter
Section 6

Springtime brings a lot of things, the return of outdoor sports, planting, new animal babies, but for my brother and I our favorite is jackpot shows. There's just something about loading up the trailer and heading to a place where everyone is there with the same passion and drive for beef cattle.
We joke that jackpot shows are the beauty pageants of the cattle world, but when you see a heifer hit the ring and a switch flips, you get the feeling she thinks it's a pageant too. Watching the way she moves about the ring, head held high and sets every time she stops, you sometimes forget there's even a showman attached.
When you watch a livestock show it is really easy to say, “I can totally do that” or “How hard can it be?”, but you would be amazed at the amount of time livestock kids spend in the barn. It becomes their whole world to wash, rinse, blow, walk and feed their animals.
I’ve shown livestock my entire life at the county fair, but it wasn't until COVID when the county fair was canceled that I stepped out of my comfort zone and went to my first jackpot show. I absolutely fell in love with it and was fascinated to learn the ins and outs of the show stock industry. I quickly learned about the amount of time and energy that these people put into their animals and decided that was what I was going to do. I started late to the show cattle world because I was already 18 years old, but now that I am aging out I get to share my knowledge and love for cattle with a smaller version of myself.
My little brother has always loved animals and has just started his livestock show career. Just last year this young man was timid and nervous at each show and just hadn’t got the hang of being in the show ring. This year was a whole different story. We started by purchasing an Angus heifer (Frankie) in the fall and he quickly made a connection with this heifer that I don’t think I have ever had with an animal. After attending clinics and shows last year he knew what he had to do. Every day after school he heads to the barn to catch Frankie to rinse, blow and walk her which takes over an hour. We work on showmanship skills and making sure she knows how to set up every time she stops. And watching his hard work pay off in the show ring is all an older sister can ask for.
Dedication is a word we hear quite often in the agriculture world and is something that everyone should find. Find dedication to your school work, your SAE’s, your job or whatever else you have a passion for. It might be hard sometimes to see your hard work pay off and it might take a long time before you see it, but as long as you keep growing and learning from those experiences that is all we can ask for.
You would think that after doing something for a long time you might get sick of it, but if it is truly something you are passionate about it will never get old. Take my brother, he walks Frankie everyday, in the cold, in the heat, in the rain, but never fails to have a smile on his face, because he is doing something he loves.
Dedicate some time to doing what you love and you will bring a smile to your face even in the hardest of times. If you ever need anything feel free to reach out! My inbox is always open, 608-369-0594 or edahlke@wisconsinffa.org.

Just Keep Walking,

Emily Dahlke
A Farmers Truth
May. 11, 2022
Aubrey Schlimgen - Sentinel
Marshall FFA Chapter
Section 5

You know how not that long ago Wisconsin was still experiencing an average of 40 degree weather? Yeah, where did this 80 degree, very humid weather come from? I’m not really sure but I think this means one thing, spring field season is in full force. I’m sure you could already tell just by the green grass growing fast, and now the lawnmowers are out. Along with the sun beating down, and tractors and their implements are taking over the roads.

Now that we have nice weather, it's time for farmer’s all across Wisconsin to empty their manure pits, work up the ground, and start planting to grow their crops. On our farm it's time to start working up our fields and start planting corn. Just yesterday my brothers had to take part in the dreaded chore of rock picking. And yes in the 92 degree heat and humidity it is not fun. You get all full of dirt, you sweat like crazy, and from lack of sunscreen, that sun gets you nice and toasty red. But it is all worth it when you get the fields cleared and don’t end up finding one later that breaks the planter or even the tractor.

Needless to say it’s a busy time around here on the farm and on other farms elsewhere. But one of the busiest places right now is the roads. Not only is there everyday traffic from the hustle and bustle of everyday life, but now add the hustle and bustle of farmers in their tractors.

Which now brings up a topic that is very near to my life, and that is safety on the road during this time of year. Fatalities happen every year on the road that relate to the public not driving safely when farm equipment is around. Farmers spend long hours in that equipment, and I know I would like to see my family and friends make it back home safely. But that’s not the case sometimes. According to the Wisconsin Farm-Related Fatality report, fatalities reached 41 in 2017, and 34 in 2018.

I even knew of some family friends who unfortunately lost their lives from these fatalities. Which is why it is important to bring awareness to the surface every year. Yes we are all busy and trying to get places but remember that farmers also have the right to use the road so learn to share it safely. Like giving space for the farm equipment and then finding the right time to pass and giving plenty of time and space when you are allowed to. Or even the small gesture of putting on your hazards to warn others to slow down. The farm equipment on average can only go 18-35mph, so slow down for them. Or even pay attention especially at night to farm equipment leaving the fields and entering or exiting to roads.

We can all play a part to take into consideration the stewards of the land during this busy spring season. You can also research ways to make sure you are being safe around farm equipment, so that way we can all have safer roads and fewer fatalities.

Remember to keep the farmers in your thoughts and I cannot wait to see our crops flourish and for harvest to take place! You can contact me anytime at aschlimgen@wisconsinffa.org or 608-422-0649

Wishing you the best always,
Aubrey Schlimgen
Hit or Miss
May. 08, 2022
Mia Hillebrand - Secretary
River Valley FFA Chapter
Section 4

Time just seemed to fly by this year. Never would I have imagined my time as State Officer go by so quickly. It’s almost like an athletic event I had participated in in high school. Its a sport that requires a lot of practice, skill, a good mindset, and a good team behind you. Now, this sport has orange clays and they are thrown out of a machine that is simliar to a catapult that fly very fast into the air.

If you did not know, I have three younger siblings, Ethan, Ashton, and Ella. All part of the River Valley High School Clay Target Team. Saturday, May 5th, Southwest Technical College hosted their First Annual Clay Target Shoot at the Muscoda Sportmans Club and had invited many teams across Southwestern Wisconsin. In total over 200 student-athletes competed in this event.

My youngest brother Ashton had lead with his best overall score of his high school clay target career with a 46 out 50. Now this seems simply small to a very competitve member of the Wisconsin Clay Target Leauge, but to my brother, this was a huge accomplishment. Pratice, skill, a good mindset, and his team with him had helped him persist in a very competitive competition and reach an accomplishment he had not known he could reach. He had reached the goal of only missing four clay targets, and in this sport it truly is hard to get a perfect score as it comes with practice, weather, mindset, ect.

We as FFA members may have that goal we are aiming for and want to reach so badly and are ready to say “pull” and we miss. We may miss the target but it does not mean we may not reach the goal, hit the goal, or creates another opportunity we may not have seen before.

Today, I encourage Wisconsin FFA members to get ready make the goal and reach the stars. You never know if you may miss the goal and hit another opportunity you may not have seen before. Please reach out to me if you have any questions or need someone to talk to at any time. You can reach me at mhillebrand@wisconsinffa.org or (608)459-0742.

Sincerely,

Mia Hillebrand



The Memories We Make
May. 02, 2022
Amara Livingston - Parliamentarian
Cochrane-Fountain City FFA Chapter
Section 3

Holy smokes! We hear it all the time, but I cannot believe how fast the year has gone! If you are an FFA member, it is more than likely that your chapter has either had their FFA Awards Banquet or will soon. As a state officer, one of the very exciting opportunities we have is to travel to some chapter banquets to help celebrate chapter’s accomplishments.

This past Sunday, I had the opportunity to attend the Gillet FFA Chapter Banquet. Guests were welcomed into a reception area that had pictures from the year displayed all over. One picture stopped me in my tracks. It was an image of me and two FFA members at the Gillet Chapter Visit this winter. The picture was of us around a table with a wireless microphone. The FFA members and I had a bit of a break during the day, so we decided to break out the mic and perform some karaoke. One FFA member had the mic and was singing the one and only “Baby” by Justin Bieber. Looking back at the picture of this moment, I couldn’t help but laugh at this small, silly, goofy memory.

As I was looking at this picture at the Gillet FFA banquet, I realized I will carry countless memories from this year with me for the rest of my life. I was reminded how important it is that we live in the moment because we never know when those moments will become the memories that always make us smile.

For me, attending FFA banquets has been bittersweet. Seeing every member receive their degrees and awards always makes me smile, but at the adjournment of each banquet I am reminded that I am one day closer to the end of my year as the 2021-2022 State FFA Parliamentarian. What gives me the comfort I need is knowing that this year has given me so many moments that have become my fondest of memories, and for that I could not be more grateful.

As the spring approaches, many of us may be reaching the end of a chapter, especially for those of us who are seniors in high school. This can be challenging, exciting, and sad all at the same time. If you are currently in a situation that sounds a lot like this or will be soon, remember this quote: “Cherish every memory, love every moment, and embrace every possibility.” The memories we make are the most valuable things we can acquire in our lifetime. Do everything you can to cherish, love, and embrace every moment, for it is these tiny moments that become our greatest memories.

If you ever need anything or want to share some of your best FFA memories, reach out at alivingston@wisconsinffa.org or 608-863-3990.

Sincerely,

Amara Livingston
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