FFA Officers: Travel Blog
This is what my teammate Grace was yelling at me as her, Ryan, Lindsey, Curtis, Joe, and I were sprinting down the street as rain drenched us. We had been excited to have the chance to go to a Nationals game when we got some free time after the State Officer Summit conference in Washington D.C. We were, by far, not professionals when it came to finding our way through the metro system, and we were rushing to get to the stadium to enjoy a night of baseball together. I had known there was a chance of rain, but I told my friends it was only a twenty percent chance and that we would be “just fine”. (Can you guess who got blamed for our soaking clothes?) The group of us were climbing up the escalator to the street when we heard the pitter patter of raindrops hitting the cement. I figured it would simply be a light drizzle, but I was wrong. Through the window I could see the waterfall pouring out of the clouds above us. We looked at each other, not exactly sure what to do, but in unison we all decided to go for it. We took off, splashing through puddles, Lindsey lost her shoes, Grace had mascara dripping down her face, and we all looked like “sewer rats” (according to Grace) by the time we got to some shelter in a parking garage a few blocks from the metro. Our laughter could be heard down the street as we stood there thinking about how crazy we must have looked.
We did not end up going to a baseball game that night, but I will never forget how great that rain felt on my face. My teammates could have been upset. First of all, we were sopping wet, then the game was delayed, and after we had to walk quite a ways just to find a bite to eat. But the whole night, we all talked about what great memories we had made. The team of people I get to serve with this year is amazing, and their ability to laugh in the rain is incredible. If you feel like hearing more of our goofy stories, or like sharing some of yours, please do not hesitate to contact me! My email is email@example.com and my number is (715) 853-9156.
“Laugh loudly, laugh often, and most important, laugh at yourself.” -Chelsea Handler
This week, we are headed to the Wisconsin State Fair in West Allis to help out in the Discovery Barn and with the Veggie Races. We will be there the entirety of the fair, so make sure to stop by!
Lots of love,
The whole team has officially made it back to Wisconsin from a week in Washington DC while attending Summit Leadership Development Conference. We all had a great time walking around and exploring the nation’s capital together as well as attending the conference. You guys aren’t the only one’s that get to have fun at conferences!
I just want to point this out there… While walking around DC I realized that I must be one of the most loved people in America. Everyone walks around with shirts that say “I Love DC”. Since my name is Daniel Clark I can say that it was very nice having people tell me they love me everywhere I went! HA!
With all jokes aside, like many people I also love DC. It has such a rich background with history of this country. Presidents have lived there since 1801 when the third President of the USA Thomas Jefferson took office. The one thing that I really took away from this experience however may be different than others. It hit me how FFA does not take any political stance. In the FFA we encourage all to join, It doesn’t matter what race, gender, or religion you are. It doesn’t matter if you are from the middle of the city or far in the countryside. When we put on the blue jacket nothing should matter anymore. We are standing as one proudly representing the state on our back and the communities that we come from. We are agricultural advocates and we have some stories to tell, so lets all start sharing!
Lastly we got to meet some Incredible people while we were away. On the last day we (minus Jared and Collin due to meetings) had the opportunity to explore some more and we found ourselves walking to the Holocaust Memorial. As we entered, we saw the sea of blue as FFA members from across the country came together for Washington Leadership Conference. I was able to spot a fellow Wisconsinite and immediately began talking, we were able to corral eight Wisconsin members for a quick photo and then we spent some more time talking. It was so cool hearing the stories of other FFA members and listening to all the things they were doing that week. This was the first time that we were able to really talk to members as a team and what a great way to start it out! After a great conversation I am happy to say that Wisconsin FFA is in good hands with agricultural leaders that are willing to Rise Up and Stand Out all across the state.
Finally time to get caught up on some sleep…
Daniel Clark State Vice President
This week the state FFA officer team has had the opportunity to travel to Washington DC for the National FFA State Officer Summit. For those of us that haven’t had the chance to make it to Washington DC yet, let me tell ya there are a ton of stairs here - like everywhere we go we’re hiking upstairs. Honestly, how many of us actually like to walk upstairs, or instead take the elevator every chance we get? Well for me and many of the state officers, we love the elevators.
Many times, we don’t have the luxury of taking elevators and bypassing stairs. Either way we are led to our destination. During this week the state officer team has been reaching many destinations. We’ve been climbing stairs to our Nation’s Capital, the Lincoln Memorial, World War Two Memorial, Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial, meeting with Senators and members of The House of Representatives and working with other state and national officers during our business sessions.
Stairs are not fun to go up. I don’t think that I have ever heard anyone go “Oh my gosh I’m going to go run up these stairs for fun!” - yeah no that doesn’t happen. This week we have climbed a great deal of stairs and have overcome these small barriers. Many of the people that have monuments built after them here in Washington DC have had their own “stairs to climb.” Some of these great leaders have worked through founding our country, working through racial and segregation issues, or have fought for the freedom of our country, but they didn’t give up on their climb to success.
Washington DC has offered the state FFA officers to reflect who we are as an organization and as a team. Seeing all the past historical influences around the city has helped us reflect on who we are and who we strive to be. We have seen that these individuals have “climbed their stairs” to advocate for what they believe is right and we are doing the same. Stairs are not for everyone but are only a small barrier to our destination. If we set our minds to our goals, we can all climb the “stairs” all the way to the top to our own personal destinations!
Out of breath from all these stairs, this is Jared signing off.
Have a great one!
Wisconsin Association of FFA State Secretary
Well it is starting to get real! When you are elected as an FFA state officer, you are on such an adrenaline high. At the time you think that this is the best day of your life but in fact every day since has been just as amazing. I am currently 40 days into office and these past 40 days have been filled with laughter, screaming, swimming, games, bonfires, and escape rooms but they have also been filled with personal development, workshop development, reading, writing, stress, and very little sleep. The combination of all of this has made so many new memories with the strangers that I now call my best friends.
My team and I are getting excited for Washington D.C. Summit! Which is where we get to meet all of the others State Officers from every other state! We will be able to sightsee in D.C. along with getting to know other officers and learning new ideas that they implement in their state and bring them back to Wisconsin.
Well my team and I made it to D.C. but it was quite the adventure already even though we are still sitting in the airport! Well to start out, I love to travel! I love seeing new things and I LOVE adventure! Alright well getting to D.C. for my group wasn’t too eventful, besides the fact that Joe didn’t get his complimentary in-flight snacks and drinks, there were no complaints. But once we got to the Reagan National Airport in D.C. is where it started to get interesting. We get off the plane and it is 95 thick degrees outside! We take a 10 minute walk to baggage claim where we stand patiently for 30 minutes staring blankly at the board, waiting for the board to tell us what baggage claim we can go to to pick up our luggage. Well eventually our flight left the board without ever telling us where to get our bags. After that half hour we finally decided to ask at the information desk. We get to our baggage claim and are waiting for the conveyor belt to bring up all of my groups bags. Again standing in the hot muggy airport. My bright blue bag finally emerges from the conveyor belt and I see the top of my bag is super dirty! So I grabbed my bag and thought to myself, “no big deal, I can just wash it off when I get home”. I grabbed my bag and went to set it on its wheels to go find the rest of my team when my hair straightener fall out of the bottom of my bag! I looked at my unsteady bag and realized it only had three wheels (should have four) and there was a massive hole in the corner of my bag! I could see right through to my clothes! My suitcase was absolutely destroyed, completely obliterated! There was no way I could use it, even just for this week. I went to the (HELPING PEOPLE) and they got me a new suitcase to put my things in. As I transfer my things over I pull out my official FFA state officer polo, there was a hole that went straight though, front to back! You could say I was pretty upset. I needed my polo this week to represent our state, our team was going to wear these polos together. Getting to the hotel was a whole other dilemma in that same thick heat, just standing around. But we made it to our hotel and the Wisconsin FFA State Officers are loving summit so far!
Now this wasn’t the worst day of travel that we could have had but it definitely has the possibility of ruining my day or even my week! But we stayed together as a team and got through it! Life is bound to get bumpy, messy, and even dirty but the only thing that matters is what you make of it. My life motto is “Vive una aventura” which is spanish for “live an adventure”, I don’t really have a rhyme or reason for my life motto being in spanish except I REALLY want to learn spanish (I mean and it just sounds cooler). But to live a full life I honestly believe you have to just let the little things that happen roll off your back like water because if you don’t then that water will soon consume you. Wisconsin FFA if any of you have crazy travel stories or you just want to talk about adventure please feel free to contact me. I’d love to hear about all of y’all’s adventures!
Remember vive una aventure
~Emily Sheehan State Sentinel
I hope you all are surviving the heat this time of year! This summer has been jam packed with FFA events, county fairs, and of course the newest season of Stranger Things! The State Officers have been busy attending alumni golf outings, preparing SLW & FIRE workshops, and much more to get ready for our year in office.
At the beginning of my State Officer journey, I must admit that I was intimidated by the sheer intensity and dedication that goes into preparing for different events and gathering up material for speeches. But it wasn’t until I was watching season 3 of Stranger Things that I remembered why we put so much of ourselves into developing workshops and speeches.
FFA is a never-ending story. (if you have watched season 3, you know exactly what I’m talking about) :)
Each story follows a journey. FFA’s story began as The Future Farmers of America, but is now known as The National FFA Organization. That original story never ended, it simply began a new chapter and we are all part of it. FFA members all across the country have their own story in FFA, just like you and I. Our dedication as State Officers, Chapter Officers, past, present, and future FFA members and supporters are what makes FFA a never-ending story and keeps the message of FFA alive.
Wisconsin FFA kicked off its new chapter with the election of the 2019-2020 State Officer Team. I am thrilled to see where this chapter in our lives will take us. But I am especially thrilled that it will take me to you! I am excited to see how each and every one of you will impact this chapter in extraordinary ways! Let’s continue to make FFA a never-ending story!
Stay cool out there,
With a month under our belts, the action is picking up! With Base Camp and Checkpoint #1 complete, we took a day to mingle with and thank some of Wisconsin FFA’s biggest sponsors and supporters. Without these stakeholders, FFA in Wisconsin simply wouldn’t be possible. Collin, Ryan, Lindsey, and I recently had the opportunity to attend the Northwest Wisconsin FFA Foundation Golf Outing at Wild Ridge Golf Course in Eau Claire, WI. The event serves as a major fundraiser for the Foundation which directly supports FFA activities and programs in Wisconsin. The day was filled with fun and laughter by everyone in attendance!
As state officers, we worked at different holes running various contests where players were given the chance to win some extra prizes. As a spectator, it was not only fun to visit with all the sponsors as they came through but also to watch each of them tee off. Some hit the ball for country miles and some struggled to make contact. But regardless of their first shot, it was their shots on the green, or putting, that ultimately saved or lost strokes. Putting separated them from the rest of the pack.
As the day went on, I began to think how this can be related to our FFA experience. Merely just putting on the blue corduroy jacket is like hitting a stunning drive. It looks good from afar and it will definitely start you off in the right direction, but in reality, a drive only makes up a small portion of the total strokes in a round of golf. Lots of people can just throw a jacket on. But that’s only the first step. It’s the next shots, which aren’t always the longest, that separate our FFA experience from others. What we do in the corduroy jacket is like putting. It may not always look pretty, and it may not always get the crowd oohing and aahing, but the small actions of hard work we take make all the difference in the world. So as we get ready for the year ahead, let’s not merely put on our jackets and “drive for show.” Let’s get down to business and “putt for dough!”
As we go through the year, don’t be afraid to get in touch with me at firstname.lastname@example.org or (608)-863-6402!
See you soon,
My name is Lindsey Augustine from the Ellsworth FFA Chapter, and I am proud to be representing Section 2 as your 2019-2020 Wisconsin FFA State Vice President!
Here are some fun facts about myself so that you can get to know me a little more:
1. I raise and show cattle, sheep, and goats.
2. I have a sister, Kaitlin, that is four years older than me, and I have a twin sister, Mollie.
3. I was on the Parliamentary Procedure team all four years in high school and was able to compete at the state level twice in this LDE.
4. I have been on the livestock judging team for 4-H for the past four years.
5. My favorite food is peanut butter. I tend to eat it straight out of the jar with a spoon more times than I would like to admit.
6. I love to travel and have been fortunate to have been able to explore many countries in Europe.
7. My friends do not trust me to give them directions because my geographical skills are very limited. I am working on it and by the end of my state office career I will hopefully be able to locate places without my phone!
8. I am a sucker for Hallmark movies (especially Christmas ones).
9. I enjoy going deer hunting and fishing.
10. I will be attending the University of Wisconsin - River Falls double majoring in agricultural education and animal science. I plan to become a high school agriculture teacher in the future.
A whole month has passed since the closing gavel tap was dropped at State Convention. It is hard to believe how many places the state officer team has been so far in just one short month. We have all put plenty of miles on our vehicles already. We have attended Base Camp, WAAE Professional Development Conference, and Check Point #1, and have had an enjoyable time filled with many laughs, morning runs with the team, and too many eaten s’mores throughout this past month. The traveling will soon begin to escalate! Within the next month we will be traveling to various golf outings, Washington D.C., State Fair, and ending August with a week-long trip to the famous Jag Lake. Before we know it Sectional Leadership Workshops will be in full swing!
Throughout the past weeks it has been great getting to know the other individuals on the officer team. When you put eleven people into a room that have never met before and you sit them down to layout your plan for the next year, this experience can be frightening. On the other hand, everyone can take a role and use their strengths to better Wisconsin FFA. I am excited to say this team has bonded together and worked towards the future to RISE Up and STAND OUT as a group of individuals with a common goal. Let’s continue to make Wisconsin great through Agriculture and FFA involvement.
As we enter further into summer, there are many fairs occurring throughout Wisconsin. I know first hand how busy these can be. Enjoy every moment while in the show ring, preparing projects, and patiently waiting to see what color ribbons that you have received. Before you know it, this will be your last time attending a fair while being an FFA or 4-H member. Take in every moment and enjoy them to your fullest! Continue to use the strengths that you have to build your future.
If you ever have any questions for me, please do not hesitate to email me at email@example.com.
Enjoy the rest of your summer,
After being briefed on the fictional situation and being locked in the room, the timer began, and the race was on! We all split up and looked for anything that could be considered a clue. After minutes and minutes ticked by with few leads to work off of, we began to realize something. We were each working in our own little “shell” and trying to solve big problems by ourselves. We all came to this realization at nearly the same time and knew we had to try something different if we had any chance to escape. As we began to share with others what we had found and put our heads together, it was amazing the discoveries we made!
I think we can all be guilty of hiding out in our own little “shell” at times in our lives. Whether that be avoiding talking to certain students at school, doing the bare minimum on assignments we get, or as in our case, not fully communicating as a team, it happens to the best of us. We like to be comfortable and are not always open to others’ ideas. However, when we escape that “shell” and escape our comfort zone, it is amazing how much we can accomplish. For those that might be wondering, we did find the gold and escape that town once we began working together.
We escaped just in time with only 45 seconds left of our 60-minute clock. Any more wasted time and chances are we would not have been successful. The longer we remain in our “shell,” the more we limit our potential. So, lets escape our “shells” together this year and see just how much we can accomplish!
Have a Great Summer!!
I hope your summer is off to a rocking start! Between State FFA Convention, summer jobs, county fairs, family get togethers, and now gearing up for Fourth of July Celebrations, I’m sure you all are having no trouble staying busy! The State Officer team can say the same. Since being elected, we’ve hit the ground running. Last week, we found ourselves in La Crosse at the Wisconsin Association of Agricultural Educators (WAAE) Professional Development Conference.
We spent the majority of the week learning the ins and outs of Team Ag Ed, gaining a better understanding of our responsibilities for the year, and discussing the events on our schedule as we move through summer and into fall. But on the top of our to-do list was picking this year’s State Theme.
Now, coming up with a phrase that will be the driver of the Association’s entire year and of course be a staple of our State Convention in June certainly seemed like a daunting task at first. But surprisingly enough, after sitting down one evening in a hotel room, discussing what kind of message we wanted to get across, and tossing around a few different ideas, my teammates and I had picked the theme: Rise Up. Stand Out.
I wanted to give just a brief overview of what the theme means to us and the message we wanted to get across. We decided we wanted a phrase that highlighted the collective power our organization has when we collaborate-when we take our unique talents and interests and come together, it’s pretty amazing what we accomplish. We wanted something that inspires members to feel empowered to overcome the challenges and low points we all encounter, personally, in our organization, and in our agriculture industry and captivate the relentless drive for progress, drive for innovation, and drive to be better we all have. No matter the roadblocks in front of us, we find a way to rise to the occasion, to rise together, and to Rise Up. And as we continue to develop the future leaders of agriculture, we want FFA members to be proud of the fact that FFA members stand out-stand out in a good way. FFA members have a reputation of being a notch of above the rest when it comes to leadership, work ethic, and professionalism, and the responsibility of carrying on that reputation into the future is something we can all take pride in.
I cannot wait to watch you all Rise Up in your Supervised Agricultural Experiences, at contests and conferences, and in your community service events. And I am excited to see how you each Stand Out in your schools, chapters, and communities through your own unique FFA experiences. It will be one heck of a year! I’ll be seeing you soon!
In the meantime, if you ever have any questions for me or are just looking for someone to chew the fat with, please don’t hesitate to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or give me a jingle at (608)-863-0895.