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FFA Officers: Travel Blog

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The Last Dance
Jul. 05, 2020
Joe Schlies - President
Denmark FFA Chapter

The time has finally come. The 2020 Wisconsin FFA Online Convention is set to begin! My teammates and I spent the end of this past week at the Sosonic studio in Madison filming the different videos that will air throughout Convention Week. It was quite the unique experience to say the least, and we are excited to present the finished product over the next 5 days as our historic FFA year comes to an end!

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 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,
Collin Weltzien
2019-2020 Wisconsin FFA State President
Last Section, Best Section?!?
Jul. 03, 2020
Melissa Konkel - Vice President
Big Foot FFA Chapter
Section 10

Wisconsin FFA - Thank you for the memories of a lifetime. The moment I was elected to serve as a State FFA Officer I had no idea that this year would be filled with growth, meeting so many incredible FFA members, and a year that was filled with SIZZLIN’ moments.

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.
Signing off,
Michelle Stangler
2019-2020 State Vice President
Hug Your Memories
Jul. 01, 2020
Katrina Hoesly - Parliamentarian
Denmark FFA Chapter
Section 9

Well, here it is. The time to write my final travel blog. Where has the time gone? It seems just like a few days ago the team was at the Wisconsin State Fair working the veggie races and the Discovery Barnyard.

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,
Joe Schlies
2019-2020 Wisconsin FFA Parliamentarian
Mother Nature's Curveball
Jul. 30, 2019
Katie Loehrke - Secretary
Weyauwega-Fremont FFA Chapter
Section 8

“I can’t see!”

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 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,
Home Sweet Home!
Jul. 27, 2019
Cortney Zimmerman - Vice President
Spencer FFA Chapter
Section 7

Home Sweet Home!
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…

Hakuna Matata

Daniel Clark State Vice President
Climbing To The Top
Jul. 24, 2019
Olivia Lulich - Reporter
Mauston FFA Chapter
Section 6

Hello from Washington DC!

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!

Jared Mack
Wisconsin Association of FFA State Secretary
Vive una aventure!
Jul. 21, 2019
Brooks Lueck - Vice President
Wisconsin Heights FFA Chapter
Section 5

Howdy there Wisconsin!

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
Neverending Story
Jul. 17, 2019
Kendra Jentz - Treasurer
River Ridge FFA Chapter
Section 4

Hey everyone!

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,
Drive For Show. Putt For Dough.
Jul. 15, 2019
Carisa Cleven - Vice President
Tomah FFA Chapter
Section 3

Hello Wisconsin FFA!

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 or (608)-863-6402!

See you soon,
Take in Every Moment
Jul. 10, 2019
Ben Styer - Vice President
Menomonie FFA Chapter
Section 2

Greetings Wisconsin FFA!

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

Enjoy the rest of your summer,
Escape Your Shell!
Jul. 08, 2019
Jackie Rosenbush - Sentinel
Spooner FFA Chapter
Section 1

Have no fear Wisconsin FFA, your new state officer team has been put to the test and has passed! Picture this, you and your friends have been trapped in an abandoned 1800’s western town. Every door, drawer, and dresser in this town have locks on them and there are no keys or codes to be found. The only way out of this town is to find the gold and find it fast before the Gatlin Gang rides into town! Although this may sound like the plot of a pretty cheesy movie or video game, this is actually the exact scenario our state officer team found ourselves in last week! Even though our lives were not in jeopardy and the Gatlin Gang may have been no more that a piece of fiction, solving this “escape room experience” we signed up for turned out to be quite a challenge.

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!!
- Ryan
Rise Up. Stand Out.
Jul. 01, 2019
Joe Schlies - President
Denmark FFA Chapter

Hello Wisconsin FFA!

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 or give me a jingle at (608)-863-0895.

Take Care,
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