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FFA Officers: Travel Blog

August Archives

Bumps in the Road
Aug. 28, 2021
Kendra Goplin - Reporter
Whitehall FFA Chapter
Section 3

The officer team has been hard at work with training and the Wisconsin State Fair. In the first two months of serving as Wisconsin FFA State Officers, the team has collectively traveled about 13,000 miles. We made it that far without any vehicle problems...until yesterday.

On the way home from Marshfield from Checkpoint #1, we were traveling on a county road. Out of nowhere, we hear a loud “THUMP!” The first assumption was that we hit something, so we look behind us to see if anything is there. The road: clear. We think to ourselves, “Hmm that’s kind of weird.”

Casey looks at me in the back seat and whispers, “I think we popped a tire.”

Ben looks down at his dashboard and says, “Ope! 15 psi. That can’t be good.”

We pull over to a safe spot, open the door, and we hear the air rushing out of the back left tire. We sat back and watched the tire go flat, wondering what was going to happen in the next few moments.

“Well, I know I have a spare. I saw it this morning,” said Ben.

We walked to the back of the vehicle, unloaded all our suitcases to get to the spare tire, and pulled it out along with the jack. As most of us would probably do, Ben called his dad, David, to talk us through the process of changing this tire. Casey, Katie, and I were all hands on deck ready to help. In only a couple minutes, the deflated tire was off and the small spare was on and ready to go. We packed everything back up and we were on our way.

When we got back in the vehicle I caught myself wondering what I would have done if it was my vehicle. What if it was my vehicle and I was by myself? I knew there was no way that I could have changed the tire as quickly. I was so thankful that Ben, Casey, Katie, and I could all work through this situation together. If it wasn’t for each other’s support and patience, the minor inconvenience could have been much worse.

When we surround ourselves with people who support us through any bump in the road, we can think clearly and work efficiently. Let’s think. Who is there to help us when we get a flat? For me, I think of my mom, Marie, who can always be my shoulder to cry on; I think of my friend, Josie, who I call with any problem and she’ll help me center my thoughts; and I think of my uncle, Kevin, who will help me gather corn samples or take videos of the Herefords whenever I need. I could not be more thankful for all these people. My supporters deserve to know this and so do yours. The next time we see them, let’s give our supporters an extra, “I appreciate you.” Let’s give them an extra, “What you do for me does not go unnoticed.”

Wisconsin FFA, I am confident that with our endless support from our advisors, alumni, and foundation, we have a bright year ahead. Please know that when there’s a bump in the road, your supporters and the state officers are here for you. You can reach out to me anytime via email at alivingston@wisconsinffa.org, or by phone at (608)863-3990. I can’t wait to start working with you all!

See you soon!
Amara Livingston
Moments That Matter
Aug. 25, 2021
Heidi Strey - Vice President
Osseo-Fairchild FFA Chapter
Section 2

Nothing beats the county fair! Between livestock exhibits, late nights and early mornings in the barn, eating too much fair food, making malts in the Farm Bureau malt stand, and hanging out with fellow exhibitors, there is never a dull moment at the Buffalo County Fair.

Looking back and reminiscing about my time as a fair exhibitor, there are oodles of memories that come to mind. One of the biggest milestones in my showing career was third grade when I was finally able to start showing market steers and sheep. Growing up with older siblings, I craved my first experience in the show ring. Another summer I cherish is when my cousin and best friend, Kali, started showing with me just a few short years ago. The memories we made as we prepared for and exhibited at the fair are unforgettable. Even though these memories signify major milestones during my showing career, they are not the only moments I treasure from my time as a Buffalo County Fair exhibitor.

Some of my favorite memories are from small, seemingly insignificant acts that quickly turned into much more. Working the malt stand, enjoying our traditional family picnic after the beef show, playing cards in the beef barn, and helping younger exhibitors are all memories that will last much longer than any award or trophy I received.

Throughout life, there will be times when you place first at different FFA events, sporting competitions, or simple yard games, but it is the memories made and lessons learned along the way that will last a lifetime. You will cherish late nights prepping for leadership development events or finalizing your agriscience fair application. At the moment, early-morning and late-night athletic practices might seem dreadful, but when the season is complete, players wish they had one more opportunity to compete alongside their teammates. The memories made while playing cornhole, kubb, spikeball, and other yard games during graduation parties, family reunions, or friend gatherings last longer than the feeling felt when the competition was won. In life, it is important to strive to do our best; however, we must never forget to enjoy the journey. The initial feeling of achievement and triumph is amazing but short-lived compared to the friendships and memories that came along the way. As the 93rd year of Wisconsin FFA begins, we can all strive to enjoy every moment, for the memories will last a lifetime!

Throughout the year, I am looking forward to making countless memories with as many FFA members as possible. Please feel free to reach out to me at any time via email, cdenk@wisconsinffa.org, or phone, (715)-495-2899. I am looking forward to meeting many of you throughout the year.

Live in the present and enjoy every moment,
Casey J. Denk
In A Crazy Turn of Events...
Aug. 21, 2021
Isaac Hopke - Secretary
Spooner FFA Chapter
Section 1

It has been a crazy, but amazing summer to say the least. After the 92nd Wisconsin State FFA Convention, the 2021-2022 State FFA Officer Team and I have been on the move! Each step of our way, from our first event at Base Camp Training to our most recent travel to the Wisconsin State Fair, I have learned and experienced so many different things. I have greatly enjoyed this experience and wouldn’t trade it for the world, but would you believe me if I told you that about two months ago, I had no intention of becoming a state officer this year?

Now you are probably wondering, Katie if you didn’t plan to run for state office this year, how are you a state officer? Well, a few weeks before convention, I received a phone call from the 2020-2021 Section 1 State Officer, Jackie Rosenbush. She asked me if I had thought about running for state office, and at first, I was a little hesitant. There were so many thoughts running through my head when she asked me this. Should I run this year? I’m not prepared, won’t I embarrass myself? Will I be a good state officer? This was an amazing opportunity and might be my only chance, so with some deliberation, I said yes. After that, much hard work and time was put in, and now I have the privilege to serve all of you as the 2021-2022 Section One Wisconsin State FFA Officer!

In this situation, I had an opportunity in front of me. I could either not run for state office or run for state office and possibly change my life in a whole new way. I could take some risk or none at all. In this situation, the more risk I took the more reward I was presented with.

After this, I have followed this philosophy: If a good opportunity presents itself to you, take it, because most likely it was meant for you. It may include a lot of hard work, determination, and perseverance, but it will reward you in a big way. Whether that be an opportunity to participate in a Leadership Development Event, become a chapter officer, or take a trip to the National FFA Convention, go for it! Everything happens for a reason, so when these opportunities are presented before you, take them and see what great places they lead you!

Feel free to reach out to me with any questions, comments, concerns, or just to chat at 715-567-0610 or kzimmer@wisoconsinffa.org! Always remember, everything happens for a reason, you might not understand it at first, but it will make sense in the end. I look forward to working with all of you this year and helping you find that opportunity that was meant for you!

Yours Truly,
Katie Zimmer
I Believe Because of You
Aug. 18, 2021
Casey Denk - President
Mondovi FFA Chapter
President

“I believe in the future of agriculture...” These words written by E.M. Tiffany are the first words of the FFA Creed, arguably the most well known piece of writing in American agriculture. After being involved in agriculture all of my life, I feel that the FFA community believes in the future of agriculture as deeply now as they ever have. The feeling of having an in-person State FFA Convention in July is one reason I believe this. Seeing chapter presidents carry their FFA flags across the stage, hearing our national anthem, and being together with our Wisconsin FFA family made me beyond proud to call this organization home. On top of this, FFA members from all corners of the state continued to make a difference in the lives of others, persevered through uncertain times, and logged over 3,500 hours of community service this year. Simply put, leaders do what needs to be done, and Wisconsin FFA is home to some of the most diligent leaders who find needs and address them.

Throughout the past two weeks, I had the pleasure of being at the Wisconsin State Fair, surrounded by outstanding leaders! My teammates and I worked in the Compeer Financial Discovery Barn, helped out in the Farm Wisconsin Discovery Center booth, and even had the opportunity to serve delicious ice cream alongside Washington County FFA members from the Hartford, Kewaskum, and Slinger FFA chapters. Volunteering in the Washington County booth was without a doubt one of my favorite parts of the State Fair. Not only did I enjoy greeting customers and serving up tasty milk and ice cream, but I also found that working with FFA members was extremely rewarding.

Every single FFA member I interacted with had a smile on their face, a fashionable Holstein print baseball cap on ;), and was happy to be serving others. One student, Jack, a sixth grader at Hartford, was delighted to be helping out in the stand. The most interesting part though? Jack is too young to be an FFA member. Nonetheless, he chose to help work the booth - taking orders, running the cash register, and serving dairy products - all while smiling and having a great time.

Students like Jack and the many others working diligently in the Washington County FFA Stand are the reason I believe in the future of agriculture. Knowing there are young people, agriculture students, who have the drive to accomplish their goals makes me proud to be part of the FFA and excited for the future. All FFA members, regardless of their background, have the potential to create change they want to see. We can have faith in the future of agriculture because our organization sets students up for success.

As the 93rd year of Wisconsin FFA begins, I am confident that the FFA will continue to prosper. The incredible members, advisors, alumni, and supporters of our organization possess the will, grit, and tenacity to push forward. As we move forward this year, do not hesitate to reach out to me with any questions or simply to chat via phone, (715)505-8900, or email, bstyer@wisconsinffa.org.

FFA members are learners, achievers, and agents of change. We step up and do what needs to be done. We inspire and influence. We are the future because we believe in it. We are FFA members, and we are ready for the year ahead.

Best,
Ben Styer
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