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Wisconsin FFA Center's Weekly Newsletter

Wisconsin FFA Update - News In Brief
1.        2020 Half-Time Conference
2.        GROWMARK Announces 2020 Wisconsin Essay Contest Winner
3.        Students Participating in FFA Events MUST Be Active FFA Members
4.        Online FFA District Leadership Development Event Registration
5.        District Leadership Development Event Reminders 
6.        2020 FFA Farm Forum Registration Due January 17
7.        2020 WLC Scholarship Application Available and Due February 1
8.        Scholarships Available for Spring 212 and EDGE Conferences
9.        Wisconsin FFA State Degree Application Online through National FFA Website
10.       Wisconsin FFA State Star Applicants - Applications Due February 7, 2020
11.       American Degree Eligibility
‚Äč12.       Encourage Members to Apply for State FFA Honors Band or Chorus - Deadline February 12
13.       National FFA Week February 22-29 and Materials Available For Your Chapter!!!!
14.       Quote of the Week
1.        2020 Half-Time Conference
2.        GROWMARK Announces 2020 Wisconsin Essay Contest Winner
3.        Students Participating in FFA Events MUST Be Active FFA Members
4.        Online FFA District Leadership Development Event Registration
5.        District Leadership Development Event Reminders 
6.        2020 FFA Farm Forum Registration Due January 17
7.        2020 WLC Scholarship Application Available and Due February 1
8.        Scholarships Available for Spring 212 and EDGE Conferences
9.        Wisconsin FFA State Degree Application Online through National FFA Website
10.      Wisconsin FFA State Star Applicants - Applications Due February 7, 2020
11.      American Degree Eligibility
12.      Encourage Members to Apply for State FFA Honors Band or Chorus - Deadline February 12
13.      National FFA Week February 22-29 and Materials Available For Your Chapter!!!!
14.      Quote of the Week
Upcoming Deadlines and Activities 
Remember these important dates: 

January 16          Marshfield Parliamentary Procedure Invitational
January 17          Wisconsin FFA Farm Forum Registration Due
January 20          District Leadership Development Events Begin - Check listing attached and on Wisconsin FFA Website
                    Remember Online registration is due 2 weeks before your district contest.
January 23          New Deadline for National FFA Scholarship Applications
Jan. 31-Feb. 2     Wisconsin FFA Alumni Convention - Marriott Milwaukee West
Feb. 4-5              Three-Circle Summit, Indianapolis, IN
Feb. 6                 CTSO Legislative Day - Madison
Feb. 7                 State FFA Degrees - Postmarked - Send to Wisconsin FFA Center
Feb. 12               Wisconsin FFA Honors Band and Chorus Application and Auditions Due
Feb. 15               UW-Madison Collegiate FFA Hockey Extravaganza
Feb. 20-21          State FFA Board Meeting - Hotel Mead, Wisconsin Rapids
Feb. 21-22          FFA Farm Forum - Hotel Mead, Wisconsin Rapids
Feb. 22-29          National FFA Week
Feb. 24               State FFA Proficiency Awards - Postmarked - Send to Wisconsin FFA Center

January District Leadership Development Events
Jan. 20            District 23 Leadership Development Event - Suring
Jan. 22            District 3 Leadership Development Event - Bruce        
Jan. 22            District 9 Leadership Development Event - Westby 
Jan. 27            District 8 Leadership Development Event - Sparta 
Jan. 27            District 18 Leadership Development Event - Reedsburg 
Jan. 27            District 22 Leadership Development Event - Wittenberg-Birnamwood
Jan. 28            District 25 Leadership Development Event - Luxemburg-Casco
Jan. 29            District 2 Leadership Development Event - St. Croix Falls
Jan. 29            District 11 Leadership Development Event - Southwestern 
Jan. 29            District 28 Leadership Development Event - Dodgeland
2020 Half-Time Conference
Thank you to all who attended the 2020 Wisconsin FFA Half-Time Conference in Stevens Point. We are pleased that this conference provides opportunities not only for students but for advisors. Thank you to all the advisors that attended meetings and also participated in the advisor workshop on Saturday. It was a busy weekend including working around all the weather issues that we had. We hope your students enjoyed the conference!!
GROWMARK Announces 2020 Wisconsin Essay Contest Winner
Olivia Olson has been named the Wisconsin state winner of the 2020 GROWMARK essay contest for FFA members. Olivia is a student at Lake Mills High School and a member of the Lake Mills FFA chapter. Her FFA advisor is Luke Wiedenfeld.

The theme of this year’s contest was “Describe the ‘Farmer of the Future.’ What tools or skills will he or she need to be successful?” In her contest entry, Olson said: “Some of these future farmers haven’t even been born yet. Some of their techniques or devices haven’t even been developed yet. They will grow up in a technologically advanced society, inventing state-of-the-art innovations not yet known to agriculture.”

As the contest winner, Olivia will receive a $500 award from GROWMARK at the Wisconsin FFA State Convention in Madison, held in June. The Lake Mills FFA chapter will also receive a $300 award in honor of her accomplishment.

Four state runners-up will each receive a $125 award. The runners-up and their FFA chapters are, in alphabetical order: Emma Hamilton, Adams-Friendship FFA Chapter, Friendship, Wisconsin; Madeline Hensel, Pittsville FFA Chapter, Pittsville, Wisconsin; Katrina Hoesly, Denmark FFA Chapter, Denmark, Wisconsin; and Ella Tretsven, Luck FFA Chapter, Cushing, Wisconsin. 

This is the 27th year for the program, sponsored by the GROWMARK System and FS member cooperatives, in conjunction with state FFA leaders, to help young people develop their writing skills, learn about current issues in agriculture, and understand the unique role of cooperatives.

GROWMARK is an agricultural cooperative providing agronomy, energy, facility planning, and logistics products and services, as well as grain marketing and risk management services throughout North America. Headquartered in Bloomington, Illinois, GROWMARK owns the FS trademark, which is used by affiliated member cooperatives. More information is available at
Students Participating in FFA Events MUST Be Active FFA Members
All students submitting award applications and participating in FFA events must be listed as active FFA members on chapter rosters - You will be asked to provide membership ID numbers when registering students. A review of membership will be done as students participate in events and submit applications. Students who are not members are considered ineligible. You can still add more members to your roster until March 1, 2020 but if the student is competing before that date, make sure they are entered into the National FFA Website before competing to obtain their ID number.

Do not enter in a generic membership number for your students. This is not acceptable. Please make sure to enter your student’s correct membership number when registering students for events.
Online FFA District Leadership Development Event Registration
Advisors of FFA members competing in Wisconsin FFA District Leadership Development Events must register their students through the online registration site. This is REQUIRED of all chapters competing at the District Level. Registration is due two weeks before your District Leadership Development Event date....Please see document attached for the two week deadline for each District Event - Please note these vary. All registrations are coming to the Wisconsin FFA Center and then are transferred to the District Host.

NOTE: We are enforcing the two week registration deadline. We will not be allowing registration past the two week deadline so make sure to get your registration in on time!!

Substitutions are allowed on site at the District Event. HOWEVER NO NEW REGISTRATIONS WILL BE ALLOWED ON SITE. There is a substitution form that you can complete if you have a change at the time of the event. This will be provided to chapters after the initial registration is complete. It is also posted on the Wisconsin FFA Website under Leadership Development Events. You can only substitute for a contestant that is registered....No NEW registrations can be made after the registration deadline. The only exception to this is if you have a team for Quiz Bowl. As long as your team is registered, you can switch around, add or delete members within that team. You just can’t add another team if you didn’t register one to begin with. 

Follow these steps:
1. Go to the Wisconsin FFA Website
2. Click on “Participate” then “Events”. Next click on "Leadership Development Events" and then "2020 Leadership Development Event Online Registration".
3. Enter your CHAPTER NUMBER for both your User Name and Password. UNLESSyou have changed your password when you registered for a Wisconsin FFA Leadership Conference. NOTE: This is not your National FFA User Name and Password. This is the User name that is your chapter number and your "state" password if you changed it from your chapter number earlier this school year.
4. Indicate the District Event attending. Use the pull down selection to find your district event location and date. (This information is necessary so we can properly sort the entries for the correct District Hosts). You must attend the event in the district in which your chapter is located. I have attached a list for your reference. 
6. Include information about the numbers for contact purposes.
7. For each event you need to list each participant AND their official Membership ID number. Your registration will not be accepted without the proper membership number for each student entered. FAKE NUMBERS will not be accepted.

If a student is not a member at the time of registration, you MUST go to the National FFA website and enter them as a member before registering for District Leadership Development Events.

If you only have one entry for an event, leave the other space blank…The system will accept entries without all name spaces filled as some Quiz Bowl teams may only have the minimum required team members needed. Parliamentary Procedure teams areREQUIREDto have 6 members entered. When a student name is entered, it will require you to submit a membership number before it will be accepted.

At the bottom of the registration pages, please indicate any students who are competing in multiple events so that the District Host can properly schedule everyone and the events can move forward without delays.

Reminders: Members are only allowed to participate in 2 individual and one team event at the district level. There is a Rule Handbook online at
of all the rules and procedures. Also Prepared Speaking Manuscripts and Employment Skills resumes, cover letters and job descriptions are due to the district hosts postmarked two weeks before the competition.

Again......Substitutions will be allowed on site....HOWEVER you must complete a substitution form that will be made available online when registrations are received.
District Leadership Development Events Reminders 
Some very important reminders for those participating in the District Leadership Development Events… 
1.  Review rules and procedures for the Leadership Development Events posted online at  Each competition has rules, procedures and scorecards.  It is important all participants follow the current updated rules published by the Wisconsin FFA Center.
2.  An individual FFA member can only compete in 2 individual events and 1 team event at the district competition.  If a member violates this rule, they will be disqualified from all the events they participated in. This is very important that ALL members follow this rule.
3.  Creed speakers are only allowed to participate in the creed speaking contest one time as either a 7th, 8th or 9th grade student.  So if a student participants as an 8th grader, they cannot participate again as a 9th grade.  This is one time only participation event.
4.  Chapters are allowed 2 participants/teams in each event EXCEPT parliamentary procedure. All participants must be active, dues paid members at the time of participation in the district leadership development events.  
5.  Prepared Speaking Manuscripts and Employment Skills Resumes, Cover Letters and Job Descriptions must be postmarked two weeks before the event to the district host or 25 points will be deducted for each day it is late (Monday through Friday only).
6.  The 2020 DISCUSSION MEET TOPICS are online at
7.  Participants must wear name badges (about 3"x5") for both Discussion Meet and Parliamentary Procedure contests on which his/her name is legibly printed and visible.
8.  Finally, all contestants MUST HAVE PROPER OFFICIAL DRESS if competing.  Quiz Bowl can be the only exception at the district and sectional contest.  Proper Official Dress is defined in the Leadership Development Event Handbook.  Make sure to contact your District Host or the Wisconsin FFA Center if you have any questions. 

Also, there are no published Extemporaneous topics provided by the Wisconsin FFA however there are SIX main categories that the topics can come from (based on the rules of National FFA) 1) Agricultural literacy and advocacy 2) Current agricultural issues 3) Advancing agriculture through agriculture science 4) Current technology uses and applications in agriculture 5) Agrimarketing and international agriculture and 6) Food and fiber systems.
2020 FFA Farm Forum Registration Due January 17
Member and advisor registration forms for the February 21-22, 2020 FFA Farm Forum are due January 17, 2020.  

The FFA Farm Forum is a two-day conference specifically designed for high school juniors interested in agricultural careers. Each FFA chapter may send a maximum of four students.  Openings are limited to the first 150 student applications and the first 30 advisor applications.

Registration forms and a personal conduct agreement are available on the Wisconsin Farm Bureau website ( They are also posted on the Wisconsin FFA website. A personal conduct agreement form must be submitted for each student.  If you have questions, feel free to contact Mandy Masters at 608.828.5702 or   

Please send your send your completed registration forms and payment to: 
Wisconsin Farm Bureau Federation
FFA Farm Forum, ATTN: Mandy Masters
P.O. Box 5550
Madison, WI  53705-0550
2020 WLC Scholarship Application Available and Due February 1
The Wisconsin FFA WLC Scholarship Application is posted on the Wisconsin FFA Website for those students looking to attend the 2020 Washington Leadership Conference. Applications are due February 1, 2020. Send completed applications to the Wisconsin FFA Center, P.O. Box 110, Spencer, WI  54479. 
Scholarships Available for Spring 212 and EDGE Conferences
The Wisconsin FFA Alumni Association will once again be sponsoring up to 15 $100.00 scholarships for local FFA Alumni chapters to sponsor students to the 212 and EDGE conferences being held in Stevens Point in March.  The State Alumni Council changed the format this fall so that Alumni chapters can apply for the $100.00 and then use the funds to sponsor students.  Many of the local chapters are matching that then, or even doing several more, in order to help out the local FFA chapters.  Individual students can not apply for the scholarship.

The application can be found online at as the first link below Grants.  The applications are due to Cheryl Steinbach, no later than February 10, 2020, so that there is enough time for the committee to judge them and notify the chapters that they have won the funds, allowing enough time to still get students registered.

Please remember, only FFA Alumni chapters that are current and up-to-date with their membership are eligible.
 Wisconsin FFA State Degree Application Online through National FFA Website
The State FFA Degree Application is available for your students to work on. Applications are due February 7 and will need to be sent to the Wisconsin FFA Center.
FFA members have to log into the National FFA Website Application Center to begin their State FFA Degree Application. When they go to the Application Center make sure they click on the box that says State and Local and there they can create their state degree application. 

Also don’t forget that there is the manual page that we have posted on the FFA website under State Degrees where the student fills in their speeches, leadership roles, program of activities events and parli pro.
 Wisconsin FFA State Star Applicants - Applications Due February 7, 2020
If you have a member applying for the State FFA Degree, they may want to consider applying for State Star recognition. Stars are recognized in the four areas: Farmer, Agricultural Placement, Agribusiness and Agriscience. In order to apply for State Star Recognition, a student must be applying for their State FFA Degree, then they must also fill out the "Star Battery" which provides additional information for this level of recognition. The Star Battery is located online through the National FFA website with all other degree and proficiency applications. In order for a student to be considered for State Star Recognition, they must include all necessary pages and information or they will not be considered if any portion of the Battery or State Degree is missing. 
 American Degree Eligibility
"How long is an FFA member still eligible to apply for their American FFA Degree or continue their FFA membership?" A student can be an FFA member until November 30 following their fourth National FFA Convention after graduation...unless there is some military service to consider and then they can be a member until age 23. So here is a quick way to figure out if a student is still eligible. Take the year that the student graduated and count the number of National FFA Convention following that graduation date.

Graduation May 2017
1st National Convention - October 2017
2nd National Convention - October 2018
3rd National Convention - October 2019
4th National Convention - October 2020 - This would be the last national convention that this member could receive recognition at. They must apply for the degree by March 5, 2020.
Encourage Members to Apply for State FFA Honors Band or Chorus - Deadline February 12
Each year we have two fantastic groups of musicians come together at the State FFA Convention to perform and also perform at the State Fair.  Encourage your students who play an instrument or sing in the choir to audition for the Wisconsin FFA Honors Band or Chorus.  The past couple years, we have had fewer applications submitted for these two groups.  We would love to see more students apply!!  Updated applications were emailed to advisors and are also posted on the Wisconsin FFA website.

Applications and auditions are due February 12, 2020.  State Convention performances are June 16-18.  State Fair performances are August 13-16. 
National FFA Week February 22-29 and Materials Available For Your Chapter!!!!
National FFA Week is February 22-29, 2020.   Check out for the official National FFA Week materials.
Quote of the Week
“Don’t judge each day by the harvest your reap but by the seeds that your plant.”- Robert Louis Stevenson

Enjoy the rest of your week!

Cheryl L. Zimmerman
Wisconsin FFA Executive Director
Wisconsin FFA Center, Inc.
Phone: 715-659-4807