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Wisconsin FFA Center's Weekly Newsletter

Wisconsin FFA Update - News In Brief
January 2021

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Wisconsin FFA Advisors
 
I hope that your week back after break in whatever version you are in whether in-person, virtual or hybrid was good!  We hope that you have checked your mail when you returned to school and found a gift to each of you from the State FFA Officers, State Staff and Wisconsin FFA Foundation.  If not please let me know. Let’s hope 2021 brings back some of the normal events and activities we so much enjoy doing with each other and especially with FFA members.  Thank you for all you do!!
 
Here is a brief update to keep you in the loop of what is happening with FFA on the State and National Levels.
WISCONSIN FFA UPDATE - News In Brief 
An update on Wisconsin FFA activities from the Wisconsin FFA Center, Inc.

January 2021

Wisconsin FFA Advisors
 
I hope that your week back after break in whatever version you are in whether in-person, virtual or hybrid was good! We hope that you have checked your mail when you returned to school and found a gift to each of you from the State FFA Officers, State Staff and Wisconsin FFA Foundation.  If not please let me know. Let’s hope 2021 brings back some of the normal events and activities we so much enjoy doing with each other and especially with FFA members.  Thank you for all you do!!
 
Here is a brief update to keep you in the loop of what is happening with FFA on the State and National Levels.
 
WISCONSIN FFA UPDATE:
 
“Learning to Do” Videos and Connection Room Opportunities:  The week of January 11, the Wisconsin FFA State Officers are going to be producing and releasing a series of “Learning to Do” Videos.  Next week they will be recording and posting these videos for you and your students to use to better understand FFA awards and competitions that are coming up.  For instance there will be videos about state degrees, stars, proficiencies, leadership development events, band and chorus, etc.  These will all be posted on the Wisconsin FFA website and can be viewed as needed.
 
With that the state officers are also wanting to host Connection Rooms through Zoom next week to be available to visit with FFA members virtually and answer questions they may have about any of the applications and upcoming events and competitions.  We are looking at opening up our Connection Rooms on Wednesday January 13 from 3:00 to 5:30 p.m. and 6:00 to 8:00 p.m., Thursday, January 14 from 3:00 to 5:30 p.m. and 6:00 to 8:00 p.m and Friday from 10:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.  We will provide you with a link to share with your students and they can come and go as they are able during those times to visit with state officers and get their questions answered.  Mrs. Zimmerman will also be available to help answer questions if teachers would like to join in too.
 
We are wanting to make this as flexible as possible and be available to answer student and teacher questions based on when you are available to connect with us.
 
Award Application Due Dates:  We are planning to stay with our scheduled dates for upcoming FFA award applications.  
Those include:
February 8 - Wisconsin FFA State Degree Applications Due
February 12 - Wisconsin FFA Honors Band and Chorus Applications Due - All students must complete the application and entry fee.  Students who were selected to participate last year do not have to submit a recorded audition.
February 24 - State FFA Proficiency Award Applications Due
March 5 - American FFA Degree Applications Due
March 15 - Wisconsin FFA State Scholarship Applications Due
April 15 - Middle School/Junior High Essay Contest Entries Due - Theme “Unstoppable"
April 20 - National Chapter Award Applications Due
April 22 - State Talent Applications Due
April 30 - State Officer Applications Due
May 3 - Food for America Award Applications Due
May 3 - Agriscience Fair Applications Due
 
Parliamentary Procedure Workshops
The Wisconsin State FFA Officers will be hosting virtual parliamentary procedure workshops. Below are the dates, times, registration form, and details for the workshop as well as descriptions of the workshops.  See attached information.  Please note that members can attend as many workshops as they wish. We will also be sending out a reminder email with further directions, the zoom link, and a packet of materials before the workshop to everyone who registered.
 
Workshops will be held the following dates:
Monday, January 25
3:30-4:40pm: Beginner Level
4:30-5:30pm: Intermediate Level
5:30-6:30pm: Advanced Level
 
Tuesday, January 26
3:30-4:40pm: Beginner Level
4:30-5:30pm: Intermediate Level
5:30-6:30pm: Advanced Level
 
All workshops will be hosted using the Zoom platform.  Register at this link: https://forms.gle/edavv6S5uD6uPNQH9 
 
Wisconsin FFA Leadership Development Events
The state officers, their advisors and state staff are continuing to think of options on how to conduct Wisconsin FFA 2021 Leadership Development Events.  These competitions will still happen…we are just trying to figure out the structure and best method to make these happen.  We will keep you posted as more details are decided.
 
I am working to finish up the Discussion Meet topics for students wanting to participate in the 2021 FFA Discussion Meet.  Those will be posted soon.
 
2020 FFA Farm Forum
This year Farm Bureau will be hosting Farm Forum virtually.  They are planning to have everything ready by February 15 to share with you.  The state officers are also working with Farm Bureau to create some other activities that would be connected with Farm Forum.  More details will be shared as this all comes together.
 
NATIONAL FFA UPDATE:
 
Career and Leadership Challenges
New Challenge: The Food Product Development Challenge encourages students to create their own snack mix as we go into the new year. This challenge will be released on Monday, Jan. 11.
Deadline Reminder: The Power and Structure challenge where we asked students to create a simple machine is due on Wednesday, Jan. 13.
 
FFA Alumni and Supporter Grants
Thanks to the support of Nutrien Ag Solutions and Tractor Supply Company, 76 grants were distributed in 2020 to start or improve FFA Alumni and Supporters Chapters, partner student and adult members on special projects and to help fund student affiliation fees and classroom materials. All grant recipients are required to submit a report form by Feb. 1, 2021 to be eligible for future grant funding. For a complete list of grant recipients and copies of the grant application and report forms, visit www.FFA.org/alumnigrants. The first-round of 2021 grant applications are due by March 1!
 
FFA Week National Days of Service - NEW
In honor of FFA Week, National FFA is encouraging FFA chapters across the country to register a service event to be hosted in the month of February and be part of the inaugural FFA Week National Days of Service! Service is more important than ever and FFA has created a Service and Volunteerism Ideas During COVID document to provide some guidelines on how to serve safely along with some project ideas.  There is also an FFA Week National Days of Service Interactive Toolkit to help get you started.
 
Living to Serve Spring Semester-Long Grant
The Spring Semester-long Living to Serve Grant is open! This grant provides middle/high school FFA chapters with up to $1,200 to implement a service-learning project in their community for one semester. The application is easy to fill out, and chapters can even add collaborators, like an alumni member, to help them complete the application. Applications are due Feb. 1.
 
National FFA Membership Dues Survey
A group of agricultural education professionals and stakeholders has come together with the goal of having 100 percent of agricultural education students enrolled as FFA members by the time National FFA hits its 100th anniversary (2028). This group believes that the current fee structure has been sufficient, but there is a better way to provide the values and opportunities of membership in FFA to all students in agricultural education. Before they move forward, this group seeks your input to be best informed on the attitudes and opinions of all voices in agricultural education. If you have not received a direct survey link to your email, please take two to three minutes to give us feedback based on your experience and thoughts. We hope you will encourage the educators in your state to complete this survey as well. Questions regarding this committee should be directed to Buddy Deimler atwilliam.deimler@schools.utah.gov
 
National FFA Scholarship Program
The National FFA Scholarship application deadline is fast approaching. This year there are videos for students on how to successfully apply and for advisors on how to validate an application. Access the application and all resources at FFA.org/Scholarships. Application deadline is Jan. 14. Below are answers to the most frequently asked questions to assist you in supporting your students:
 
Scholarship FAQ:
  • Where can I find information on how to find your FFA ID?
    • Click HERE for a helpful resource.
  • I am having issues logging in with my membership ID.
    • Contact FFA Membership Services, membership@ffa.org or call 888-332-2668 and select Option 3 for membership.
  • I am having trouble with the National FFA Scholarship Application.
    • There are several options for assistance:
      • Call scholarship support, 855-332-2577
      • Email FFA@applyISTS.com (Allow 48 business hours for a response.)
      • Text 615-777-3750 with your name, the words “FFA Scholarships” and your question.
        • Response during business hours only; please allow two business hours for a response.
    • Utilize the green HELP button on the bottom right-hand side of the application and choose how you would like to receive assistance.
 
Please note that National FFA Staff cannot assist you with application issues. You must utilize one of the various methods noted above to receive assistance and should only submit one request for help. Submitting multiple requests through the various channels only slows down the response time for answering their questions.
 
Have a great weekend!
 
Cheryl L. Zimmerman
Wisconsin FFA Executive Director
Wisconsin FFA Center, Inc.
czimmerman@wisconsinffa.org
Phone:  715-659-4807