I believe in the future of agriculture. These seven powerful words are the guiding direction for many of Wisconsin’s future agriculturists, and members of the National FFA Organization. Rooted in rich history, the FFA organization has been preparing young leaders for careers in agriculture for over 90 years.
This week, I had the opportunity to spend a day at the Wisconsin State FFA Convention. The convention, a four day event, takes place in Madison each year. FFA members from across the state gather to participate in service projects, compete in leadership development events, and celebrate their accomplishments from the year.
As I wandered through the FFA Hall of Stars, I inspired by the passion and dedication of our state’s FFA members. Noah, a Star Farmer Finalist and recent high school graduate, has already begun the process of taking over his family’s dairy farm. He shared with me his future plans for the dairy, and what he was looking forward to most. Through FFA, he was able to grow and develop skills he will be able to use every day on the farm. Brooke, also selected as a Star Farmer Finalist, grew up on a dairy farm, but at an early age found a love for dairy goats. Thanks to the FFA organization, she had the opportunity to learn and grow her knowledge about both dairy cows and dairy goats.
It is energizing to hear students share their life’s passion, and excitement for their future in the agriculture community. With one in nine jobs in the state of Wisconsin related to agriculture, the possibilities for students interested in an agriculture career are endless. Organizations such as the National FFA Organization provide students opportunities to learn about the diversity of Wisconsin agriculture careers, as well as to dive deep into subject areas that spark their interest.
As a past FFA member myself, I was excited to speak at the luncheon honoring students who earned their state FFA degree. The state FFA degree is the highest level of recognition members can receive on the state level. To earn a state degree, students must show commitment and dedication to the FFA organization and to their agriculture education. This year, Wisconsin awarded over 300 State FFA degrees.
The National FFA Organization is an impressive organization that truly holds a special place in my heart. I am a proud American FFA Degree recipient and proud alumni of the Milton FFA chapter, where my love for the blue and gold began. I joined the Milton FFA chapter as early as I could, which in Milton meant seventh grade. Throughout my time in the organization, I developed leadership, public speaking, and communication skills. I also had the opportunity to travel to Louisville, KY, Indianapolis, IN, and Washington D.C., all in my blue FFA corduroy jacket. The experiences I had and friendships I gained through my time in FFA are invaluable.
This week, the Wisconsin FFA Convention showcased a bright future for our state’s agriculture community. The passion in the convention hall was contagious, and reignited my excitement for the year ahead. Stay tuned all year long as I share the adventures along my agriculture journey as your 72nd Alice in Dairyland.