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Meet the Candidates: Cierra Essock; “I believe in the future of agriculture…”

“I believe in the future of agriculture…” are the powerful opening words of the FFA creed. I have heard this phrase many times during my years as an FFA member and later as an FFA advisor, but I have been living these words since I was a child.

I have many memories of my grandfather’s farm of registered Holstein dairy cattle in Fort Atkinson. I remember carrying around baby kittens and climbing hay bales while my mom and grandpa did chores. As I grew older, I learned how to teach a calf to lead and started exhibiting at various shows - from the dirt arena at the county fair to the colored shavings at World Dairy Expo. I still find myself volunteering at these shows, helping inspire future agriculturalists in the dairy industry.

Although my family was my introduction into the agriculture industry, the 4-H, FFA, and Junior Holstein organizations allowed me to learn more about youth development and leadership. Besides showing dairy at the county fair, I also entered photography, sewing, and cultural arts projects. I participated in many leadership opportunities, including speaking contests, serving as an officer, and being a member of the dairy judging team. In 2013, I earned the Jefferson County Outstanding Holstein Girl award, and two years later, was crowned the Wisconsin Holstein Princess Attendant. These organizations gave me the opportunity to learn more about the dairy industry and grow my communication, problem solving, and interpersonal skills that built my foundation for a career in agriculture.

Ever since I was a little girl, I wanted to be a teacher. The type of teacher changed over time, but during career exploration in eighth grade, I decided on agriculture teacher. I had many opportunities in 4-H and FFA to teach others about showing dairy cattle, so I took that passion to college at the University of Wisconsin-River Falls, where I majored in Agricultural Education and minored in Dairy Science.


As the current Agricultural Educator and FFA Advisor at Hustisford Jr./Sr. High School, I am continuously advocating for Wisconsin’s $104.8 billion agriculture industry. I have developed curriculum from Animal Science and Plant Science to Wisconsin Ecology and Agribusiness Leadership. In 2022, my lesson on ethanol production won the Natural Resources category of the “Ideas Unlimited” contest at the Wisconsin Association of Agricultural Educators conference. Within every lesson is a connection to careers in agriculture. It is my hope that every student who steps foot into my classroom is aware that approximately one in every 10 jobs in our state is related to agriculture.


From leading a calf to leading a classroom, I am thankful for every experience I’ve had so far in the agriculture industry. “I believe in the future of agriculture…” wherever it may take me.


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