December 2015
2015 Donation Deadline is 12/31
 
 
Many thanks to all who have already generously given to the 2015 Annual Appeal. 

If you haven't, but still want to support Wisconsin FFA for a year-end tax deduction, use this link to make an online donation. Every dollar counts and goes toward FFA programming and agricultural education needs in the state of Wisconsin. 
 
Thank you! 
Celebrate National FFA Week -
February 20 - 27, 2016
 
 
Wisconsin will be welcoming National FFA President Taylor McNeel as well as one or two National FFA staff members to the Dairy State in February. 
 
National FFA Week kicks off on Feb. 20 this year, and chapters around the state will be hosting special activities throughout the week.
 
For our national guests, chapter activities, media events and meetings with agricultural leaders are some of the highlights they will experience while in Wisconsin. 
 
The first National FFA week was held in 1948 and is specifically designated to fall each year during the week of George Washington's birthday, in honor of his legacy as an agriculturist and farmer.
 
Watch the Wisconsin Association of FFA website or check with your local chapter about details on events during this week of FFA celebration! 
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Wisconsin
Agri-Business Association
 

 
 
The Wisconsin Agri-Service Association and the Wisconsin Crop Production Association had always been supporters of the Wisconsin FFA, but when the two associations merged in April 2012 and became the Wisconsin Agri-Business Association (WABA), it opened doors to much bigger and better things. As the trade association that works for, and on behalf of, over 300 agribusiness companies all across the state, they feel it's important to play an active role in developing our industry's future customers, employees, and leaders.
 
To WABA Executive Director, Tom Bressner, working with the FFA goes a lot further. While growing up on a corn/soybean/Guernsey dairy farm in Wisconsin's neighboring state to the south, the FFA was a necessary stepping stone to where he is today. As a former chapter president, state officer, state speaking contest semi-finalist, member of the state winning dairy judging team, and other accomplishments, the FFA built the skills and developed the confidence and passion he needed to become an agricultural leader.
 
"As a youth, in college, and as an adult, I have been a part of many worthwhile organizations, but none that has impacted my life as much as the FFA", says Bressner. He continues: "I am sure most of us have boxes in our attics packed full of awards and certificates we have received in life. But there is one award of mine that has never made it to the attic. Still to this day if you walk in my office, you will see the 1976 Illinois Section 9 Star State Farmer plaque hanging on my wall. I am proud of that one and everything it represents."
 
As far as WABA, the association has taken a very active role in the Wisconsin FFA and the Wisconsin FFA Foundation. WABA is the sponsor of the annual Diversified Crop Production - Entrepreneurship Award and proudly attends the Wisconsin FFA Convention each year to present the award to its recipient. WABA also exhibits at the FFA Convention Career Show, serves as a judge for state officer candidates, serves on the foundation scholarship selection committee, and looks for every opportunity to serve the future of Wisconsin agriculture. 
 
WABA proudly sponsors four annual $1,000 scholarships through the Wisconsin FFA Foundation. In 2015, WABA began a new tradition. Past Wisconsin FFA President Alison Wedig addressed the opening general session of the Wisconsin Crop Management Conference, an assembly of more than 1,000 agribusiness leaders from all across the state. Current FFA President Sally Albers will speak to the conference attendees this January, and Bressner says he hopes to give this exposure to future state presidents for years to come.
 
At the Wisconsin Agri-Business Association, he says they are proud to partner with the Wisconsin FFA and the Wisconsin FFA Foundation to help build the future of Wisconsin agriculture, and adds: "The future looks bright. Let's go get it!" 


Dear Friend of the Wisconsin 
FFA Foundation,
 
It's just about time to ring in 2016 and I am so thankful for another year to share in the joys of the season, but also those made possible by you, the heart of the Wisconsin FFA Foundation! 
 
We've had a great year, both in our campaign and calendar year activities. Together, donors dug deep and generously contributed more than $555,000 to the 250 active FFA chapters in Wisconsin. I am simply the lucky one that signs the checks, but really, you are the stars of this show. If you want to make a contribution still tax-deductible for 2015, the deadline is the 31st, just a few days away. Use this link to do so online. 
 
In other news, the Foundation just awarded another round of Supervised Agricultural Experience (SAE) grants and are helping students build businesses and learn agriculture through hands-on experiences. This is invaluable to them as they mature and become your next employees and colleagues. 
 
And soon National FFA Week will be here. I hope you each make a point to visit with your local chapter, get involved in some of their activities and see firsthand the difference your dollars are making. I guarantee you'll be thrilled and excited as I am every time I get to see the blue and gold jackets in action. 

Many thanks for a successful 2015 and have a Happy New Year! 
 
Sara Schoenborn
Executive Director, Wisconsin FFA Foundation
Foundation awards $22,550 in SAE grants
 
                                                                                    
A total of 29 Wisconsin FFA members from 24 different chapters were recently awarded $22,550 in Supervised Agricultural Experience (SAE) grants from the Wisconsin FFA Foundation.
 
The Wisconsin FFA Foundation awarded the 2015-16 SAE grants in four categories: aquaculture, dairy, organic agriculture and start-up. Successful candidates were chosen based on the level and scope of their SAE in accordance with their age, future goals and plans for the program as well as financial need.
 
Through the SAE program, students are able to create their own business or build career skills through an existing operation. They apply concepts learned in the classroom to real-world challenges and work experiences, learning valuable lessons from the outcomes. The program is one component of the agricultural education opportunities available to students throughout Wisconsin. To read the full article and award winners, click here.
 
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Joelle Liddane, Section 3
Wisconsin FFA Sentinel
 
 
Home Chapter: Tomah
College: UW-River Falls
Major: Agricultural and Elementary Education
SAE: Diversified Livestock Placement and Agricultural Education
Favorite FFA Activity: Speaking Contests
 
My FFA journey started in 7th grade when I joined FFA because I wanted to continue showing pigs at my county fair. Little did I know that FFA was much more than just exhibiting animals. Growing up on my family’s dairy and beef farms I learned responsibility and work ethic that is irreplaceable. By participating in FFA events I have gotten to strengthen those skills and form new ones that I will get to use in my future endeavors.
 
I am so thankful to all of my supporters that I have had throughout my entire FFA journey, especially the Wisconsin FFA Foundation. Its support has allowed me to attend countless conferences, and have as many new experiences as possible. 
 
I remember being at my first state-level conference as a sophomore when I went to 212 Leadership Conference. I met some really great friends and learned that I could make a difference in the world.
 
If it wasn’t for that experience, I would not be the confident and courageous person am today. I want to thank the Wisconsin FFA Foundation donors for their contribution to my success.
 
Beth Zimmer, Section 4
Wisconsin FFA Vice President
 
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Home Chapter: River Ridge
College: UW-River Falls
Major: Agricultural Studies (Crop/Soil) and Communications
SAE: Floriculture
 
 
Surprising. Eye-opening. Memorable. A learning experience. These are just a few of the many words that have described my year of service as a State FFA Officer this year!
 
Looking back, I am so grateful for the many opportunities I was able to partake in as an FFA member growing up. I tried a variety of Career Development Events (CDEs) like Meats Evaluation and Technology and Agronomy, but it wasn’t until I started competing in the speaking contests that I knew I had really found my place in this organization.
 
Prepared Public Speaking was my favorite followed by Discussion Meet coming in a close second. I loved being able to dig deeper into agricultural issues and global agriculture through the FFA speaking contests!
 
I have learned that the ability to communicate is one of the best skills a person can have and truly a valuable trait for all students to gain. I could never have had the chance to turn my fear of public speaking to an enjoyable experience if it weren’t for the generous support of the Wisconsin FFA Foundation!
 
Most people don’t realize this at first, but the programs that this organization can provide make positive, lasting impressions on all members.The Foundation has played an instrumental role in ensuring members are able to achieve premier leadership, personal growth, and career success through agricultural education.
 
I am thankful for the opportunity to share my enthusiasm for agriculture and give back to the organization that has given so much to me!

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Address postal inquiries to:
Wisconsin FFA Foundation
1241 John Q. Hammons Dr. Ste. 200
Madison, WI 53717