March 2016
Wisconsin FFA Foundation establishes Bethany L. Rieth Memorial Fund
 
The Wisconsin FFA Foundation is proud to have established the Bethany L. Rieth Memorial Fund, in honor of the Past State FFA Officer who passed away tragically as the result of a skiing accident on February 6.
 

 
The youngest of four children, Bethany was a 2010 graduate of Oconto Falls High School and completed her degree in nursing from UW-Madison in 2015. Throughout her life, Bethany was involved in numerous school, athletic and service activities. In addition to serving as the Oconto County Fairest of the Fair, and volunteering for mission trips to Jamaica, Alaska and Cambodia, she was selected as the Wisconsin FFA Sentinel in 2012-13, where she touched the lives of countless Wisconsin FFA members, agricultural educators and alumni.
 
All contributions given to the Bethany L. Rieth Memorial Fund will support FFA community service projects at the local chapter level. Wisconsin FFA chapters will be eligible to apply for these funds to administer service projects in their local communities.
 
Read more here
 
 
 
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Jerry 
Steiner 
 
 
  
As we all watch our own children make their way through high school, college and into the real world, we see that having great parents, schools, and communities set the foundation. I believe just a few opportunities can really change their trajectory.
 
These opportunities are the catalysts that truly challenge them, lead to new skills, build humble confidence and sometimes even bring early career direction (and we know how much that catalytic experience will enrich their entire life). 
 
As I think back on my 30-plus-year career culminating as a corporate executive of Monsanto, and now as a CEO of a start-up company, I know my first breakout was FFA. I grew up on a small dairy farm near New Holstein, Wisconsin, and was lucky enough to have been nurtured by the late Tim Meyer. He was one the the most impactful people in my life.
 
I believe FFA is the best youth organization around for preparing young people for a lifetime of contribution and leadership, even if the student doesn’t get involved in agriculture professionally. In the many global organizations I have been involved with over my career, I can always find those who spent time in FFA, as they know parliamentary procedure! I saw many shy students bloom thanks to FFA’s public speaking contests and others develop abilities to make tough decisions in judging competitions.  And at its heart, FFA has been building the skills required for successful private businesses long before the Shark Tank show came on!   
 
The world today is so much more global, connected and competitive. The business, technical and leadership skills FFA teaches are even more crucial for success. I am pleased to see my nephew, (who has a passion and curiosity about agriculture that is second to none) is involved and I know will blossom within FFA.  Every day I thank my lucky stars that I joined, and someone asked (persuaded) me to try out the dairy judging team. That is how it all started! Because of great teachers and donors, the cycle continues.   
 
 
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Jared Retzlaff - Section 8
Wisconsin FFA Vice President
 
   
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Home Chapter: Omro FFA
College: UW-River Falls
Major: Agricultural Marketing Communications
Supervised Agricultural Experiences (SAEs):
Agricultural Sales, Agricultural Education, and Beef Production
     
 
I grew up on a small farm just outside of Eureka which was first settled by my grandfather’s great-grandfather in the 1850s. I raised my own steers with the assistance of my grandparents until they retired from farming. I am blessed to have had the opportunity to develop a strong tie to agriculture through my experiences on the family farm.
 
My FFA journey began when an FFA Alumni member asked me if I would like to join the organization. My answer was, “I don’t know.” Neither of my parents nor two older brothers had been FFA members, so I wasn’t sure whether FFA was for me. It took some convincing, but for the past six years of my life, I’ve been proud to wear the blue corduroy jacket. I didn’t know that blue jacket would lead to so many wonderful experiences.
 
The blue corduroy jacket is like a second home for me. It was there when I attended National FFA Conventions in Louisville and Indianapolis, and when I traveled to Washington, D.C. for the Washington Leadership Conference. My jacket was there when I gave speeches, formed friendships and created bonds that will never be broken. My jacket has seen tears of sadness when I failed and tears of joy when I was successful. I wouldn’t trade the memories formed in my jacket for anything in the world.
 
The Wisconsin FFA Foundation plays a major role in giving students just like me a second home. As donors and partners, the Wisconsin FFA Foundation supports more than 19,400 Wisconsin FFA members on their journey to develop premier leadership, personal growth and career success through agricultural education.
 
Thank you so much for granting students the opportunity to better themselves and prepare them for a bright future. I know you will continue believing in us and giving students the opportunity to find their second home.
Dear Friend of the Wisconsin FFA Foundation,
 
It's spring! Sort of...
 
With the latest storm hitting the state last week, I had to wonder if the groundhog was right? I am willing to bet many of you were thinking the same.
 
It seems unpredictability is a common thing lately, as we at the Wisconsin FFA Foundation begin to say goodbye to Sonya Huebner, our administrative assistant for more than four years, but also someone who has volunteered endless hours and given immense dedication to the FFA mission. 
 
Sonya always says her blood is not red, but blue and gold. It's easy to agree with her. She was a state officer in her younger days and now it's fun to see her excitement as Sonya's children begin their own FFA experiences. She is someone respected and admired by so many who have worked with her and known her through the years, myself included. 
 
That said, I know Sonya always will be a familiar face in Wisconsin FFA and with her new role at the Wisconsin Farm Bureau Federation, continue strong as the ag advocate she's always been. I speak for everyone at the Foundation when I say: "We'll miss you and enjoy your next adventure!"  
 
So, as spring tries to make a decision about whether it's here to stay, I also am looking forward to a new season. Applications are being accepted now to fill the administrative assistant position and I am excited to see who will be my new office-mate in the warmer weather. We will be busy planning the 87th Wisconsin FFA Convention and our summer golf outings in the next few months. Are you ready? I am! 
 
Here's to spring!  
 
Sara Schoenborn
Executive Director, Wisconsin FFA Foundation
Wisconsin FFA Foundation seeks part-time administrative assistant

The Wisconsin FFA Foundation is now accepting applications for a part-time administrative assistant.
 
The Wisconsin FFA Foundation seeks candidates with strong organizational and communication skills with the ability to work independently on multiple projects and deadlines. Duties of the administrative assistant include: data/information management, donor account management, event/meeting coordination, accounting and administering special programs. These responsibilities involve, but are not limited to: managing the donor management database for efficiency and accuracy, entering all gifts, pledges and donor contact information as necessary, preparing donor renewals and acknowledgements, updating campaign reports and coordinating recognition opportunities, processing accounts payable, reconciling bank accounts, completing quarterly state and federal employer tax filings and overseeing various award programs.
 
To learn more and see a job description, visit this link
Registration is open for summer Golf Outings! 
 
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It's time to spend a day for FFA! Join us in 2016 for the Wisconsin FFA Foundation Golf Outings.
 
Northwest: July 11 in Eau Claire
Northeast: July 12 in De Pere Southern: July 25 in Prairie du Sac 
 
(This year, Southern will have a hole-in-one contest sponsored by Ballweg Chevrolet-Buick Inc.!) 
 
We are excited for another successful fundraising event, our biggest of the year. In 2015, 90 sponsors and more than 280 golfers generously donated $26,500 to the Foundation! 
 
To register your team, contact Jen Bradley, call 608-831-5058 x2 or go online here
 
Early-bird deadline this week!
Career Show to be held at Wisconsin FFA Convention - call for exhibitors
 
 
Preparations are in full swing for the 87th Wisconsin FFA Convention this summer in Madison! 
 
A highlight of the event is the Career Show, which will be held on Wednesday, June 15, 2016, at the Alliant Energy Center's Exhibition Hall. Show hours are from 9:30 a.m - 2 p.m. 
 
Booths are $300 each, and those reserved before March 30 will receive a $25 discount. Any registrations after April 30 will have a late fee added of $50 per booth.
 
For the many parents, visitors, advisors and thousands of FFA members from around the state, the annual Wisconsin FFA Convention is an exciting time. The Career Show offers businesses and organizations the ability to showcase their services to this wide audience of potential, current or future customers or even employees. 
 
To register your booth, or learn more about the event, even see a list of 2015 exhibitors, visit this webpage
 
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Taylor Halopka - Section 7
Wisconsin FFA Treasurer
 
Home Chapter: Colby FFA
College: UW-Platteville
Major: Agricultural Business
Minors: Dairy Science and Farm Management
 
 
Over the past nine years, FFA has made an impact on me in many different ways. The most prevalent impression is the direction of my future. Because of FFA, my future looks very bright! FFA has pointed me down a path that I never thought was a possibility before joining this successful organization.
 
My college choice is a direct result of attending competitions on the UW-River Falls campus. More importantly, however, I’ve pursued a degree in Agricultural Business because FFA has challenged me to learn and grow at an incredible speed, but also brought out my love for the agriculture industry.
 
FFA simply is able to offer the number of opportunities available to its members because of the generous support of teachers, parents, sponsors, donors and so many others.
 
Some opportunities that I was able to take advantage of were attending the Washington Leadership Conference (WLC) in Washington D.C., and receiving hands-on experience in the agriculture field as well as multiple scholarships.
 
Without these opportunities, I can honestly say that I would not be on the same path right now. I cannot wait to secure a career within agriculture and begin to contribute to agriculture’s positive imprint on the world!
 

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