Representing Section 1 is Ethan Dado of the Amery FFA, he will serve as Parliamentarian this year. He grew up on his family’s 450-Registered Holstein dairy farm. A 2013 graduate of Amery High School he has completed one year at the University of Minnesota studying dairy science and ag education. He wants to help motivate the less-than-active chapters in his Section to get more involved beyond the local level. After college he hopes to be an ag teacher and help out on the home farm when time permits.
Representing Section 2 is Maggie Larson of the Osseo-Fairchild FFA. She started in FFA at Lincoln-Alma Center-Humbird-Merrillan before moving to O-F two years ago. She says the move gave her a broader perspective of what a chapter can do. She grew up on a diversified livestock farm raising beef, sheep and pigs for her SAE. As a state officer she hopes to inspire younger members and perhaps make a difference in someone’s life. She also looks forward to meeting all of the advisors and as many members in Section 2 as possible. She will serve as state vice president. She has completed one year at the University of Minnesota majoring in animal science and ag education.
Matt Kortbein of the Tomah FFA will serve as state treasurer while representing Section 3 this year. He grew up on a 600-acre grain farm. As a state officer he seeks to learn more about FFA and ignite the passion in younger members, “help them find their love in FFA”. A 2014 graduate of Tomah High School, he plans to attend U.W. Richland Center and then transfer to a 4-year college to pursue a career in ag education.
Representing Section 4 and serving as vice president will be Danielle Jentz of the Platteville FFA. She grew up on a Simmental beef operation and is involved in showing cattle and all of the duties involved in showing them. As a state officer she hopes to have an impact on people much the same as past state officers have impacted her. A 2014 high school graduate she plans to attend the University of Kentucky with and undeclared major right now.
Kaitlyn Owens of Wisconsin Heights FFA will serve as Sentinel while representing Section 5 this year. She first heard of FFA from some friends as a freshman, she decided to join although she “was not sure what FFA was but grew to love it.” Her SAE spanned from turf grass, goats, food service to ag education. As a state officer she wants to incorporate more community service into what the FFA does and talk to those, like her, who do not know what the organization does. The 2014 high school graduate has been accepted at Coastal Carolina but will defer college for a year as she serves as state officer.
Section 6 state officer and state vice president this year is Sally Albers of the Sauk Prairie FFA. She grew up on a cash crop farm but pursued her interest in hogs and also helps at a local beef farm. She says the FFA was her rock and support system as her father was going through a losing fight with cancer that is why she became a state officer to make sure every member has that support system. The 2014 high school graduate will attend U.W. River Falls in ag education with the ultimate goal to someday be the ag teacher at Sauk Prairie.
Leah Luepke of the Spencer FFA will serve as vice president and Section 7 state officer this year. Her SAE was in food service and food safety as a crew trainer at McDonalds in Marshfield as well as ag education. As a state officer she hopes to appeal to other non-traditional members and encourage them to take advantage of the opportunities offered by the organization. She will pursue a degree in ag education at either U.W. River Falls or U.W. Platteville after serving as state officer.
Hallie Kopczynski of the Oconto Falls FFA will serve as Section 8 state officer and vice president this year. Her SAEs are vegetable production, food service and dairy production. She helped her uncle renovate a restaurant and then went to work for him eventually becoming a prep cook. She also works on a small dairy farm. She wanted to become a state officer to help students build confidence through speaking contests, leadership conferences and such. She would also like to get special needs students more involved in FFA. She plans to attend U.W. Platteville this fall to study animal science and maybe agronomy. Her ultimate goal is to be a large animal veterinarian.
Representing Section 9 and serving as state secretary this year is Kelly Wilfert of the Mishicot FFA. She grew up on her family’s 700-acre fresh market fruit and vegetable farm. She will receive her American FFA Degree this fall and is the Wisconsin candidate for the American Star in Agribusiness. Her SAE has been in food sales and marketing. She has a passion for agriculture and says “advocating for agriculture is what I want to do with my life.” That is why she wanted to become a state officer to inspire others to understand and take advantage of the opportunities in agriculture. She is a student at U.W. Madison majoring an ag and applied economics and wants to pursue a law degree. Her ultimate goal is to be the U.S. Secretary of Agriculture.
Kati Kindschuh of the Lomira FFA is state reporter and Section 10 state officer this year. She grew up on her family’s 53-cow, 500-acre dairy and grain farm. Her SAE is in dairy production. She wanted to be a state officer because very few from her chapter have gone beyond the local level and she wants to “get Lomira out there.” She looks forward to getting to know more people in the Section especially those in the urban-area chapters. She plans to attend U.W. Platteville studying agribusiness and animal science with the goal of being an agricultural journalist. She has been a freelance writer for the Wisconsin State Farmer.
*photos courtesy of Wisconsin Ag Connection.