Wisconsin FFA members recognized at FFA National Convention and Exhibition
FFA Wisconsin members and alumni were recognized at the FFA National Convention and Exhibition last week in Indianapolis, IN.
Three members of the Badger State FFA received national honors in agricultural competence through their Supervised Agricultural Experiences (SAE). Students compete in fields ranging from agricultural communications to wildlife management.
Lashawna Vogel from the Danish FFA Chapter was the big winner in the Agricultural Communication – Entrepreneurship / Placement category. Vogel has become an expert in communicating information and ideas with its wider community and its FFA chapter. Before FFA National Week, she writes articles on each of her chapter’s annual events for a newspaper to educate her village about FFA.
Using Snapchat, Instagram, Facebook and YouTube, Vogel manages social media to tell the story of agricultural education. She is supported by her parents, Patti and Steve, and her FFA advisers, Marty Nowak and Mary Handrich.
Kendra Goplin of the Whitehall FFA Chapter took top honors in Agricultural Education – Entrepreneurship / Placement. She began her Supervised Farming Experiment (SAE) by helping to teach third grade students about farm safety as part of an agricultural literacy program. She helps coach a quiz bowl team in college and create educational exhibits at county and state fairs.
Goplin also coordinates agricultural literacy activities in his school district, reaching students from Kindergarten to Grade 6. Goplin is supported by her parents, Melinda and Shane, and her FFA advisor, Melinda Goplin.
Tristan Wirkus of the Stratford FFA Chapter was crowned the best SAE in the Entrepreneurship / Placement category in Environmental Sciences and Natural Resource Management. Wirkus uses the leadership skills he learned through FFA to raise awareness of the importance of environmental stewardship in his community.
He has served on the Stratford Village Tree Advisory Board, achieving Tree City USA status for the community for the past three years. Wirkus has also built and set up lending libraries along the heritage trail for the public, in addition to plotting an identification trail for trees. He is supported by his parents, Becky and Tony, and his FFA advisers, Rebecca Wirkus and Troy Bargender.
Kaelyn Sumner of Pulaski FFA took third place by participating in the National FFA Agriscience Fair in Div. 5 food and processing systems. Brandon Boyd and Ethan Johnson of Watertown FFA placed second in Division 4 for the Animal Systems category.
Olivia Olson of Lake Mills FFA National Finalist in the FFA Creed Speaking Contest.
84 members from Wisconsin received the American FFA diploma. This is the highest attainable degree in the national organization of the FFA.
Alumni and adults
The Weyauwega-Fremont FFA Alumni and Supporters Chapter was recognized as a Central Region finalist for the Outstanding FFA Alumni and Supporters Chapter.
Grant Staszak, representative of Section 8, accepted the award from the FFA Alumni and Supporters State Association on behalf of the Wisconsin FFA Alumni and Supporters Association.
As advocates, mentors, volunteers and donors for FFA alumni and local chapters, Melanie Huchthausen Stoughton and Jeremy Krerowicz from Denmark were named winners of the National Outstanding Alumni Achievement Award.
Honorary adult membership in the FFA organization was presented to Glenda Crook, Agriculture Teacher at Columbus High School; Ryan Schaefer, Director of Case IH; Michelle Stuttgen and Alison Wedig of Culver Franchising System; and professor of agriculture Doris Mold of Cumberland.
Jeff Hicken was posthumously awarded the VIP Mention at the 94th FFA National Convention. His wife Sheri and sons Cole and Drew accepted the award in his memory. Hicken served the past 15 years as a Wisconsin FFA advisor and Ag Ed consultant to the Department of Education until his death on June 16, 2021.
Gaining recognition among the best FFA chapters in the nation, the following chapters have been honored as three-star chapters: Big Foot, Clintonville, Columbus, DeForest, Denmark, Granton, Lake Geneva-Badger, Manawa, Marshall, Slinger, Waupaca, Waupun , and Weyauwega-Fremont. Out of more than 8,800 chapters across the country, less than 3% of chapters earn this honor.
Granton FFA was named first finalist in the Growing Leaders category of the National Chapter Award, and Denmark FFA for Growing Communities.