The 85th Wisconsin FFA Convention was held at the Alliant Energy Center in Madison on June 10 â€“ 12.
At the Wisconsin FFA Convention, June 10-12, at the Alliant Energy Center in Madison, over 3,000 members, advisors and guests came to celebrate the achievements and success of the 19,000 state-wide Wisconsin FFA members.
Along with speaking competitions, agriscience fair and the hall of stars, the association conducts a very key competition at the convention â€” the State Officer Candidate selection process. By the end of convention, the Wisconsin Association of FFA had 11 new State FFA Officers who will direct the work of the organization for the next year.
Alison Wedig, of the Darlington FFA Chapter was elected as the 2014-15 Wisconsin State FFA President. Her advisor is Mr. Troy Lobdell who has been an agriculture educator for over 26 years. This Darlington youth served as one of this past yearâ€™s State Vice Presidents, representing Section Four in the south western part of Wisconsin. This year she will represent the entire state of Wisconsin, making appearances at various events throughout the state, region and nation.
Wedig is the 18-year-old daughter of Mike and Joani Wedig of Darlington, where her father inspired her to become active in the FFA. Her father, who received his American FFA De<FZ,1,1,5>gree, the highest degree an FFA member can earn, knew that the FFA organization was a quality group of young people who were bound to achieve greatness.
Like any father, he wanted his daughters to become successful, and Alison was the daughter to become the apple of her fatherâ€™s eye. Alisonâ€™s older sisters Abby and Olivia were never active in FFA and again, her dad was the one who challenged her to try something new.
The Wedig family lives in a small subdivision just outside of Darlington, making Alison not one of the typical FFA members seeing that she did not have a production agriculture background as a child. As agriculture has evolved over the years, science, technology and other routes of agriculture and FFA have become a driving force in reaching out to students who are not brought up in the traditional farming background.
As a freshman in high school, Wedig was enrolled in agriculture education classes but, â€œdidnâ€™t see the value in being an FFA member.â€ Not until the next year; as a sophomore, Wedig became more active in speaking contests, such as the Prepared Speech as well as Parliamentary Procedure. As a sophomore she advanced to the Wisconsin FFA Convention as a Prepared Speech contestant and the rest is history.
This spark in her FFA career shows through as she decided to become a Wisconsin State FFA Officer Candidate following her high school graduation in 2013. Wedig says that she, â€œwanted to show students like me that you can get involved with things like speaking contests, leadership conferences and agriculture helps you find careers and job opportunities.â€
Being that Wedig was not from a production agriculture background, she knew that she could make an impact on a large audience of FFA members.
Throughout her first term as a Wisconsin State FFA Officer, Wedig found out how much of an impact she could make. This ignited her desire to become the next Wisconsin State FFA President and continue to build off of what last yearâ€™s team had already in place. Wedig comments, saying that seeing all of the members last year and inspiring them to make a difference and start a change, she looks forward to revisiting with those members to see what kind of progress they have made.
When asked why she wanted to be the Wisconsin State FFA President, Wedig replies with a smile saying she, â€œwanted to continue the impact from last year in all aspects of agriculture education.â€ Wedig truly has a passion for agriculture education and serving others around her.
As the Wisconsin State FFA President, Wedig has many goals, in which any successful organization must require in order to achieve anything worthwhile. As many agriculture educators can relate to, there is a shortage of qualified teachers; a shortage that needs to be filled in order to continue the rich tradition of FFA and agriculture education in Wisconsin school systems.
Wedig has as a personal goal of hers to, â€œshow students the value of agriculture education and to inspire others to become instructors.â€
After her year of service is complete, Wedig will continue her education at the University of Wisconsin-Madison where she is studying Life Science Communications. Upon graduating with her bachelorâ€™s degree, she hopes to become employed by an agricultural marketing company to continue to advocate for agriculture education as well as the general agricultural industries.
Wedig encourages everyone who has the opportunity to enroll in agriculture education, to do so. Agriculture affects everyone three times a day, 365 days a year at the very least. Agriculture will always be prevalent in the efforts to feed this growing world and the Wisconsin Association of FFA is here to grow and develop the young leaders of Wisconsin.
Those with questions concerning agriculture education, starting an FFA chapter of their own or are interested in hearing more, feel free to contact Alison Wedig at firstname.lastname@example.org or Mrs. Cheryl Zimmerman at email@example.com. There is also a wide variety of information concerning all facets of Wisconsin FFA on the website wisconsinffa.org.