In another extraordinary campaign year, the Wisconsin FFA Foundation is extending an enormous thank you to its many donors who together raised a total of $614,200.20, a new record in the Foundation's 33-year history.
This number is over 11 percent more than last year and $69,200 (13 percent) higher than the Foundation's campaign goal. The exciting news was announced at the 87th Wisconsin FFA Convention held June 13-16 in Madison, which also saw record attendance in 2016: 3,860 students, advisors and guests.
'The Wisconsin FFA Foundation knows this landmark celebration is the result of teamwork between industry, individuals and agricultural organizations across the state,' says Sara Schoenborn, Wisconsin FFA Foundation executive director. 'This year has been one with challenges and loss, but to see the rally of support around FFA and agricultural education confirms my belief that together, the agriculture family is strong and will always care for each other.'
Other evidence of this strength is the record-breaking membership number the Wisconsin Association of FFA recently has announced: 20,463 members, a 37-year high and nearly 1,000-member growth in the past year.
'In 1983, Arnold and Katherine Cordes began something they couldn't imagine would have come this far,' said Travis Holt, past president of Wisconsin FFA Foundation. 'The organization is thriving and Wisconsin FFA as a whole is benefiting because of the solid foundation they built to financially support it. It's been my honor to serve at the helm of the Wisconsin FFA Foundation the past year, and see firsthand the difference our donors continue to make for so many young men and women.'
The Wisconsin FFA Foundation's Board of Directors is an important part of the organization's continued growth and stability. They actively work to raise funds and lead the Foundation by building awareness of the FFA programs it supports. For many board members, the FFA is a personal connection, as they themselves wore the blue corduroy jackets as members, past state officers and now are able to watch their children follow in their footsteps as current FFA members.
The Foundation also introduced its 2016-17 board of directors during the recent FFA convention. The newly elected group is responsible for the fiscal health of the organization, and makes operational as well as strategic decisions in guiding the Foundation's efforts and future.
The 2016-2017 officers for the Wisconsin FFA Foundation Board of Directors include President: Amber Vickers Keller, Town Bank; Past President: Travis Holt, Citizens State Bank of Loyal; Vice President: Jon Anderson, Grade A Strategic Brand and Marketing Solutions; Secretary: Robin Connelly, Organic Valley/CROPP Cooperative; Treasurer: Nick Hemling, ANIMART; Development Committee Co-Chairs: Kathleen A. Murphy, John Deere Financial and Luke Wiedenfeld, Madison Plant – Kraft Heinz Company.
Additional 2016-2017 board members include Ginger James, AgroChem; Darren Kittleson, Keller Williams Realty; Jason Kollwelter, We Energies; Lori Lulich, Purple Cow Organics, LLC; Janice Schyvinck, Equity Cooperative Livestock Sales Association; Scott Vosters, The Bank of New Glarus; Nicole Wagner, Wisconsin Corn Growers Association; Danielle Waterworth, CNH Industrial Capital; Regina Oldendorf, Wisconsin FFA Alumni Association; Leslie Svacina, Wisconsin Association of Agricultural Educators; Brenna Bays, Wisconsin Association of FFA; Jeff Hicken, Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction; and Cheryl Zimmerman, Wisconsin FFA Center.