One of the highlights during the Wisconsin FFA Convention is the opportunity for FFA members to interview for a coveted post on the state FFA officer team.
FFA members in each of the ten districts across Wisconsin vie fto become a finalist in their respective district. Then after rounds of intense interviews during convention week, two finalists from each of the ten sections is announced.
During the final evening session, finalists wait to hear their name called for that exhilarating run across the stage to greet their fellow state officers.
Here is this year's slate of officers that will be led by State FFA President Ciera Ballmer.
Meikah Dado, Amery FFA
"Being an FFA state officer is more than just representing this irreplacable organization...I realize what these members are capable of, and it is my duty to prove that to them," Dado said.
Dado has been engaged in agriculture her whole life on the family farm. As she grew in age and experience, her role shifted from playing with kittens and helping feed calves to preparing animals for the county fair and taking responsibility for all the areas of calf care. Her experiences have led her to the University of Wisconsin Madison where she is majoring in Dairy Science and Life Sciences Communication.
She is the daughter of Rick and Gwen Dado. Her advisor is Derrick Meyer.
Brooke Brantner, Menomonie FFA Chapter
"Passion, dedication and reflection are just a short list of attributes I believe every FFA member possesses. These are traits that have been instilled in me while on my journey in the FFA."
Brantner recently finished her freshman year of college at the University of Wisconsin River Falls. Her time working on her family's beef oerpation has lead her to seek a dgere in Animal Science-Meat Animal Emphasis, with a sciene option. She hopes to use he her experience to beomce an embryo transfer specialist.
She is the daughter of Steve and Sara Brantner. Jean D'Angelo is her advisor.
Ciara Koboski, Black River Falls FFA
Koboski has always been fascinated by agriculture and science: "Give me a hypothesis or theory and I will jump in and solve it". These twin interests provided Koboski a foundation for her supervised agricultural experience project, conducting multiple research projects in plant and soil science as well as food science.
The Jackson County Fairy has had a major impact on Koboski's involvement in agriculture. She showed rabbits and was on the Miss Jackson County Court. In her spare time, she volunteers at the animal shelter. All of the acitivies have led her to be an agiruclaual advocate that is guided by serivce.
She is the daughter of Amy Ervin and Todd Koboski. Bradley Markhardt is her advisor.
Morgan Fitzsimmons, Mineral Point FFA
Fitzsimmons feels the theme "Small Acts, Big Impact" is a fitting description for her personal FFA experience. Her passion for FFA was sparked by a junior high quiz bowl contest and never wanted, Since then she has competed in numerous leadership and career development events, including qualifying for national livestock judging.
In addition to working on her family farm, she also works at Military Ridge Veterinary Service, In 2016 that work earned her first place recognition for the Veterinary Science Proficiency. Fitzsimmons plans to attend Iowa State University on her way to becoming a veterinarian.
She is the daughter of Scott and Emily Fitzsimmons. Her advisor is Mike Robinson.
Alizabeth (Liz) Grady, Oregon FFA Chapter
"Pride, happiness and comfort overflow each time I zip up my blue corduroy jacket."
A student at Purdue University, Grady has spent the last year putting her supervised agricultural experience project in both the dairy cattle and food service to good use studying Agricultural Communications while also minoring in Animal Science.
She is the daughter of Tom and Katie Grady. Her advisor is Jillian Beaty.
Samuel Jesse, Lodi FFA
Jesse is a passionate agriculturalist who has worked to develop high quality supervised agricultural projects through his years in FFA. After purchasing his first black Angus heifer in 2010 he has bred and grown a herd of twelve animals. His experiences in his supervised agricultural experience projects have lead him to pursue a degree in Crop and Soil Science at Madison College.
Jesse credits his FFA involvement with allowing him to make connection to community leaders and with his development as a servant leader.
His is the son of Matthew and Tracy Jesse. Emma Heser is his advisor.
Kathryn Ann Lampi, Owen-Withee FFA
"I want to be that someone in your life that will help you realize your gift and stand by you as you determine what you want to do," Lampi said.
Lampi's FFA experience has taught her that hard work is the key to success. As the owner of her own enterprise, turning the milk from her hand milked dairy goats into soaps which she sells at local craft fairs. She also shows her animals at the Clark County Fair. This allows her the opportunity to talk to fairgoers about goats and the importance of agriculture. She is also a seasonal employee of Black River Orchard, maintaining over 1000 apple and pear trees.
She is the daughter of Bryan and Marla Lampi. Travis Engel is her advisor.
Elisha Riley, Waupaca FFA
"In my 28 years of teaching I have never worked with a member who had the ability to get along with so many diverse groups of individuals," said Riley's FFA advisor Jenifer Erb. That ability will serve Riley well in the coming year as she networks across the state to spread the importance of agriculture and builds upon the mission, aims and goals of the FFA.
Riley, a freshman at the University of Wisconsin River Falls, majoring in Animal Science, has developed a diverse portfolio of supervised agricultural experience projects which includes raising rabbits, organic dairy, poultry, goats and horses. These animals are the foundation of her agricultural passion, which began by showing at the Waupaca County Fair.
She is the daughter of Thomas and Kari Riley. Erb and Rene Lehman are her advisors.
Sam Pinchart, Luxemburg-Casco FFA
"I have learned that in order to help others improve, I must improve myself and in order to teach, I must first learn," Pinchart said
Pinchart began working on his family's beef farm at a young age, performing general maintenance and gaining skills necessary to take a more active role in making critical decisions. This work, combined with an additional project in agricultural education, have lead him to pursue a degree from South Dakota State. His experiences also helped him secure the third place individual judge in the Livestock Evaluation career development event.
Amelia Hayden, Big Foot FFA
A two time chapter officer, Hayden understands that "FFA is an organization that demands action" and is exicted to be constantly actifve this year. She hoipes to collaborate with sectional chapters and build quality relationships with key stakeholders such as alumni and administrators.
Hayden, a freshman studying microbiology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, was influenced by her agriscience research agricultural experience program, She has performed six research projects over the source of her high school career increasing in complexity as she has developed a more acute skill set. Her primary areas of study focused around both animals and food.
She is the daughter of Edward and Claire Hayden. Her advisors are Lisa Konkel, Jeanne Case and Zachary Markhardt.