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MADISON

Over 300 FFA Alumni members and guests joined forces to celebrate another successful year supporting agriculture education in their respective school districts and on the state level during the annual meeting of the Wisconsin FFA Alumni Association held Feb. 5-6.

Outgoing Alumni President, Janet Schneider challenged attendees, while in Madison, to gain knowledge and skills to help their local affiliates serve the local agriculture education program and its agriculture instructor, to broaden their knowledge of the agriculture industry and to enjoy the opportunity to network and build relationships with other alumni members outside of their affiliate.

Affiliates from all over the state were recognized for the exceptional support for their local FFA chapters.

The National FFA Alumni presented three Wisconsin FFA Chapters with $1000 grants. Those three FFA Alumni Affiliates are Mishicot FFA Alumni, Sauk Prairie FFA Alumni, and the Wisconsin Heights FFA Alumni. The grant monies help to cover the cost of classroom equipment, chapter supplies and official dress items.

The website contest is designed to evaluate the local affiliate's communication ability through the internet and is scored in the areas of technical merit, originality, usefulness, current information and design optimization. The Kiel FFA Alumni was the overall winner in the website contest. Also receiving a gold rating was the New Richmond FFA Alumni and a silver rating was awarded to the Denmark FFA.

The Sauk Prairie FFA Alumni won the newsletter competition. Also receiving gold ratings were Kiel FFA Alumni and the Stoughton FFA Alumni.

The scrapbook contest rewards those affiliates who take the extra time to record all of the events and their affiliate history. The winner in the small Scrapbook contest was the Granton FFA Alumni. In the large Scrapbook contest first place overall was awarded to the Thorp FFA Alumni. Also receiving gold ratings were the Sauk Prairie and Stoughton affiliates.

For only the second time FFA affiliates were able to apply for the state level Outstanding Affiliate Award. The goal is to encourage all affiliates to engage in a state level competition.

The winner in the small category, 10-40 members, was the Melrose-Mindoro FFA Alumni and the medium affiliate winner, 41-80 members was the Brodhead FFA Alumni. Four affiliates were recognized in the large category, 81+ members. Fourth place went to Mishicot FFA Alumni, third place went to Kiel FFA Alumni, second went to Clinton FFA Alumni and 1st place to the Sauk Prairie FFA Alumni

Stoughton FFA Alumni and Marshfield FFA Alumni tied for overall winner for the National Outstanding Affiliate Award and both will advance to the National FFA competition. Receiving a silver rating was the Denmark FFA Alumni.

Winning affiliates must provide detailed information on their affiliate's instructional activities conducted for the agricultural education and/or SAEs of students, activities conducted in cooperation with the FFA Chapter, conducted to finance FFA or FFA Alumni, at other local events, of a social or fellowship nature and recruitment activities for alumni membership.

Agriculture instructors are the most valuable part of the FFA members' agriculture education experience and the keystone to the success of the FFA Alumni working with the agriculture program. Agriculture instructors recognized for their dedication were Troy Talford, Sauk Prairie; Kim Houser, Wisconsin Heights; and overall winner Mary Handrich, Denmark.

Nick Lowe of the Stoughton FFA Alumni was presented with the outstanding Achievement Award. Nick participated in FFA Alumni activities on the local, state and national level. The Outstanding Achievement Award is given in recognition of FFA Alumni members for outstanding leadership and service to agricultural education, FFA and FFA Alumni.

The Membership Award is given to affiliates that have maintained 100 percent of last year's membership and have been able to add new members this year. Those affiliates increasing their membership 7 to 14 members — Campbellsport FFA Alumni, Elkhorn FFA Alumni, Fort Atkinson FFA Alumni, Granton FFA Alumni, Kiel FFA Alumni, Marathon FFA Alumni, Mishicot FFA Alumni and the Sevastopol FFA Alumni. Affiliates increasing their membership 15 to 24 members — Thorp FFA Alumni and the Owen-Withee FFA Alumni.

The Owen-Withee FFA Alumni Affiliate received the Dr. V.O. Martinson Award with the greatest increase in annual membership percentage with 22 members. The Campbellsport FFA Alumni received the Ann Martinson Award, presented to the affiliate with the greatest increase in lifetime members.

The Medford FFA Alumni received the Eagle award with a 38.5 percent growth in membership.

Culver's Franchising System Inc., Ballweg Family of Dealerships, Furseth Farms, Inc., and Rob White were presented with a Distinguished Contributor Award. This is a state level award that recognizes an individual, a group/organization or a company for their contributions towards the Team Ag Ed.

Retiring State Council members were Eric Treml, Art Plaster, Larry Lader and Kathy Breunig who served as President in 2014.

The 2015-16 Wisconsin FFA Alumni Council members are President, Julie Spoke; President-elect, Dan Follendorf; Vice-President, Mark Landston and past-president Janet Schneider. The remainder of the Council are from Section 1- Gwen Dado and Kim Scholz; Section 3- Brian Buchholz and Bill Lien; Section 4- Jill Riley; Section 5- Greg Lincicum and Rudy Kaderly; Section 6- Matt Damm; Section 7- Mike Lewien and Herman Seebandt; Section 8- Candie Lehto and Ken Natzke; Section 9- Ellen Cary and Terri Wilfert; Section 10-Tim Spoke and Michael Krull. The Executive Director of the Wisconsin FFA Alumni is Regina Oldendorf.

Larry Lader, Jim and Mary Check served as the Executive Committee for the 2016 Wisconsin State FFA Convention. The 2017 Wisconsin FFA Alumni Convention will be held in Green Lake on February 3-4, 2017.

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