Manawa FFA members hope to leave legacy

Wisconsin State Farmer
The Manawa FFA is 91 members strong and has been recognized for its work at the state and national level.

MANAWA - Manawa FFA is working to leave tracks and make memories as they focus on growing leaders, building communities, and strengthening agriculture.

The Manawa FFA strives to put the FFA motto (Learning to Do, Doing to Learn, Earning to Live, and Living to Serve) into action throughout the program of activities.

A main component of Manawa FFA is the emphasis on service-learning, with students participating in a myriad of student, chapter, and community events. A current project the chapter has adopted is to help launch “Project Backpack” in our schools.

Manawa FFA members work on developing leadership, problem solving skills, and teamwork as part of the 21st Century Skills, a central goal in Manawa's agricultural education program.

The initiative provides food to be sent home on weekends and for holiday breaks to families in need. The Manawa FFA has helped secure grants through Hunger Heroes, FFA’s Living to Serve, and Cargill Cares.

Additionally, they have helped run carnival games to raise money. On June 3, they will be assisting with Manawa’s “PB Quackers Duck Race and Family Fun Day” to raise additional funds. It costs $170/year to sponsor a student for the Backpack Project.

Out and about

Manawa FFA members participate in a wide array of service activities including Think Pink Cancer Awareness projects, food pantry drives, Jump Rope for Heart, National Night Out, the Manawa Rodeo, and community beautification.

Allison Bristol paints one of over 300 puzzle pins used as a conversation starter to help students understand the needs of the population afflicted with Autism.

Students coordinate collections of eye glasses for the Lions Sight program, pop tabs for the Ronald McDonald House, cell phones for Red Cross, clothing drive for Easter Seals, and white pants for dairy show exhibitors. Additionally students engage in recreational activities such as monthly FFA Game Nights and fun events like bowling parties.


Honors the chapter has received in the past year include 1st place in the state for Food for America (agricultural literacy), 1st place in the state for Retention and Recruitment, 2nd place overall chapter in the National Chapter Award, and Top 10 in the nation for Model of Innovation in the Student Development category.

Video modeling is a form of observational learning in which desired behaviors are learned by watching a video demonstration and then imitating the behavior of the model.  Manawa FFA members Ryan Schuelke (left) Ethan Michalowski (center) and Zach Teuscher create targeted lessons for autistic students which encouraged engagement through augmented reality.

There are currently 91 members of the Manawa FFA. The Manawa FFA officer leadership team consists of officers Jody Wentworth, Ethan Michalowski, Bryce Millard, Claire Kreklow, Haley Reierson, Matayah Pethke, Kellynn Kaczorowski, Skye Amador, Ellen Field, Sami Struyzinski, and Laynie Bessette.  The advisor is Sandy Piechowski Cordes.

Courses currently offered include Animal/Veterinary Science (Transcripted with Fox Valley Technical College), Leadership, Employability Skills, Plants/Animals & You, Wildlife, Food Science, Work Study, Youth Apprenticeship, and Independent Study.

Helping hands

The Manawa FFA Alumni consists of ardent supporters of the local chapter. They provide scholarships, donate the cost of 50 percent of FFA jackets, contribute to classroom needs, and provide opportunities for students to develop premier leadership, personal growth, and career success.

Main activities of the Manawa Alumni include Bluegrass Bash Dance (to be held October 14th at Bear Lake), a Nut/Bolt Sale, and volunteering at the Manawa Mid-Western Rodeo each summer.

Although much has changed in the FFA since Manawa was chartered in 1930, many of the goals remain the same today. The FFA Organization is dedicated to making a positive difference in the lives of young people by developing their potential for premier leadership, personal growth and career success through agricultural education.