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The VIP Award is a very special honor. This award has only been presented to a select few individuals since its inception as a state recognition program. The citation is presented for a lifetime of support, dedication, and leadership--all benefiting FFA, FFA Alumni, and/or the FFA Foundation.

This year's recipients include Al Herrman and David Laatsch.

Al Herrman

Al Herrman recently retired from Wisconsin Public Service as manager of Wholesale Services where his group was responsible for $200 million in annual sales of electricity to cooperatives and municipal utilities.

Prior to that he served as an International Trade Specialist and Director for the Bureau of Marketing of Economic Analysis at Wisconsin Department of Agriculture. In 2008 he was appointed to the Wisconsin Agricultural Education and Workforce Development Council which advocates for agricultural education, educational initiatives, and associated resources that improve the employment opportunities of the agriculture industry.

Throughout his career, Mr. Herrman has served in leadership roles and on advisory committees but his focus was always agriculture and education.

David Laatsch

Laatsch taught agriculture education at Beaver Dam High School for 34 years. During the past year, he has led the updating of the book “A History of Vocational Agriculture in Wisconsin” as we celebrate the 100 year anniversary of the Smith-Hughes Act of 1917.

During his tenure as an FFA advisor and agriculture educator, Laatsch was the first National Finalist Agriscience Teacher of the Year, served two terms on the WAAE Board, ten years on the FFA Center Board and provided seminars and published brochures to support poultry projects.

He is securing his personal mark on Wisconsin FFA by joining the prestigious Blue and Gold Society through his generous gifts to the FFA Foundation.

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