Honorary State FFA Degree bestowed upon 18 supporters

Wisconsin State Farmer


The newest recipients of the Honorary State FFA Degree stand for applause during the Wednesday evening session of the Wisconsin FFA Convention.


MADISON - The Honorary Degree is the highest honor which the FFA Association can bestow on a non-member. Recipients are nominated by local FFA chapters and state FFA staff.

The following recipients were presented with plaques during a special program at the 88th WIsconsin FFA Convention on June 14 to thank them for their dedication to youth leadership development.

Honorary Wisconsin FFA Degree Recipients include:

James Bays II - James Bays, father of State FFA President Brenna Bays, knew what his daughter could experience in the FFA organization as he too was an FFA member. He currently serves as president of the local FFA alumni chapter, is a member of the local school board and the Allied Cooperative board. He promotes agriculture by hosting farm days for 2nd and 3rd grade students and FFA members on his farm.

Molly and Doug Wiese - Molly and Doug Wiese are the mother and step-father of State FFA President Brenna Bays. While neither one of them were FFA members they have seen first-hand what wonderful opportunities the organization offers young people through the experiences of daughter Brenna and son Collin.

Steve Boe - Steve Boe is a backstage manager for the State FFA Convention making sure everything you see runs smoothly. In 2003-04 he served as the State FFA Sentinel from the Blair-Taylor FFA Chapter; he has been an FFA Advisor; judged district, sectional, state and national speaking contests; and is the local FFA alumni treasurer. For the past 6 years, Boe has worked for the Wisconsin Farm Bureau and was just named as the Director of Local Affairs.

Andrea Brossard - Andrea Brossard is part owner of her family's third-generation dairy farm, Brossard Dairy Farm LLC. As an FFA member she won the State CDE Ag Sales contest and went onto earning a gold rating at the national contest. Because of her passion for the Ag Sales contest, she has served as the contest’s state superintendent for over 15 years.

Richard Dykstra - Richard Dykstra has been an FFA advisor and agricultural instructor at Lake Mills Public Schools for almost 20 years. FFA members that participate in the many tours offered during the State FFA Convention, have met Dykstra as he is one of the organizing individuals that make those educational and fun opportunities happen.

Randy Ehrenberg - Randy Ehrenberg has been an FFA advisor and agricultural instructor at Hartford Union High School for 33 years. He has taught over 3,800 students, advised over 1,000 FFA members of which 5 became State FFA Officers.

Dan Follendorf - Follendorf has served on the State FFA Alumni Council for the last 9 years and is currently the council President. Mr. Follendorf made the decision to join the FFA Alumni upon high school graduation so he could give back to the 

Nick Hemling - Hemling was the State FFA Sentinel in 1997-98 from the Beaver Dam FFA Chapter. For the past 6 years he has been the treasurer of the Wisconsin FFA Foundation Board of Directors that secures funding for state FFA awards and events.

Bret Iverson - Iverson has been teaching for 27 years and for the last 2 years he has been the FFA advisor and agricultural instructor at River Ridge. He has had 5 State FFA Officers and 7 National CDE teams. Mr. Iverson knows the importance of staying current for his students and therefore is a member of WAAE and NAAE

Wendy Kannel - Kannel is the Director of Training and Leadership Development for Wisconsin Farm Bureau, prior to this she was the Ag in the Classroom Coordinator. Her love for agriculture and agricultural education shines through as she creates leadership development activities and relevant agriculture materials. For 6 years, Ms. Kannel was an agriculture teacher at Mishicot High School.

Amber Vickers Keller was elected as the first female Wisconsin FFA President in 1989.

Amber Vickers Keller - Vickers Keller has served on the Wisconsin FFA Foundation Board of Directors for 6 years and is currently the board President. Mrs. Keller has left her personal mark on Wisconsin FFA, in 1989 she was elected as the first female Wisconsin FFA President.

Diane King - King is a co-FFA Advisor at Holmen where she helped to develop and promote the Farm to School program. For many years, Mrs. King has managed the dance and entertainment at the State FFA Convention. She assists FFA members prepare for their competitions with the little touches to make things more memorable and fun.

Corey Kuchta - Kuchta is an Agriculture Market Leader at Wisconsin Public Service where he has been for 22 years. Mr. Kuchta and WPS are committed to Wisconsin FFA.

Charles Miller - Miller is the Director of Agricultural Sales at NASCO, a position he has held for 8 years. NASCO and Miller are very supportive of agricultural education, Wisconsin FFA and those who wear the blue and gold jackets.

Dr. Gary Onan - Onan is a Professor of Animal Science & Department Chair at the UW-River Falls. He plays a key role in the annual Agricultural Technology Contest on campus and is involved in the livestock CDEs working closely with the state FFA superintendents

David Rizzardi - Rizzardi spent 33 years at Kewaskum High School as an FFA advisor and agricultural educator. Today he serves as the Curriculum Sales Consultant for CEV Multimedia. Mr. Rizzardi enjoyed all aspects of teaching and today he assists CTE teachers to become more successful in their role of training future leaders.

Sara Schoenborn - Schoenborn is the Director of Communications for Cooperative Network where she manages the organization's strategic communications planning and activities. Prior to this she served as the Executive Director of the Wisconsin FFA Foundation.