WI FFA Alumni members and chapters recognized during 39th convention
STEVENS POINT - The Wisconsin FFA Alumni Association held its 39th convention and annual meeting in Stevens Point, Feb. 8-9, welcoming nearly 325 FFA Alumni members from across the state of Wisconsin.
The convention kicked off Friday morning with the state council quarterly meeting followed by a 3-stop tour of O’so Brewing Company, Sunset Point Winery and Great Northern Distilling.
FFA alumni members from each of the 10 sections met Saturday and joined with other sections to learn about what is happening at the state level and to plan for future conventions. National FFA Alumni Executive Director Joshua Rusk was the guest speaker.
Four local chapters were recognized for their reactivation including Brillion, Dodgeland, River Valley and West Salem/Bangor. American Family Insurance was recognized as a newly chartered non-traditional chapter.
Oconto Falls FFA Alumni chapter was named the State Website contest winner and Denmark won the Newsletter competition. The 2018-19 Wisconsin FFA Officer Team played a vital role in the operation of the convention and were recognized for being Lifetime members of both the state and national FFA Alumni. The 2017-18 team was named a 100% State Lifetime Team at the national convention this past fall.
Members heard from the various leaders of the other organizations that are part of Team Ag Ed and were presented the annual financial report and budget during the annual business meeting. The bylaws were amended to align our membership year to the national year and to clarify associate membership and council service. The election for Vice President was also conducted.
Several FFA Alumni members were recognized during the banquet. Jordan Donnerbauer from Stanley-Boyd was named the Outstanding Agriculture Educator, while Emily Watson of Elkhorn earned the Outstanding Young Member Award. Chapter support grants were awarded to Baldwin-Woodville, Darlington, Edgerton and Granton.
Weyauwega-Fremont FFA Alumni was named the Outstanding State Chapter in the small division. Waupaca and Sauk Prairie FFA Alumni was named Outstanding Chapters in the medium and large divisions respectively.
Denmark and Stoughton FFA Alumni chapters both received gold ratings in the National Outstanding Chapter Awards and will have their applications submitted for national level of competition. Denmark was also recognized as the overall winner in this area.
Outstanding Achievement awards were presented to Don and Barb Quam of Stoughton and Mark Olsen of Denmark. Olsen's application received a gold rating and will advance to national competition.
Greenwood FFA Alumni is this year’s recipient of the Dr. V.O. Martinson Award, given to the FFA Alumni with the greatest increase in annual membership percentage.
Granton FFA Alumni was presented with the Ann Martinson Award, given to the chapter with the greatest increase in lifetime membership.
Joe Loritz of Denmark was presented the Team Ag Ed Contributor award for his support of FFA, FFA Alumni and Agriculture Education.
Retiring council members were recognized for the contributions: Kim Scholz, Brian Buchholz, Larry Lader, Ken Natzke and Dan Follendorf. The gavel was turned over to incoming FFA Alumni President Cari Sabel of Chilton. Joining Sabel is the following officers: Vice President, Nate Zimdars, Ripon; President Elect, Rudy Kaderly, Juda; Past President, Mark Ladsten, Sauk Prairie. Cheryl Steinbach is Executive Director.
This year's 2019-20 Council will represent the following areas: Section 1—Dave Clausen, Amery and Jerry Larsen, Unity; Section 2—Brenda Franklin, Baldwin-Woodville and Caleb Green, Stanley-Boyd; Section 3—Derek Trescher & Chris Blank, Sparta; Section 4—Nick Huffman, Pecatonica, Jacob Stukenberg, Shullsburg; Section 5—Nick Lowe and Jack Ellickson, Stoughton; Section 6—Matt Damm, Columbus and Bobbi Jo Kunz, Waupun; Section 7—Cindi Freidhof, Colby and Amy Penterman, Thorp; Section 8—Bobbie Jo Montgomery, Waupaca and Grant Staszak, Bonduel; Section 9—Sara Bertram, New Holstein and Terri Wilfert, Mishicot; and Section 10—Gene Hetebrueg, Kewaskum and Amy Voigt, Lakeside Lutheran.
The evening concluded with a live auction, silent auction with all funds given back to support the FFA members through various state level programs.