Six receive FFA Distinguished Service honors

Wisconsin State Farmer-Unknown


Many former FFA members and supporters were recognized for their dedication to the state FFA organization during the final evening session of the Wisconsin FFA Convention.

The Distinguished Service Award honors individuals for their outstanding support and their help and guidance to agricultural education and the FFA. This year's recipients include:

Teyanna Loether recently completed a year as Wisconsin's 68th Alice in Dairyland. During this year she gave 175 speeches, 100 radio interviews, 65 television interviews and visited more than 10,000 4th grade students educating audiences about Wisconsin's $88 billion agriculture industry.

As a former FFA member, Loether owes much of where she is today to her FFA advisors, Jeff Hicken and Troy Talford, for providing her with guidance in the opportunities offered within agriculture.

William J. Nelson recently retired from the CHS Foundation where he provided leadership for 20 years. Nelson was instrumental in the generous support provided to the FFA from the CHS Foundation as he has seen firsthand how FFA leadership and speaking opportunities benefit FFA members in becoming future leaders. CHS Foundation provides support of the National Teach Ag campaign and is a 3-Star Star Mission Partner supporting Wisconsin Team Ag-Ed.

WAXX Radio 104.5 of Eau Claire has aired the 'FFA on the Air' program every Saturday for 52 years featuring 50 chapters in western and central Wisconsin on a rotating basis providing information about local FFA activities and agriculture education. WAXX radio is part of the Midwest Family Broadcasting where each of the farm directors often serve as FFA banquet speakers, assist with judging FFA contests at local, state and national events.

Tim Wyss has served on the Wisconsin FFA Foundation Board of Directors for three years and was an agricultural instructor and FFA advisor for 35 years at Clear Lake. During his tenure as an FFA advisor, Wyss trained four state winning Parliamentary Procedure teams, FFA Creed, Quiz Bowl and Discussion Meet winners, had five State Officers, one national proficiency finalist, and has had five former students follow him in becoming agricultural instructors.

Dr. Mark Zidon has served as the University Representative on the Wisconsin FFA Foundation Board of Directors. Zidon has taught students at the high school and university levels for 40 years and has been a mentor to those becoming agricultural educators. He pioneered the use of computers to tabulate CDEs and assists with the CDE event at the UW-Platteville each year. Dr. Zidon has been a recipient of the Wisconsin and American Honorary Degrees.

Jeff Zobeck is the agriculture education instructor at Gresham and serves as the Wisconsin Association of Agricultural Educators representative on the Wisconsin FFA Foundation Board of Directors. He has also served on the Wisconsin Association of FFA Board of Directors and was the WAAE President in 2009-10.