FFA members create magic despite challenges

Joe Schlies
The Cochrane-Fountain City FFA delivered 200 bagged lunches to area farmers working in the fields as part of their “Find and Feed a Farmer” event. Chapters all across the state are continuing to think of new ways to safely help support the men and women who plant the seeds and harvest the crop.

Fall is usually one of the busiest times of the year for agriculture with harvest season in full swing. Trying to beat mother nature before the winter weather comes around, it sometimes seems like farmers could use a little magic to finish in time. And yet, they always get the job done.

For the FFA, it is no different. As we wind down a year that certainly could’ve used more magic in it, FFA chapters across the state have brought that magic to their communities and schools. They have been staying busy with volunteering in service projects, expanding their Supervised Agricultural Experiences, and engaging in leadership development.

At the beginning of October, the State FFA Officers kicked off their brand-new Chapter Officer Workshops (COWs) for all 252 chapter officer teams in Wisconsin. I have to say, it’s pretty fitting to have a workshop series with the title of COWs right here in America’s Dairyland.

COWs, a new series of leadership workshops, focuses on providing chapter officers with tailored team training in a fun and educational environment. Chapter FFA officers learn more about their positional duties as an officer, working together, recruiting members, and connecting with members and the public in a virtual setting. Just like the agriculture industry, nothing can get in the way of FFA members, and the state officers have seen first-hand why this is the case.

At the beginning of October, the State FFA Officers kicked off their brand-new Chapter Officer Workshops (COWs) for all 252 chapter officer teams in Wisconsin.

Simply stated, it’s because of magic. The magic that our members make. Magic is frequently referred to as the power of influencing the course of events by forces that seem impossible to scientifically explain. Jumping into workshop after workshop, I have seen officer teams who are influencing events in their communities with a drive that seems scientifically impossible. They are brainstorming events for this upcoming year that are impacting more people than ever thought to be possible.

The rules and protocol for an event to take place are extensive and complex, but that isn’t getting in their way. The virtual method of communicating with others can be difficult, but that isn’t getting in their way. The thought of what the next month is going to bring is unknown, but that isn’t getting in their way. So, what is getting in FFA members’ way?

Nothing. It seems impossible to think that, but the drive FFA members are demonstrating in standing by the motto of Living to Serve and continuing to support the agriculture industry is all that is needed for to prove how this magic is made. FFA members create the magic when they spend hours brainstorming new activities.

FFA members create the magic when they are grinding away to plan an event and meet all safety procedures. FFA members create the magic when they arrive early to an event to set-up and stay after to clean up. The extra hours and effort they put into an event demonstrate the drive and desire they have for their chapter’s success, but more importantly, the growth of the agricultural community. It doesn’t get more magical than that.

Members across the country are making the magic happen every day, and each year the National FFA dedicates a week to recognize members for their accomplishments. The 93rd National FFA Convention was held on October 27-29. This 90 plus year tradition looked a little different this year, as it was held in a virtual format and broadcasted on RFD-TV. Last year almost 70,000 members attended National Convention in Indianapolis, and while 70,000 members didn’t go to Indianapolis once again this year, over 760,000 FFA members were able to recreate the atmosphere and enthusiasm of the Indianapolis stage in their hometowns. That is simply magic right in front of you.

In case you missed out on the excitement of the National FFA Convention, or are interested in learning more about how Wisconsin FFA members, the next generation of agriculture leaders, have experienced success over the past year, visit

Wisconsin State FFA President Joe Schlies

Schlies is President of the Wisconsin State FFA Officer Team