COLUMNISTS

FFA members' passion and drive inspire this year's theme: Elevate

Casey Denk
The 2022-2023 State Officer Team stands before the Nation’s Capitol in Washington, D.C. while attending State Officer Summit in July. The team spent a week learning about agriculture advocacy, preparing for National FFA Convention, and meeting state officers from around the nation.

Representing 23,190 FFA members is an honor in itself and as the Wisconsin FFA State Officer Team has started traveling around meeting FFA members, it has started to sink in how special this opportunity really is.

My teammates and I are so grateful that we have a year full of making memories with FFA members, advisors, and supporters from every corner of Wisconsin ahead of us. We are thrilled to support members as they flourish in their leadership roles, succeed in their growing SAEs, implement new ideas in their communities, and celebrate their many accomplishments throughout the year. 

As the state officer team started to travel around the state, we noticed a similarity all FFA members possess: the drive to continue improving themselves and each other. We’ve had the opportunity to meet livestock exhibitors, who are ready and willing to share their passion for agriculture and growth within their livestock project.

While spending time at the Wisconsin State Fair, we had the opportunity to work alongside and visit with FFA members and advisors who were volunteering their time to help advocate for agriculture while working in the Dairy Lane exhibit, Discovery Barnyard, Wisconsin Cattlemen’s Association trailer, Washington County Sundae Stand, and numerous other aspects of the fair to help it continue to run smoothly.

FFA members from the Alma and Cochrane-Fountain City FFA chapters traveled to the Wisconsin State Fair to volunteer in the Dairy Lane exhibit and Discovery Barnyard helping advocate for the agriculture industry.

We were able to listen to the FFA Honors Band and Choir performances, heard them practicing early in the morning, and had the chance to experience their appreciation for their tight-knit community and their dedication for continued success.

This summer, state officers have had the opportunity to work with chapter officer teams during their officer retreats, helping them prepare for the year ahead looking for new ways to promote growth within their chapters.

Together, we have had the privilege of getting to know FFA members who all share the same passion and drive that our team and every FFA member embodies. This drive that FFA members share was our inspiration as the state officer team thought of this year's Wisconsin FFA State Theme: “Elevate.”

We are challenging FFA members to build upon the FFA tradition and legacy by elevating themselves, their chapters, and their communities; and we have no doubt they will! FFA members work to Elevate to the next level by continuously participating in leadership conferences, community service activities, and FFA competitions.

They impact the people around them, encourage younger members to join FFA, help educate their peers about agriculture, and unite communities around the state. FFA members' drive to Elevate is an inspiration to the Wisconsin FFA State Officer Team, and we know they must have learned it from somewhere.  

Agriculturists set the example by working towards future goals within their agriculture enterprise. They work tirelessly innovating, progressing, and improving their operations. The individuals wearing the blue corduroy jacket are dedicated and proud to represent the most critical industry: agriculture.

For decades, agriculturists have worked to inspire future generations to Elevate the agriculture industry. As we see FFA members are always looking forward, eager to learn, help, improve, and participate in the new opportunities provided by  agriculture and the FFA Organization, I have no doubt FFA members will continue elevating the industry.

Between active agriculturists and our agriculture educators, our students are in good hands. FFA advisors are driven and devoted to ensure that students will continue to Elevate the legacy of Wisconsin agriculture by cultivating a love of agriculture and FFA within each of their students. Agriculturists work to educate the younger generation by working alongside us, teaching us, and showing us the pride and dignity that comes hand in hand with being involved with the agriculture industry whether you are a producer, consumer, or supporter.

The Wisconsin FFA State Officer Team is excited to work alongside FFA members, advisors, supporters, and fellow agriculturists as Wisconsin FFA members ELEVATE. 

Casey Denk

Casey Denk is the 2022-23 President of the Wisconsin FFA State Officer Team