Wisconsin FFA and agriculturists work to elevate ag

Casey Denk

Fall is officially upon us and harvest season is in full swing! For many agriculturists, fall is oftenthe busiest time of the year and is marked with a laundry list of tasks to prepare their livestock and farmsfor the frigid months ahead. Although fall is one the busiest times of the year for farmers, it’s also one ofthe most rewarding. As growers, we spend hours alongside family and friends harvesting the crops weplanted in spring, weaning calves and preparing our fields, farms, and equipment for the months ahead.

: FFA members partake in several different hands-on workshops with topics ranging
from leadership training to FFA opportunities to agricultural careers. Pictured are chapter presidents at the
Section 10 FLW in East Troy after completing our workshop focused on delegation, communication, and

We all hold an innate fondness for the land we work and a sense of pride for the crops we harvest.Together, we continue the long-lasting traditions that have been instilled in each of us.

For the State FFA Officer team, fall is also marked as one of the most memorable times duringour year of service. During late-September and early-October, we embark on a three-week excursionacross our beautiful state, carrying on the long-standing tradition of traveling to all ten sectional officer’shome chapters to facilitate Fall Leadership Workshops (FLW). FLWs are a combination of two largegroup sessions and a variety of smaller, more direct workshops focused on leadership, planning activities,ways to enhance our organization, future career paths and the multitude of other workshops our FFAmembers can attend.

This year, our workshops were based on the FLW theme, “FFA Family Game Night.” Wechallenged FFA members to view every FFA event as an FFA Family Game Night: working to get out ofour comfort zones and enhancing our leadership skills, while creating bonds with FFA members fromacross the state. These travels also presented our team with the opportunity to take tours and learn moreabout the diverse agricultural business and industries in our state. Throughout our travels, we got to seefirsthand what makes Wisconsin’s agriculture industry so unique.

Amongst our travels to every corner of the state, we made a pitstop in Madison on Oct. 4 topartake in World Dairy Expo’s FFA Day! FFA members from across the state came together to celebrateand learn more about the dairy industry. FFA members had the opportunity to compete in different FFAcontests from Dairy Products Evaluation and Dairy Cattle Evaluation to Forage Evaluation.

At the Section 9 FLW in Bay Port, members of the Random Lake FFA
chapter pose for a picture with the state officer team and the famous spirit stick, a prize the chapter
exhibiting the most energy and enthusiasm throughout the evening takes home.

FFA members also had the chance to attend a workshop facilitated by some of the state officers toenhance their understanding of agricultural career paths. In their free time, students were able to walkaround the trade show connecting with business professionals to learn more about the latest progressmade in the dairy industry and how advances in technology aid the industry’s success. . As a state officerteam, we had the opportunity to visit with some of Wisconsin FFA Foundation's biggest supporters tolearn more about their companies and what interested them in the FFA organization.

While traveling across the state it was refreshing to see and catch up with FFA members,advisors, alumni and supporters. Hearing stories of students growing their Supervised AgriculturalExperiences (SAEs), supporting members as they exhibited at World Dairy Expo, helping plan theirupcoming chapter activities and listening to their excitement for the coming year is what makes the fallsuch a significant part of our year.

In the past three weeks, we visited all 10 sections, toured 20 differentagricultural businesses, met over 2,000 FFA members, added thousands of miles to our vehicles and mademany memories we will cherish forever. FFA members are ready to take on the busy season to continueimproving our organization and chapters, just like agriculturists, are continuing to improve theiroperations to ensure the future is bright for the next generations of agriculturists.

Casey Denk

Casey Denk is President of the Wisconsin FFA State Officer Team