More than 3,500 Wisconsin FFA members, advisors and guests representing over 250 schools attended the 85th annual Wisconsin FFA Convention at the Alliant Energy Center of Dane County in Madison.
Attending from Manawa FFA were members Courtlynn Oltz, Adam Michalowski, Joe Kaczorowski, Andrew Scheller, Saharra Lane, Mandy Krueger, Lexi Smiles, Ashley Oertel and FFA Advisor Sandy Piechowski Cordes.
“Ignite the Passion, Live with Purpose” was the theme of this year’s convention, celebrating student success and recognition of FFA activities conducted across the entire state of Wisconsin. The convention highlighted a year of service and success for students in Wisconsin Agricultural Education and FFA.
FFA activities and award programs complement instruction in agricultural education by giving students practical experience in the application of agricultural skills and knowledge gained in their classes. The FFA organization’s major objectives are to develop agricultural leadership, cooperation, and citizenship.
Members heard from motivational speakers Scott Bakovich, Laymon Hicks, and a member of the national FFA officer team.
Students attended workshops, a phenomenal career and business fair, viewed displays of outstanding achievers in the FFA and participated in the high-energy convention. They also enjoyed Jim Wand’s hypnotist presentation and a lively dance.
Courtlynn Oltz, Joe Kaczorowski and Adam Michalowski served as the official delegates for the Manawa FFA Chapter. Delegates were responsible for representing the local chapter at the business session and selecting the section’s state FFA officer. Hallie Kopczynski was elected as the Section 8 FFA Officer.
FFA members can receive honors for an application pertaining to their Supervised Agricultural Experience (SAE) projects. Joe Kaczorowski earned 4th place gold in the state for his Poultry Production project.
Ashley Oertel was selected as a first year member of the FFA Honors Band. She participated in rehearsals and performances during pre-session concerts and during sessions.
The band will also showcase their talents at the Wisconsin State Fair in August.
The Manawa FFA Chapter applied for the National Chapter Award and received a gold ranking in the state.
The chapter was recognized for their overall program of activities focusing on three major areas: Student development (gold ranking), chapter development (gold ranking), and community development (8th in state). Lexi Smiles and Adam Michalowski accepted the on-stage honors.
The application has been selected to go on for national consideration.
Manawa FFA received seventh place overall in the state for the Food for America program. This award recognizes chapters for their promotion of agricultural literacy.
Among the highlights of the chapter’s “Food for America” program is a Day on the Farm field trip to Triple B Produce for Manawa third graders. The purpose of the trip is to promote careers in agriculture and teach students about agricultural commodities.
Courtlynn Oltz accepted the gold award for the chapter.
Adam Michalowski made the finals in the state Career Development Event (CDE) Speaking Contest, placing fourth. This contest allows participants to exchange ideas and information in an effort to solve a problem.
Courtlynn Oltz was the recipient of the “Three Star Leader Award.” The award recognizes selected chapter members for stellar involvement in activities in student development, chapter development, and community development.
Mandy Krueger, Saharra Lane, Lexi Smiles, and Andrew Scheller all served as members of the state Courtesy Corp, helping behind the scenes to make sure the convention ran smoothly.
The chapter also received first place in the state for membership/recruitment (accepted by Michalowski on stage). The application for this award is written solely by the FFA officers summarizing recruitment and retention projects.
The Wisconsin Association of FFA provides over 18,000 members with an opportunity to gain life skills through hands-on learning. The Manawa FFA is grateful for the support of the school district, parents and community as we work together to develop premier leadership, personal growth and career success through agriculture education.
For more information about the Manawa FFA, contact Sandy Cordes at 920-596-5826 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
To join the support group of the FFA (the Manawa FFA Alumni), contact Randy Steingraber at 920-538-2072. People do not need to have been an FFA member to support the goals of the organization.