Ben Styer of Menomonie FFA was elected Wisconsin FFA president for 2021-22 at the conclusion of the state FFA convention, held July 6-8 at the Alliant Energy Center in Madison, Wis.
Styer (pictured below), who served this past year as state FFA vice president from Section 2, will lead an officer team this next year that is made up of nine young women. They include Katie Zimmer, Flambeau FFA; Casey Denk, Mondovi FFA; Amara Livingston, Cochrane Fountain City FFA; Mia Hillebrand, River Valley FFA; Aubrey Schlimgen, Marshall FFA; Emily Dahlke, Adams-Friendship FFA; Lydia Rasmussen, Pulaski FFA; Lashawna Vogel, Denmark FFA; and Sydney Bender, Big Foot, FFA.
Some 3,000 students, FFA advisors and guests attended the 92nd Wisconsin FFA Convention.
Also on July 8, the Waupaca FFA Chapter was named the winner of the National Chapter Award.
Financial support for the Wisconsin FFA continues near $500,000. Contributions to the organization in the past year totaled $461,906, according to Janet Schneider, president of the Wisconsin FFA Foundation. During the past five years, the state FFA foundation raised $2.57 million.
Following are other highlights from the state convention:
Stars Over Wisconsin honored
The Stars Over Wisconsin awards recognize FFA members who are receiving their State FFA Degree and have conducted exemplary Supervised Agricultural Experience programs. Many students apply for the honor, but only the top 10 individuals are recognized in each area. Individuals are then selected as the first-place recipients in the areas of Star Farmer, Star in Agricultural Placement, Star in Agribusiness and Star in Agriscience. State winners will compete at the National FFA Convention Oct. 27-30 in Indianapolis.
Star Farmer. Randy Winch of the Fennimore FFA Chapter was named Wisconsin’s Star Farmer.
Star in Agricultural Placement. Kendra Goplin from the Whitehall FFA Chapter is the Star in Agricultural Placement award winner. The award is given to students who work for a business in agriculture.
Star in Agribusiness. Kaelyn Sumner of the Pulaski FFA Chapter is the Star in Agribusiness winner. The Star in Agribusiness is awarded to a student who has developed an outstanding agricultural business enterprise of his or her own.
Star in Agriscience. Caleb Gotham of the New Auburn FFA Chapter is the Star in Agriscience winner.
Speaking contest winners
Hundreds of FFA members from across the state participate in speaking competitions at the district, section and state levels. As members test their abilities to speak in front of audiences, public speaking contests are among the most popular activities in FFA.
The top prepared speaking, extemporaneous speaking, creed, discussion meet and parliamentary procedure contest winners in each section were invited to compete at the state level during the Wisconsin FFA Convention. The winner in each category will represent Wisconsin at the National FFA Convention.
Prepared. The prepared speaking contest is designed to recognize FFA members for their ability to present factual information on specific agricultural issues in a well-thought-out and logical manner in a competitive setting. Speeches are six to eight minutes in length. Participants also answer five minutes of questions from three judges. The state winner is Jerimiah Ihm of the Lancaster FFA Chapter.
Extemporaneous. The extemporaneous speaking contest provides an opportunity for members to develop the skills to speak about a given subject without having much time to prepare or rehearse. Students draw a topic and are given just 30 minutes to prepare a four- to six-minute speech. They also must answer five minutes of questions from judges about their speech. The state winner is Aubrey Schilimgen of the Marshall FFA Chapter.
Creed. In the creed speaking contest, participants recite the FFA Creed and answer three questions to test their understanding of the creed. Olivia Olson of the Lake Mills FFA Chapter is the state winner.
Discussion meet. The discussion meet contest tests the abilities of FFA members in cooperatively discussing ag issues, exchanging ideas and information, and finding solutions to problems. The state winner in the discussion meet contest is Mia Hillebrand of the River Valley FFA Chapter.
Parliamentary procedure. The parliamentary procedure contest develops leadership ability and increases knowledge in conducting meetings using proper parliamentary procedure. Each team, consisting of five to seven members, has 10 minutes to demonstrate “parliamentary abilities” while discussing the topic given to them by the judges. The Amery FFA Chapter is the state winner in this contest.
New London FFA won the senior high school quiz bowl contest, while the Mauston FFA Chapter took home top honors in the junior high school quiz bowl contest. Sydney Folk was selected as the junior high school essay contest winner.