Six college students from across the nation are selected each year to represent over 600,000 FFA members nationwide as National FFA Officers. They travel over 100,000 miles attending state conventions, leadership workshops and partnership visits to meet with students, educators, politicians and industry leaders. The Wisconsin Association of FFA has selected Abby Sabel as the state’s candidate to seek a national FFA officer position.
Sabel is the daughter of Jerry and Cari Sabel of Chilton. Her agricultural education instructor at Chilton High School is Amy Thielman. This fall, Sabel will be a freshman at University of Wisconsin-River Falls where she is majoring in agricultural education with plans to teach high school agriculture.
“Being engaged in agricultural education made an impression in my life and I want to be able to provide that experience to others,” Sabel says.
Like many students who are involved in the agricultural education and FFA, Sabel did not grow up on a farm. Her exposure to agriculture began when she was seven years old and a neighboring farmer allowed Sabel to show their dairy cattle at the county fair. Over time, Sabel’s interest in agriculture grew. She began working on the farm more and went on to show dairy cattle at the state fair too. During her freshman year of high school, she showed beef cattle for another farmer. This experience led to showing beef cattle around the state and nation.
While Sabel enjoyed showing cattle, she was also able to work with the increasingly growing dairy goat industry in Wisconsin. She works for LeClare Farms in Pipe where not only are dairy goats milked in a state-of-the-art facility, but milk is processed into a variety of products at the farmstead.
“It has been a lot of fun working with dairy goats and learning about the products, animals and the industry,” she says.
A year ago in June, Sabel was elected as a state FFA officer and served as state FFA reporter. That experience helped inspire her to run for national office.
“Running for a national FFA officer position has been a goal of mine since attending my first National FFA Convention,” Sabel says. “It really became more real as I served this past year as a state officer. It was a great experience for me to travel the state, plan and present workshops, meet FFA members and hear their stories. Connecting with FFA members and seeing them grow throughout the year was special for me. I want to be able to represent agriculture and share the excitement for this industry with others.”
Sabel will go through an intense interview and selection process at the National FFA Convention beginning in late October in Indianapolis, Ind.
“There is a lot of preparation to do between now and then,” she explains. “I will be traveling to several trainings around the country and meeting with a number of experts on agriculture and education issues as I prepare.”
The results of the national FFA officer selection process will be announced at the closing session of the National FFA Convention.
Giebel lives in Baraboo.