The Wisconsin FFA Alumni & Supporters Association 41st convention and annual meeting was held last weekend at the KI convention center in Green Bay.
About 180 FFA Alumni members from across Wisconsin attended this year’s hybrid event, with two-thirds attending in person and the other one-third attending virtually.
Due to the circumstances of COVID-19, the event was condensed to a one day, but it included an opening session, section meetings, luncheon, business meeting, FFA state officer reflections program, closing session and workshops, along with an optional dinner.
This year's convention theme was “Beyond 2021.” The Wisconsin FFA theme is “Unstoppable.”
The 2020-21 leadership team was recognized for all being lifetime members of both the state and national FFA Alumni, and the 2019-20 team was honored for being named a 100% State Lifetime Team at the national convention this past fall. Also, the Weyauwega-Fremont FFA Alumni & Supporters chapter received a state chapter support grant, and the Randolph FFA Alumni & Supporters was named the winner of a state reactivation grant.
Bobbie Jo Montgomery of the Waupaca FFA Alumni & Supporters chapter was elected vice president. The remaining executive team was also forwarded to their new positions, electing Nate Zimdars of Ripon as the new president, Terri Wilfert of Mishicot the president-elect and Rudy Kaderly of Juda, past president.
Walter Taylor from Oconto Falls was named the Outstanding Agriculture Educator. Other educators nominated and recognized were Troy Talford & Sally Ladsten from Sauk Prairie, Daniel Robinson from Lomira, Mariah Markhardt from Oconto Falls and Kimberly Houser from Wisconsin Heights.
Jamie Elmhorst from Granton and Amber Larson of Oconto Falls were presented the Outstanding Young Member Award, and Jamie was named the state winner.
Winning the newsletter award was Stoughton FFA Alumni & Supporters, and Sauk Prairie won the website recognition.
Auburndale FFA Alumni & Supporters was named the Outstanding State Chapter in the small division, and Waupaca was named Outstanding Chapter in the medium division. Winning the large division was the Granton FFA Alumni & Supporters.
Denmark. Stoughton and Weyauwega-Fremont FFA Alumni & Supporters chapters all received gold ratings in the National Outstanding Chapter Awards and will have their applications submitted to the national level of competition. Denmark was also recognized as the overall winner in this area.
Outstanding Achievement awards were presented to Jeremy Krerowicz of Denmark and Melanie Huchthausen of Stoughton. Both of their applications scored gold so they will be advancing to National competition and Melanie was named the overall state winner.
The Dr. V.O. and Ann Martinson Award is given to the FFA Alumni who had the greatest increase in lifetime members. Darlington FFA Alumni & Supporters is this year’s recipient.
DeGrand’s Family Restaurant of Denmark was presented the Team Ag Ed Contributor award for its support of FFA, FFA Alumni and Agriculture Education.
Retiring council members were recognized. They are Brenda Franklin, Caleb Green, Nick Huffman, Jack Ellickson, Matt Damm, Cindi Freidhof, Bobbie Jo Montgomery, Sara Bertram and Cari Sabel.
Retiring Wisconsin FFA Alumni & Supporters President Rudy Kaderly shared his final address, promoting members to get the “FFA Fever," practice good communication and “Stay Forever Blue.”
The 2021-22 council representatives were introduced and they were installed into their position. They are:
- Section 1- Dave Clausen, Amery & Jerry Larsen, Unity
- Section 2- Dalton Hinke, Chippewa Falls
- Section 3- Derek Trescher & Chris Blank both from Cashton
- Section 5- Nick Lowe, Stoughton & Dan Ziegler, New Glarus
- Section 6- Bobbi Jo Kunz, Waupun & Al Justmann, Oakfield
- Section 7- Gary Eibergen, Granton & William Litzer, Edgar
- Section 8- Grant Staszak, Bonduel & Renee Lehman, Waupaca
- Section 9- Sean VanderHeiden, Chilton
- Section 10- Gene Hetebrueg, Kewaskum & Amy Voigt, Lakeside Lutheran.