Please share a little about yourself, family, education, career, how long have you been teaching?
My husband Dave and I balance a small hobby farm, construction company and raising our two boys in Manitowoc County. As a 2012 graduate of UW-River Falls, I was hired to teach agricultural education in Mishicot and have been enriching the minds of students ever since.
When you were growing up what did you want to be?
I always knew I wanted to teach but my experiences in FFA and 4-H solidified that I would teach what was near and dear to my heart – agriculture.
You teach agriscience at Mishicot High School and are a strong agricultural advocate who enjoys sharing the passion of the ag industry through the classroom and the FFA Chapter. What are some of the challenges you face? What are some of the successes of which you are most proud?
A lot of the challenges in education and in our nation right now stem from a lack of strong family upbringing for many of our students and many people. Through FFA, the classroom and afterschool work, I try to instill values of hard work, finding a purpose, doing what you say you will do and more into students. Simple practices such as anticipating what’s next and jumping in, talking not texting around a dinner table, and saying thank you are all lessons that can never be taught enough and something I teach in addition to agriculture. I am incredibly proud of all my students and the goals they set, fail at, then exceed expectations of. The greatest compliment is when students notice the hours and challenges that go into agriculture education, but still choose to go into the same profession.
In 2017 you won the Young Farmer and Agriculturist Discussion Meet. Please share your experience.
I have always loved talking to people and our family is known for having some hefty discussions that air on the side of debate. Farm Bureau provided me a natural fit to share my opinions and those of other members within a platform of shared values. It was an honor to compete against some of the best in the industry at both the state and national levels. I encourage all YFA members to try this at least once.
What is one agricultural experience that has defined you?
While I was growing up my parents always supported and encouraged every ag and non-ag experience, I had ideas from running bowl-a-thons to raising money for cerebral palsy to picking and selling nightcrawlers and flowers in a roadside business. Ever since I was young, the idea that there is always more that can be done has defined me.
You served as the Brown County Young Farmer and Agriculturist Chair, participated in the WFBF Leadership Institute and were a former learning and leading chair. What is one Farm Bureau experience that you are most proud of?
All of these experiences have helped shape the teacher, leader and person that I am. One experience near and dear to my heart is being able to coach students in the FFA Discussion Meet then turn around and see them compete in the YFA contest through Farm Bureau. I am so proud of these students who are continuing their experience. I am also proud of the work we did in both Manitowoc County and Brown County to donate the AFBF Book of the Year to local libraries. This is a tradition my FFA officers and I at Mishicot continue, donating the book of the year to our elementary school library yearly.
What is something that many Farm Bureau members do not know about you?
My students and I run a full-service floral business out of the school, booking more than 17 weddings this year alone.
I also set a goal to read 22 books in 2022 but met it by June.