Last weekend, FFA members from all across the state converged in Wisconsin Rapids at Hotel Mead to attend the 2019 Farm Forum sponsored by the Wisconsin Farm Bureau Foundation. Farm Forum is an event geared specifically for FFA members who are juniors in high school. Attending the event is another stepping stone for students to build their leadership skills and network with other members who share the same key interests.
The two-day leadership conference focused on current and future agricultural issues, careers in agriculture and how students can become involved in the Wisconsin Farm Bureau Federation and the Wisconsin Farm Bureau Federation’s Young Farmer and Agriculturist (YFA) program. Workshops were presented on these topics and more, with students having the opportunity to learn about the Ag in the Classroom program, the Culver’s Thank You Farmers Project, agricultural policy and public service, social media techniques and technology in agriculture. The weekend also included guest speakers Alison Wedig, marketing specialist for Culver Franchising Systems, LLC.; Jim Holte, Wisconsin Farm Bureau Federation President; and Chris Pollack, co-owner of Pollack-Vu Dairy. Students also participated in recreational activities such as an ice breaker activity with the Wisconsin State FFA Officer Team, a dance, fun games and swimming. The Farm Forum Social Media Challenge was also a huge hit, where students competed for Culver’s custard coupons based on creative social media posts and content.
Attending Farm Forum as a state officer was truly an eye-opening experience, as I never had the chance to attend as a high school student. My teammates and I greatly enjoyed the chance to reconnect with FFA members that we have worked with throughout our year of service, while also learning from industry professionals and Farm Bureau members about agriculture and our future in the industry that we all know and love. On behalf of Wisconsin FFA members and the state officer team, I would like to thank the Wisconsin Farm Bureau Foundation for sponsoring this amazing opportunity for students to take advantage of and the dedicated staff for their commitment to building and inspiring the next generation of leaders that our world needs in the 21st century. Thank you for all you do in contributing towards excellence in agriculture!
Ashley Hagenow serves as the state reporter for the Wisconsin Association of FFA. Ashley is originally from Poynette, Wisconsin and will be attending the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities to major in Agricultural Communications and Marketing with a minor in Animal Science.