Wednesday, February 27, 2013

FFA Member of the Week: Passion is an understatement!

Name: Brandon Roiger
FFA Chapter: Sleepy Eye FFA
Year in School: 12
Favorite Color: Neon
Fun Fact: Whenever Brandon concentrates or gets focused, he has a habit of putting his shirt over the top of his nose!

                Brandon joined FFA in a non-traditional route. He actually grew up in town and had little connection with agriculture other than his father who was a diesel-mechanic. He had always known what the FFA was but never seriously considered joining the organization until he was in an Exploring Ag class! You could say he was convinced into joining by his friends and Ag Teachers, and we sure are glad he was. It was his first Region VI Greenhand Day that really inspired him to get involved and be active within the organization and he quickly began to get involved on every level!
                Brandon has been involved in camps such as SLCCL and Ag Policy Bootcamp, and has participated in many CDE’s even competing at the state level in prepared public speaking! He has been a chapter officer since his sophomore year in high school and is currently serving as both the Sleepy Eye FFA Chapter President and Region VI FFA President. His passion for leadership is truly evident in all he does!
                Brandon recognizes the importance of school staff and the importance of constantly striving to improve a team and combined these two thoughts by beginning a staff appreciation breakfast during National FFA Week for school administrators and teachers.
                Brandon brought that same attitude of improving to his Region Officer team as well and one way his team did this was by implementing an activity into the Region where chapters compete to see who sends the most letters to soldiers! The winning chapter will be recognized at the Region Banquet with a Plaque.
                Brandon is currently a senior in High School but planning to attend the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities in the fall double majoring in Agricultural Education and Political Science. Brandon doesn’t exactly know what he career plans hold for him, but he knows he wants to be involved in sharing the message of agriculture!
                Thank you Brandon for all that you do for the FFA at the Chapter, Region, and State Level. Your work does not go unnoticed. Congratulations on FFA Member of the Week.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

FFA Member of the Week: Strides Toward Success

FFA Member of the Week

Name:  Erin Wicker

FFA Chapter:  Kimball
Grade in School:  12th grade
Favorite Color:  Green
Fun Fact:  Erin loves to paint in her free time!

Erin has been an excited and active FFA member for a few years, but where did her FFA career first start?  She has always had an interest in agriculture, and with some encouragement from her brother, Erin quickly found her place in FFA.  Her FFA Advisor pushed her to be more involved and she couldn't wait to get involved in the Small Animals Career Development Event.  Little did she know, there were so many opportunities waiting for her.

Whether it was honing her professional skills in the Job Interview CDE, or learning what it means to be a leader as the Chapter President or a Region V Officer--Erin has immersed herself in the organization.  She has also been involved in the Livestock and Horse Judging, and Soils CDE.  Both State and Region Camps have been some of her favorite activities in FFA, along with volunteering at the CHS Miracle of Birth Center.  All of these experiences have allowed her to make friends from across the state, increase her self confidence, and set goals.

Erin has loved her involvement in FFA and wants to what she can to make sure other students are provided the same opportunities. 

Social media and the web have become a popular way to promote FFA, Agriculture, and Agricultural Education.  To follow this trend, Erin has played a leading role in developing a website and Facebook for her FFA Chapter.  Writing a newsletter has also been an effective way for communicating her chapter's events, achievements, and successes. 

Another way of being involved in her community is through volunteering at Project ASTRIDE, a therapeutic riding center for individuals effected by a disability.  She has been a part of Project ASTRIDE since the age of 16 as looks forward to continuing her involvement.  Community service is important to Erin and this is a perfect way for her to combine her love for agriculture and the equine industry, and her passion for helping others.

Erin is a humble, hardworking, fun-loving, and spirited FFA member that has truly embodied the things that FFA stands for.  The impact she makes in her community and FFA Chapter through service and dedication is irreplaceable.  She leads by example and lives out her words through heart filled actions.  In the future she looks forward to combine her experiences and loves to eventually become a veterinarian after studying at South Dakota State University.  She is also interested in possibly coming back to run the family farm!

Congratulations to MN FFA's newest FFA Member of the Week!

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

FFA Member of the Week: Why Choose? She does it all!

Name: Valerie Earley
FFA Chapter: Spring Valley-Wykoff FFA Chapter               
Year in School: Junior
Favorite Color: Aqua blue
Fun Fact: Val has more nicknames than you can count : Val Pal, My Pal Val, Vanessa, Yohon, Val.. and the list goes on!

Valerie began her FFA journey in eighth grade. Having grown up on the family farm and being involved with 4H for most of her life it seemed like joining the National FFA Organization was simply the next step. Valerie says she was drawn in by the connection with agriculture.  As she got more active within the organization she quickly realized there was much more to offer than simply agriculture and that only drew her closer to the FFA.
Valerie is only a Junior in high school this year, but this has not held her back from obtaining quite a collection of experiences. Throughout her few years in the FFA she has competed in creed speaking, general livestock judging, dairy foods, extemporaneous speaking, and farm business management. These CDE’s are more than enough to keep her busy yet that did not stop Valerie from attending Region VIII Greenhand Camp, SGLC, SLCCL, POWER 1 and 2, Ag Policy Bootcamp and even WLC. Her passion for bettering herself and those around her drove her to run for office at both the chapter and the region level where she is currently serving as Region VIII Treasurer.
As mentioned, Valerie has a passion for improving the lives of those around her, and one way that she has done this is to start a new program in her FFA Chapter that she calls “Food for Kidz”. Food for Kidz is an event where FFA members will pack meals to work towards ending hunger. She hopes that the program will grow in the future to involve all the students in her school.
Valerie clearly has an incredible passion for agriculture and the FFA. After her graduation from high school she plans to continue in this field by attending a University with a major in Agricultural Education.
Thank you Valerie for everything you have done for the FFA, for your continued passion, dedication, and service to this organization! And finally, Congratulations on being FFA Member of the Week!

Thursday, February 7, 2013


"You can't handle the Tooth! And that's the Tooth, the whole Tooth and nothing but the Tooth!"
This quote comes from a movie I watched the other day called, The Tooth Fairy. If you haven't seen this movie, it is about a man who believes that the tooth fairy is a fictional character. In turn, he is taken to the Grand Hall of Tooth Fairy Land and was asked to serve as the tooth fairy for two weeks. As the story progresses, he is encouraged to ask himself the question; "What if?" Through trial and triumph he grows to love his job as the tooth fairy.

After watching this movie, it made me think about the many times I forget to ask myself "What if?" Immediately, I thought back to five years ago, as an eighth grader in middle school. As the snow began to melt springtime was quickly rolling in, and it came time for officer elections in my FFA chapter. As I looked up and down my application, I pondered which offices I would apply for. I began to ask myself this question, "What if I run for chapter President?" After pondering it for awhile, I came to the realization that I was much too young to do well in a position such as that one, so I didn't apply.

Another year came and left quickly, and once again I found myself staring down our chapter officer application on a similar spring day. I was contemplating, yet again, the same question I had just a year earlier. "What if I run for chapter president?" As a freshman I thought, "no I'm still much too young for that position"; but that particular spring I didn't let my fear stop me. That day, I not only asked myself "What if?", but I acted on it. 

With the 84th annual MN FFA convention approaching in less than ten weeks, I have felt myself beginning to believe that I have reached my fullest potential. Although I have no idea where or what I will be doing with my future, I am challenging myself today to continue to ask myself "What if?" 

What if I continue to DARE TO DO after convention? 
What If I run for a executive office in my sorority? 
What if I begin a woman's bible study in my dorm?

Four years ago in a passion filled agricultural classroom I asked myself, "What if I run for chapter president?" Now, I have the divine privilege and honor to serve as a state officer. Four years ago I asked myself, "What if I attend church with my best friend?" Today, I have Faith and a belief I wouldn't be able to live without. Just a year ago I asked myself, "What if I go to school for Agricultural Education?" Someday, I will be able to impact lives and teach Ag Ed with thousands of other individuals across the nation.

Today, I DARE you to ask yourself the question "What if?"

Stationed by the Rising Sun,
Shawna Conrad
MN FFA President

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

FFA Member of the Week: Dr. Rev. Mr. Danny Young III Jr..... Esquire.

Name: Danny Young
FFA Chapter: Winona
Year in School: Senior
Favorite Color: Blue
Fun Fact: Danny is a big fan of Pixar and Disney movies and Toy Story is his favorite movie of all time.

Ok. So maybe Danny isn't all of those things in the title, but he certainly is known by what he has accomplished. From being a leader in his community to his beaming personality, Danny, like so many other members around the state, is an excellent representation of what is means to wear the blue corduroy.

This enthusiastic 18 year old was introduced to FFA through his older sister who joined because of the speaking events. His friend Katelyn, and his advisor Mr. Sather also pushed Danny to excel. They encouraged him to run for office and try new things in FFA. He was pushed over the edge into liking FFA when he attended the Region VIII Greenhand Day his 8th grade year.  Originally Danny's SAE consisted of mowing lawns, however he is switching it over to his current job working for Rogan's shoes. Danny has held the offices of Historian, Secretary, and Treasurer for Winona, as well as working as an Assistant Officer for Region VIII.

Although Danny is a big fan of FFA in general, he claims that one of the pieces he likes best is all of the amazing people he has met through the life-changing organization. He has gained skills and opportunities through serving as a Region VIII Officer and being involved in a multitude of events with his local chapter at Winona. He is a vital asset to his chapter of forty and his school's officer team of eight. As an officer, Danny has been instrumental in planning and executing events such as his school's school talent show, parking cars for his county fair, a middle school visit, a petting zoo, fish fry fundraiser, corn drive, old settlers banquet, paintballing,a taco eating contest, and the Winona Chapter Banquet.

Danny is the youngest of three siblings and although he may not live on a farm, he does love the two pet dogs that his family has. Danny quotes "I am a prime example to break the commom stereotype, that FFA is just for farmers". Aside from FFA, Danny is busy with Student Council, Band, Drama, and a host of other recreational activities. To top it all off he is also a PSEO Student at the Winona State University. Danny Young is

Congratulations to this week's member of the week, Danny Young!