University of Wisconsin-River Falls

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Last updated: Friday, 21-Feb-2003 19:45:53 CST

June 27, 2003


UW-River Falls emeritus agricultural education Professor Gerald Matteson was inducted into the Wisconsin Future Farmers of America Hall of Fame and UW-RF student Chris Ritscher, a sophomore majoring in agricultural education from Alma, was named president at the 74th Annual Wisconsin FFA Convention. The conference was held June 10-12 at the Alliant Energy Center in Madison.

Matteson joined the UW-RF faculty in 1966 as an agricultural education professor. He served for 18 years as the assistant dean in the College of Agriculture, Food and Environmental Sciences. He was active in working with the CollegeÕs internship program and as a student adviser and initiated the student chapter in agriculture education, Alpha Tau Alpha. In FFA, he was also taught coaching and judging parliamentary procedure. Matteson also was a leader of the Wisconsin National Guard, retiring with the rank of major general. He retired from UW-RF in 2000, but came back in 2001 as a part-time professor and helped with administrative work. He retired for the second time in May 2003.

The Wisconsin FFA Hall of Fame was started in 1995 to provide permanent and significant recognition to the special leaders who have had an impact on the state FFA Association and have set an example of service for all FFA members to follow. A maximum of three individuals can be inducted each year. The annual conference wrapped up as Ritscher was named state president.

Said Ritscher, "This has been a dream of mine for a long time. It just goes to show you that if you set your goals high and work hard, you can accomplish things you wouldnÕt otherwise think possible."

Ritscher graduated from Cochrane-Fountain City High School in 2001, where he was president of his class. He received the state FFA Degree in 2001 and the American FFA Degree in 2002. He was the Wisconsin FFA Parliamentarian in 2002-03 and a chapter Parliamentarian from 1999-2001. He also served as the Beef Committee Chair from 2001-02.

Ritscher was one of 10 students installed on the state FFA officer team for 2003-04. Six of the other members are from UW-RF, including freshman Angela Kringle, an agricultural education major from Barron; sophomore Kayla Woolever, an agricultural education major from Bloomer; freshman Steve Boe, an agricultural education major from Taylor; freshman Keith Christen, a dairy science major from Monticello; incoming freshman Jackie Mundt, an agricultural business major from Pittsville; and incoming freshman Nicole Schmidt, an agricultural business major from Gresham.

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