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MN and WI FFA Officers from UW-River Falls

By Jessica Wead-Bergan
UWRF University Communications

NOV. 14, 2008--A number of University of Wisconsin-River Falls students have been named state FFA officers for Minnesota and Wisconsin.

Pete Thome, a junior agricultural education major from Adams, Minn., is this year's Minnesota State FFA Sentinel. Thome is a member of the Alpha Gamma Rho Fraternity. Thome said his involvement with state FFA camps and the vast amount of traveling opportunities that Minnesota officers have allow him to meet many people and have an impact on young people interested in agriculture.

As a state FFA officer, Thome has traveled to places such as Indianapolis for the National FFA Convention, as well as China. FFA allows its members the opportunity of leadership, personal growth and career success, he says. "I have gotten to know state officers from other states, and I have gotten to network with several individuals in the agricultural industry," said Thome.

Tyler Latz is a sophomore agricultural education major from Shell Lake and is this year's Wisconsin State FFA Section 1 Vice President. On campus, Latz participates in the Agricultural Education Society, the Collegiate Honors Program/Society, intramural broomball, and other activities and organizations. Latz says that participating in FFA has impacted his educational focus.

"The FFA gave me a way to channel some of my energy; and, at the same time, learn how to be a leader," said Latz. "The FFA has done so much for me, which is why I am giving this year to serve the Wisconsin FFA."

Emily Lezpona, a sophomore agricultural education major from Holmen, is this year's Wisconsin State FFA Treasurer. "FFA was something that I could not get enough of in high school, and it always brought a smile to my face," says Lezpona of her experience with the organization.

"FFA provided me with not only a sense of belonging, but also a sense of direction and a better understanding of myself. I thought it would be an incredible opportunity to devote a year of my life giving back to the organization that gave me so much." Lezpona said that serving as a state FFA officer provides the opportunity of a lifetime. "I am very glad I am state officer and I feel very blessed to have this opportunity before me," she said.

Jessica Hinrichsen, a freshman pre-vet/animal science major from Abbotsford, is this year's Wisconsin State FFA Section 7 Vice President. Hinrichsen said that FFA most definitely develops leadership skills in every aspect of the program. "FFA has something for everyone and whatever you participate in through FFA via a speaking contest, career development event or conference, you are always learning something new about yourself." Rodney Hillskotter, a sophomore from Weyauwega double-majoring in agricultural education and music, is this year's Wisconsin State FFA Parliamentarian. His favorite part about being in this particular leadership role is being able to challenge others to follow the correct Parliamentarian Procedure, especially this year at the National FFA Convention.

Hillskotter recognized several advisors for his participation. "I know that both my advisors, Ms. Peterson and Mrs. Dykes were key players in supporting my attempts. I also have to say that Ms. Sandy Cordes from Manawa was a huge influence," said Hillskotter.

Jamie Renier, a sophomore agricultural education major, from Denmark, Wis., is this year's Wisconsin State FFA Section 9 Vice President. Renier said students in FFA benefit from its suite of programs, because most FFA programs build off each other. "No matter what field you are going into or what your interest is, knowing how to communicate with others and speak clearly with confidence is always beneficial and can always be improved upon," said Renier. "FFA is not just found in rural communities like mine and truly there is more to FFA than just farming. This organization will show all members that 'helping hand' no matter what background they come from."


Last updated: Thursday, 22-Apr-2010 16:09:18 Central Daylight Time


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