44th Annual Wisconsin FFA Alumni and Supporters Convention
Friday, February 9th, 2024 -- 1:01 PM
The 44th annual convention of the Wisconsin FFA Alumni and Supporters organization was held February 2nd and 3rd at the KI Convention Center and Hyatt Regency in Green Bay.
The theme of the convention, “Creating Connections in 2024,” focused on networking, sharing resources and trainings, while also having fun. About 300 FFA Alumni members and guests from across the state of Wisconsin attended this year’s event.
The convention kicked off Friday with a state council meeting, followed by an optional tour of Green Bay West agriculture department, Lambeau field and Hinterland brewery. New this year were two “make and take” options for guests, one to make a glass art succulent dish and the other a wooden flower wall hanging.
The Friday evening events included a dinner buffet and auction, and entertainment by Dueling DJ’s Dan and Rudy. Saturday included business meetings, workshops and a special recognition program luncheon of past state FFA officers and state council leaders.
Members heard from the various leaders of the other organizations, whom are part of Team Ag Ed, and were presented the annual financial report and budget during the annual business meeting. The election for Vice President was also conducted and Chris Blank of the Cashton FFA Alumni and Supporters chapter was elected.
The remaining executive team was also forwarded to their new positions, electing Grant Staszak from Bonduel as President, Nick Lowe from Stoughton as President-Elect and Bobbie Jo Montgomery from Waupaca, as Past-President.
There was one bylaws change adopted at the meeting and 4 different resolutions passed. The 2023-24 Wisconsin FFA Officer Team played a vital role in the operation of the convention.
They helped with section meeting delegate registration, auctions, business meeting and election processes and they presented a very moving reflections program and two different workshops.
The 2023-24 team was also recognized for all being lifetime members, of both the state and National FFA Alumni and Supporters and last year’s 2022-23 team was honored for being named a 100% State Lifetime Team at the national convention this past fall.
The annual awards banquet program included the retiring address of state association President Bobbie Jo Montgomery, and the recognition of numerous award winners.
The list of those recognized includes: Several teachers were honored with Outstanding Agriculture Educator Awards, earning a cash prize. These included:
- Mary Handrich – Denmark,
- Joseph Heinbuch – New Holstein,
- Tracy Heinbuch – Plymouth,
- Walter Taylor – Oconto Falls,
- Hallie Rehn – Oconto Falls,
- Dan Robinson –Lomira,
- Mariah Markhardt – Oconto Falls,
- Samantha White – Stoughton,
- And Jared Mack – Sauk Prairie.
Troy Talford, teacher from Sauk Prairie, was named the state winning educator. Curtiss Steffes from New Holstein was presented the Outstanding Young Member Award for his exceptional leadership.
The Public Relations award recognizes the efforts of a chapter to promote their activities and mission, utilizing various forms of media. Elkhorn FFA Alumni and Supporters was chosen as the state winner.
Stoughton received second place and Granton received third place honors. Lomira FFA Alumni and Supporters was named the Outstanding State Chapter in the small division.
Winning the large division was the Oconto Falls FFA Alumni and Supporters. Stoughton and Granton FFA Alumni and Supporters chapters received gold ratings in the National Outstanding Chapter Awards and will have their applications submitted to the national level of competition.
Granton FFA Alumni and Supporters was also recognized as the overall winner in this area. Outstanding Achievement awards were presented to Joe and Erin Conant of Stoughton and Richard and Judy Meyer of Colby. The Meyers will have their application forwarded on to national competition as the state winner.
The Dr. V.O. and Ann Martinson Award is given to the FFA Alumni who had the greatest increase in lifetime members. River Falls FFA Alumni and Supporters is this year’s recipient.
O’Brien Auctioneers and Stuart Muck were presented the Team Ag Ed Contributor award for their service, support and commitment to Wisconsin FFA Alumni and Supporters Association.
Retiring council members were recognized. They are:
- Jerry Larsen from Luck (recognized posthumously);
- Dave Clausen from Amery;
- Rene’ Lehman from Waupaca;
- Gene Hetebrueg from Kewaskum;
- And Terri Wilfert from Mishicot.
The 2024-2025 council section representatives were also introduced and they were installed into their position. They are:
- Section 1 – Todd Coons, Shell Lake and Dave Clausen, Amery;
- Section 2 - David Meyer, Hudson and Agnes Buttke, Cadott;
- Section 3 - Derek Trescher, Cashton;
- Section 4 - Rick Bockhop, Platteville and Nick Huffman, Hollandale;
- Section 5 - Dan Ziegler, New Glarus and Jerry Wendt, Stoughton;
- Section 6 - Matt Damm, Columbus and Brooke Woodbury, Baraboo;
- Section 7 - William Litzer, Edgar and Mason Gukenberger, Marshfield;
- Section 8 – Mark Kunde, Winneconne and Stacy Boettcher, Weyauwega-Fremont;
- Section 9 - Nicole Wallander and Missy Steffes, New Holstein;
- Section 10 - Jim Schneider, Campbellsport and Mary Gundrum, Mayville.
The group attending was entertained on Saturday evening by singer and performer Brayden Grimm, a member of the Weyauwega-Fremont FFA chapter. Another auction Saturday night, as well as raffles during the weekend, resulted in a very successful fundraising program.
Convention proceeds help support leadership development and educational programs and activities for FFA members throughout the state. Next year’s convention has been set for February 7th and 8th, 2025 in Stevens Point.
Feel free to contact us with questions and/or comments.