SHEBOYGAN COUNTY – Sheboygan County’s high school FFA chapters have a lot to celebrate during National FFA Week, as the organizations finished 2022 with a long list of accomplishments, and will look to keep the momentum going in 2023.
More than anything else, the FFA is about education and creating future leaders. Howards Grove’s chapter brought these two concepts to future generations by organizing and running events for elementary and middle school students in its district.
First, it helped run a kindergarten field trip to a dairy farm, in which chapter members brought in their own animals to educate and inspire the kids, and then taught the kids how to make ice cream.
Howards Grove’s chapter also helped organize a middle school group called Ag Club, and is currently planning an agriculture camp in collaboration with Howards Grove Elementary’s summer school program for second to fifth grade students.
The Howards Grove chapter also earned several state honors, including winning the PRIDE Award at the State FFA Convention for increasing its membership by 10 since 2021. Individual members were also honored, as Brayden Peter received a state degree and was named the Wisconsin Star Farmer for his efforts in the production animal field.
Olivia Bramstedt was the state winner in Nursery Operations for her work at Millhome Nursery and Greenhouse, and Brock Roehrborn was a third place state finalist in Agricultural Processing for his work at his family’s meat processing business, D&D Meats.
Plymouth’s FFA chapter continued several traditions in the past year, including two that not only raise money for the chapter, but also share the bounty of the land, which is what agriculture is all about. This is why Plymouth’s fruit and pizza sales are two of the chapter’s most popular events. This year, nearly 1,000 pizzas were made and sold by chapter members.
While pizza and fresh fruit are sure to please the stomach, one event was guaranteed to warm hearts. This was the Pillows of Hope campaign, in which members created 60 pillows designed with a pocket containing a book or activity book to inspire hope.
The pillows were given to the Plymouth Police and Fire Departments, Matthews Oncology and the Vince Lombardi Cancer Center, who then gave the pillows to children in need of a message of hope.
On Friday, Feb. 24, another annual tradition will take place, as the Plymouth FFA Alumni will host Bowling Night at Odyssey Fun Center in Sheboygan Falls. All FFA members and alumni are invited to attend. The cost is $15 per person, and includes bowling, shoe rental, pizza and soda.
One of the region’s most active FFA chapters is Random Lake, and this year is no different. The chapter, which is led by Courtney Rathke, has 42 members ranging from grades 8-12. Random Lake also has one of the most fun-filled FFA Week celebrations around.
Activities include pep rallies, dress-up days, ice cream sales, and the ever-popular Chicken Poop Bingo. The week also includes the Thank A Farmer Donut Run, where FFA members distribute donuts to local farmers and agricultural businesses as a thank you.
A popular FFA Week fundraiser at Random Lake is the teacher pie social, in which the two teachers and two FFA officers who raise the most money get a pie in the face.
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