Gillett FFA Recognizes Members at Annual Banquet

By: Evan Rank, Gillett FFA Reporter

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GILLETT – The Gillett FFA hosted the annual banquet on Sunday, May 3, 2015 at Romy’s Holiday Inn. Hallie Kopczynski, 2015 Wisconsin FFA Section 8 Vice President was the keynote speaker.

Josh Yonker, Gillett FFA Alumni President, gave greetings on behalf of the alumni.

The Discovery Degree was bestowed to the following middle school members who have been active and taken an agriculture class: Ashley B., Summer C., Samantha K., Annie K., Sydney Y., Justin E., Jerika H., Wyatt H., and Brice W. Jerika H. was named as the recipient of the Outstanding Middle School Member Award.

The Greenhand Degree was given to 15 first year high school members: Noah B., Kalea B., Hanna B., Lauren H. , Elizabeth K., Evan R., Wezley S., Mark V., Reid W., Taylor Y., Alex Y. , Monica I., Sarah N., Mark F., and Leeland K.. Hanna B. and Evan R. were recognized as the recipient of the Star Greenhand Award, recognizing there achievement as a first year member.

High school members who have received the Greenhand Degree and continue to go above and beyond in participation were presented with the Chapter Degree. Erin B., Savannah H., Victoria L., Crystal M., Morgan L., Taylor K., and Maddy W. were recognized as Chapter Degree recipients.

The following members were recognized as the top FFA member in their class based on grade point average: Alex Y., freshman; Erin B., sophomore; Jacob T., junior; Taylor K. and Maddy W., seniors.

Gillett FFA members were active in several career development events (CDE) this year. The following member participated in the district speaking contests: Jacob T., discussion meet. There were also four members that competed in additional CDE contests. The dairy cattle evaluation team included Lauren H., Elizabeth K. and, Maddy W. Jacob T.  competed in agronomy.

The following students were recognized for their supervised agricultural experience (SAE) programs where they apply what they learn in the classroom to real life experiences and learn how to keep records: Noah B., Small Animal Production & Care; Kalea B., Poultry Production; Hanna B.,  Diversified Agricultural Production & Dairy Production; Lauren H., Dairy Production; Elizabeth K., Dairy Production; Evan R., Ag Sales; Wezley S., Small Animal Production & Care; Mark V., Ag Education; Reid W., Beef Production & Dairy Production; Taylor Y., Beef Production; Alex Y., Ag Processing; Erin B., Equine Production; Savannah H., Equine Production; Monica I., Dairy Production & Food Service; Victoria L., Small Animal Production & Care; Crystal M., Small Animal Production & Care; Sarah N., Diversified Agricultural Production; Logan D., Greenhouse Management & Organic Agriculture; Mark F., Ag Sales & Food Science; Leeland K., Dairy Production; Morgan L., Small Animal Production & Care; Thomas N., Diversified Agricultural Production & Ag Mechanics; Jacob T., Beef Production & Diversified Agricultural Production; Taylor K., Dairy Production; and Maddy W., Dairy Production. Danielle T. and Jacob T. completed an extensive application to submit to the state level. Danielle T. received a gold rating and will be recognized at the Wisconsin FFA Convention in June.

Hanna B. was named Top Salesperson. Jacob T. received second place and Aubrey D. placed third in fundraising sales that help support the Gillett FFA Chapter and activities.

Maddy Wilbur was named the 2015 DeKalb Award Winner. This award is given annually to a senior member that exemplifies agricultural advocacy, hard work and commitment.

The retiring officers were of Jacob Timm, president; Hanna Brock, vice president;Thomas Nauke, secretary; Morgan Lisowe, treasurer; Evan Rank, reporter. They were thanked for their year of dedication to the chapter.

The 2015-2016 officer team will be led by Jacob T., president; Hanna B., vice president; Kalea B., secretary; Morgan L., treasurer; Evan R., reporter; and Logan D., Sentinel

One of the best fields for new college graduates? Agriculture.

Nearly 60,000 High-Skilled Agriculture Job Openings Expected Annually in U.S., Yet Only 35,000 Graduates Available to Fill Them  

WASHINGTON, May 11, 2015 – Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack today announced a new report showing tremendous demand for recent college graduates with a degree in agricultural programs with an estimated 57,900 high-skilled job openings annually in the food, agriculture, renewable natural resources, and environment fields in the United States. According to an employment outlook report released today by USDA’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) and Purdue University, there is an average of 35,400 new U.S. graduates with a bachelor’s degree or higher in agriculture related fields, 22,500 short of the jobs available annually.

“There is incredible opportunity for highly-skilled jobs in agriculture,” said Secretary Vilsack. “Those receiving degrees in agricultural fields can expect to have ample career opportunities. Not only will those who study agriculture be likely to get well-paying jobs upon graduation, they will also have the satisfaction of working in a field that addresses some of the world’s most pressing challenges. These jobs will only become more important as we continue to develop solutions to feed more than 9 billion people by 2050.”

The report projects almost half of the job opportunities will be in management and business. Another 27 percent will be in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) areas. Jobs in food and biomaterials production will make up 15 percent, and 12 percent of the openings will be in education, communication, and governmental services. The report also shows that women make up more than half of the food, agriculture, renewable natural resources, and environment higher education graduates in the United States.

Other highlights of the report include:

  • While most employers prefer to hire graduates of food, agriculture, renewable natural resources, and environment programs, graduates from these programs only fill about 60 percent of the expected annual openings. Even as enrollments in these programs increase and the job market becomes somewhat more competitive, good employment opportunities for the next five years are expected.
  • Growth in job opportunities will be uneven. Employers in some areas will struggle to find enough graduates to fill jobs. In a few areas, employers will find an oversupply of job seekers.
  • Expect to see a strong employment market for e-commerce managers and marketing agents, ecosystem managers, agricultural science and business educators, crop advisors, and pest control specialists.
  • Job opportunities in STEM areas are expected to grow. Expect the strongest job market for plant scientists, food scientists, sustainable biomaterials specialists, water resources scientists and engineers, precision agriculture specialists, and veterinarians.

The report, Employment Opportunities for College Graduates in Food, Agriculture, Renewable Natural Resources, and the Environment, United States, 2015-2020, is the eighth in a series of five-year projections initiated by USDA in 1980. The report was produced by Purdue University with grant support from NIFA.


USDA is an equal opportunity provider and employer. To file a complaint of discrimination, write to USDA, Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights, Office of the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights, 1400 Independence Avenue, S.W., Stop 9410, Washington, DC 20250-9410, or call toll-free at (866) 632-9992 (English) or (800) 877-8339 (TDD) or (866) 377-8642 (English Federal-relay) or (800) 845-6136 (Spanish Federal-relay)

Gillett FFA Alumni Auction – April 19

Big Consignment Auction for Gillett FFA Alumni

April 19 @ 11:00 am3:00 pm

Annual Consignment Auction for

Gillett  FFA  Alumni

to be held at the Oconto Co. Fairgrounds

in Downtown Gillett, WI

SUNDAY,  APRIL  19th  Starts at 11:00 AM

Lunch served by Gillett FFA

For more information:

Gillett FFA Officer Applications

Chapter officers serve a vital function in FFA. By taking a major leadership role, these students grow from the experience and benefit the chapter. It should be the officers’ goal to lead by example and encourage other members to participate in chapter activities. The following are general duties expected of all officers:

  • A genuine desire to be a part of a leadership team.
  • A willingness to accept responsibility.
  • A sincere desire to work with all chapter members in meeting their leadership, personal and chapter goals.
  • A commitment to lead by example.
  • A knowledge and understanding of the chapter, state and national FFA constitutions, bylaws and programs.
  • A working knowledge of parliamentary procedure.
  • An ability to memorize and recite their parts in the official ceremonies.

Officer applications are available on the FFA bulletin board and below. Applications are due to Ms. Claflin on Monday, April 20.


Looking for Oconto County Youth Fair Forms & Information for Your Livestock Project?

Are looking for specific forms for your Livestock Project for the 2015 Oconto County Youth Fair?  This information can be located at the following website:  In addition to species specific forms, you have access to a Calendar of Events which will list pertinent information such as weigh in and other deadlines.  Please check this webpage for more information.

Dear Oconto County Swine Project Exhibitors,

The Wisconsin state veterinarian has banned swine county fair weigh-ins due to the persistence of PEDv (Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea virus). The decision has been made by the Oconto County Fair Board to have a terminal show for the 2015 swine project at the Oconto County Youth Fair. There will be no breeding classes shown and all swine brought to the fair will be sent to slaughter at the termination of the 2015 Oconto County Youth Fair. The same procedure as last year will be followed.

Identification of swine will be via RFID tags available from the Oconto County UW-Extension office. Please call the UW-Extension office at (920) 834-6845 to report how many swine (per exhibitor) you plan to identify and tags will be mailed directly to the exhibitor. Directions for the proper placement of the ear tag(s) will be mailed along with the RFID tags.

Exhibitors will need two digital photographs (side view and front view) of the swine once they have been tagged with the RFID fair tags. The side view photograph should include the entire animal with the exhibitor and the front view photo should clearly display the tag number. Exhibitors will submit one completed 2015 Swine Exhibitor Form with accompanying photographs per animal identified.

The submission deadline for the completed 2015 Swine Exhibitor Form with photographs is April 25, 2015, to

If you have questions regarding acquisition of tags or completion of the form, please call the Oconto County UW-Extension office at (920) 834-6845.


Sarah Mills-Lloyd, DVM
Agriculture Agent—Specializing in Dairy and Livestock
Oconto County UW-Extension

Wisconsin FFA Scholarship

The Wisconsin FFA Foundation scholarship application is available on the Wisconsin FFA website. This year almost $34,000 will be awarded! Thesescholarships are generously provided by companies and individual endowments to Wisconsin FFA members.

The application can be found on the Wisconsin FFA website under the “programs” tab. Please utilize Excel to complete the application as the application is NOT Google docs compatible. All applications are due to be postmarked by March 16, 2015 to the Wisconsin FFA Foundation office in Madison.

Applicants must be a senior in high school or enrolled in a university or technical school and have maintained a satisfactory scholastic record in school. FFA members need to only fill out one application to be considered for all scholarships for which the applicant qualifies. A listing of allscholarships and their criteria is also available on the Wisconsin FFA website.

Please encourage FFA members to start working on the application now and submit it by March 16th!

MAQA Training Dates

The Oconto County Fair Board has decided to add dairy, dairy goats, rabbits and poultry to the list of species needing to attend MAQA to be eligible to sell in the 2015 Sale of Champions, so MAQA is required for beef, dairy, dairy goat, meat goat, poultry, rabbit, sheep & swine exhibitors.

You can find the educational requirements here: Educational Requirement 2015

Livestock Exhibitors, All youth exhibiting market beef, poultry, sheep, swine, or meat goats at the fair must attend a MAQA (Meat Animal Quality Assurance) training every year. If you are not MAQA certified, you will not be eligible to sell in the Sale of Champions at the 2015 Oconto County Fair. The MAQA curriculum is set by the state and focuses on safe food production, proper animal care, and ideal management practices. The livestock raised by youth exhibitors are an important part of our agriculture industry, and we want to strive for high quality food production. Many counties in Wisconsin have adopted the Meat Animal Quality Assurance trainings as part of their fair requirements. The Oconto County Youth Livestock Committee recognized the importance in this training, and it is a requirement for livestock youth to be eligible to sell their animals in the Sale of Champions. The training focuses on different topics each year, and it counts as one of your educational points for County Fair. The MAQA trainings scheduled for this year: Saturday, January 3- Washington Middle School, Oconto Falls 8:00 – 9:30 am Tuesday, March 24- Pound Town Hall, Coleman 7:00 – 8:30 pm Saturday, April 25- Washington Middle School, Oconto Falls 2:30 – 4:00 pm Registration for these trainings is requested at least two weeks prior to the event date. You can register online at: or by calling (920) 834-6845. The Pulaski FFA Chapter is hosting one MAQA training: Tuesday, May 19- Pulaski High School Ag Room 7:00 to 9:00 pm Registration for this training is requested two weeks prior to the event date. You can register via email at Exhibitors must attend the entire training to be certified. Please choose the date and location that works best for you! If you are unable to make any of these dates, you are allowed to attend MAQA in another county. Please visit the UW-Extension MAQA website for training in other counties, or contact the Oconto County UW-Extension office. Most counties will be holding their trainings in winter and spring, so please do not wait until the last minute! If you have any questions about MAQA, please contact Sarah or Paula at (920) 834-6845. If you know of any new 4-H, FFA, or Scouts members that might be showing livestock this year, please pass this information along to them.