State FFA officers, including a rare representative from Antigo High school, got an up-close-and-personal look at some of Langlade County’s key industries this week.
The visit by the state officers was arranged by Mitchell Schroepfer, an alumnus of the Antigo High School FFA who is now serving at the state level. He brought the team to town for a tour of the Dan Kakes Potato Farm northeast of Antigo.
Kakes and his son Aaron led the team through the seed potato farm’s operations, explaining the intricacies of harvest, the high-tech methods that assure proper storage and the economics of a modern growing operation.
Schroepfer was employed by the Kakes Farm during high school, giving him firsthand knowledge of the business and industry he said he was eager to share.
“Business such as these are tremendously valuable to our state officers as they gain knowledge and experience they can disseminate to local students during their year of service,” Cheryl Zimmerman, Wisconsin FFA executive director, who joined the officers on the tour, explained. “It is also important to the development of our state-level programming as we gather information on how we can further meet industry demands.”
Also with the Kakes farm tour, the officers visited Zelazoski Wood Products with Ben Zelazoski as guide.
Following dinner at El Tequila, they hosted over 20 schools from Wisconsin and Michigan for a sectional leadership workshop. Over 250 FFA members and FFA Alumni members attended a series of workshops on leadership opportunities.
In addition to Schroepfer, the state officer team includes Amelia Hayden, Big Foot, president; Alexis Kwak, Prairie Farm; Paige Nelson, Ellsworth; Collin Weltzien, Arcadia; Amber Patterson, River Ridge; Gaelan Combs, Verona; Ashley Hagenow, Rio; Jillian Tyler, Granton; Sarah Calaway, Denmark; and Emily Kruse, Elkhorn.
Source: Antigo Daily Journal