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UW-Eau Claire Honor Student
Serving as Secretary of Wisconsin FFA
MAILED: Aug. 5, 2002
EAU CLAIRE — A University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire honor student will be taking a year off from regular classes to perform her duties as a Wisconsin FFA officer.
Laura Hoffelt, a sophomore mathematics major from Bruce, is serving as secretary of the Wisconsin FFA while earning credits through a UW-Eau Claire internship program.
A member of the National FFA Organization since the 6th grade, Hoffelt was one of 80 candidates competing for the 10 state officer positions that were available. She submitted an application, resume and letters of recommendation from her FFA adviser.
At the 73rd annual Wisconsin FFA Convention in June, FFA officer hopefuls went through a series of interviews and took a knowledge test. Two candidates with the highest total scores were chosen from each of the 10 sections throughout the state.
On the final day of the competition, those 20 finalists each gave six impromptu speeches to try to convince the voting delegates from their state sections that they would be the best person for the job.
"When I found out that I had won, I was ecstatic," Hoffelt said. "I had accomplished a big goal that I had set for myself many years before when I was only a freshman in high school. It was truly an amazing feeling."
The officers decide among themselves who will hold each office. Hoffelt ran for the position of secretary and won.
This fall Hoffelt will oversee all 23 chapters of Section One in Wisconsin. She will visit each chapter, conduct workshops and help chapter officers develop strategies for working with their members during the school year.
"Because the northern part of Wisconsin, where I live, is not as populated as the rest of the state, I live in the largest section geographically," Hoffelt said. "This means that I am going to be spending a lot of time on the road this year, traveling to different chapters throughout my section of the state."
"Throughout the year I will serve as a representative of the Wisconsin FFA Association at various conferences and conventions throughout the country," Hoffelt said. "I also work with the rest of the officer team to plan leadership conferences and workshops throughout the year. I help contribute to monthly articles that the FFA has in The Country Today, The Agriview, and other papers throughout the state."
Hoffelt said she will maintain a positive image throughout the year for all the FFA members who will look up to her for guidance and motivation.
"It is a big responsibility, but there are so many rewards in that I can really have a positive impact on the lives of so many people I meet," Hoffelt said. "FFA is an organization that makes a positive difference in the lives of students by developing their potential for premier leadership, personal growth and career success through agricultural education."
The FFA was founded in 1928 and has grown to be one of the foremost youth leadership organizations in the country, with more than 457,000 members nationwide representing all 50 states as well as Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands. This diverse organization operates in rural, urban and suburban schools for students ages 12-21. According to Cheryl Zimmerman, state FFA executive director, Wisconsin has close to 16,000 members statewide in over 250 FFA chapters in Wisconsin public schools.
UW-Eau Claire News Bureau
Updated: Aug. 5, 2002