Upsala has its first-ever state officer
By Janet Kubat Willette
Date Modified: 05/21/2012 1:23 PM
Marjorie Schleper will be walking around campus or be in the middle of class and all of a sudden break out in a grin.
Schleper, a student at the University of Wisconsin-River Falls, was selected Minnesota FFA vice president at the 83rd annual convention. The convention was April 22-24 at the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities campus. The announcement of the six-person state officer slate was the
convention's last order of business.
Schleper is the first state officer to come from Upsala, a farming community in central Minnesota. The chapter has 24 members. It was established in 1954.
"We've now given her to the state of Minnesota," said Gretchen Schleper, her mother, FFA adviser and agricultural education teacher. She didn't realize how big a deal being state officer was until her daughter was whisked offstage after the announcement. It was 15 minutes before she or other chapter members could hug and congratulate Marjorie. The state officers are the rock stars of the FFA, Gretchen said.
The following days have been jam-packed for her as well, with interview requests flowing in.
While Upsala has its first-ever state officer, Forest Lake is celebrating its 12th state officer, Nathan Daninger. Daninger is the fourth Forest Lake FFA member in four years to be a state officer. He follows Andrew Miron, his sister Erin, and Miron's sister Katie.
By mid-week, Daninger said it still hadn't sunk in that he is a state officer. He expressed appreciation to everyone who encouraged him and brought out his leadership potential. He thanked his sister, Erin, for her help. He plans to continue to carry on the Minnesota FFA tradition of excellent leadership.
Sentinel Mic Skaar is the 21st state officer to hail from the Albert Lea FFA chapter. He is the 23rd state officer for FFA adviser Kim Meyer. Meyer has been in Albert Lea since 1988 and prior to that taught in Glenville-Emmons.
"I feel like a coach who has won a state championship," Meyer said.
Over in Goodhue, FFA adviser and agricultural education teacher Lee Thompson is incredibly proud. Two of the 2012-13 state officers hail from the Goodhue chapter. Shawna Conrad is the Minnesota FFA president and Jared Luhman is the state FFA reporter.
"I've very proud of them," Thompson said. "To have two state officers from the same chapter, it's happened before, but not very often."
The most recent occurrence was in 2007-2008 when Nate Janssen and Daniel Helvig of the Martin County West FFA served together.
"It's a privilege to have two," Thompson said.