Three Granton Youths
Achieve State FFA Degree


By Valorie Brecht

Recent Granton graduates Makenzie Muraski, Ashlee Piskow and Kristin Strey have distinguished themselves through each successfully earning the State FFA Degree.

Per Wisconsin Agricultural Education, “the Wisconsin State FFA Degree recognizes those individuals who have excelled in their FFA career and is the highest degree a state can bestow upon members.”

“It’s a huge honor, because all the time they’ve put in since freshman year is culminating in them finally receiving this recognition,” said Katie Reider, Granton FFA advisor.

It took a lot of work for the three young ladies to make to this point. There is a long list of requirements that must be met to receive the State FFA Degree. Those include participating in a supervised agricultural experience (SAE) and having earned and productively invested at least $1,000 from it or having worked at least 300 hours outside of scheduled class time on it, having been an active FFA member for at least two years at the time of receiving the State FFA Degree, and having completed at least two years of systematic school instruction in agricultural education at or above the ninth grade level.

Additionally, State FFA Degree recipients must have demonstrated leadership ability by performing 10 parliamentary law procedures, giving a six-minute speech on a topic relating to agriculture or FFA, and serving as an FFA officer, committee chairperson or committee member. They also must have a “satisfactory academic record,” as certified by the agriculture teacher and the school principal or superintendent.

The students must also have participated in the planning and implementation of the chapter’s program of activities and participated in at least five different FFA activities above the chapter level. Finally, they have to complete at least 25 hours of community service in a minimum of two different activities.

Muraski, Piskow and Strey have fulfilled the requirements in their own unique way.

Makenzie Muraski 2021

Granton High School graduate Makenzie Muraski has completed the requirements for her State FFA Degree.
She enjoys floriculture and making floral arrangements.  (Submitted photos)

Makenzie Muraski has studied floriculture for her SAE. She has interest in making floral arrangements and boutonnieres and has made them for family events, Granton Fall Fest, graduation and other events. He has also done food prep at Maple Works Café as her other SAE.

Muraski’s involvement in FFA includes being an officer for three years. This past year she was vice-president. She’s been on the career development team for four years.

Muraski has helped with numerous projects including dairy breakfasts; the Clark County Christmas Angel Project; making meals for the Hope Lodge in Marshfield, which she helped organize; carnival games; and the Haunted Forest.

“If we had a community service event, she was always there,” said Reider.

Muraski also served as a PALS mentor all four years of high school. Through the Pals program, a high school FAA student is paired with an elementary student, and they meet with that student for 30 minutes a week throughout the school year to mentor and encourage that student.

“Makenzie keeps a positive attitude and makes a good example for the younger students,” said Reider.

Muraski plans to attend the University of Minnesota-Duluth for integrated elementary and special education.

Ashlee Piskow 2021

Ashlee Piskow of Granton has earned her State FFA Degree.
Her supervised agricultural experiences have included dairy farming and raising rabbits.

Ashlee Piskow grew up on a dairy farm. In middle school, she took an interest in rabbits and started a SAE pertaining to that. She applied for a Wisconsin FFA Foundation start-up grant to fund her rabbit project and was the first Granton Awardee since Reider became FFA advisor at Granton.

“Later in high school, she [Piskow] got back into dairy. She started investing and got another SAE grant to help with her dairy SAE,” said Reider.

Piskow has worked at Heiman’s Holsteins for the past three years through the school-to-work program. She plans to attend Northeast Wisconsin Technical College for its dairy herdsman-ship program.

Piskow too has been heavily involved in her local FFA chapter.

“Ashlee shows that you don’t have to be an officer to be a leader in your chapter,” said Reider. “You can tell the community is really important to her.”

Piskow has helped with Granton Fall Fest and Feed My Starving Children. She has also volunteered for the Clark County Christmas Angel Project, putting in additional time beyond FFA time to transport gifts to local families.

Reider said Piskow’s passion for dairy farming stands out.

“In this time right now, it’s not always easy for dairy farmers. There’s so much, uncertainty. But Ashlee has that love for the dairy and a passion for what she wants. She keeps a drive and passion for it.”

Kristin Strey 2021

Granton’s Kristin Strey has achieved the State FFA Degree.
Her supervised agricultural experiences have involved landscaping and lawn care.

Kristen Strey has done landscaping for her SAE. Over the past school year, she worked for a lawn care and landscaping company through the school-to-work program. Prior to that, she tried several different SAEs, including experimenting with flower growth, baking and food preservation.

“She tried a few different kinds before she figured out that she liked,” said Reider.

Strey has helped with a lot of community service activities, including the Haunted Forest, Feed-My-Starving Children, dairy breakfasts, meals for Hope Lodge and kids’ carnival games. She has also regularly participated in chapter activities like the lock-in and Thanksgiving skit. She too has served as a mentor in the PALS program.

“Kristin is independent, a leader, self-motivated and comfortable working alone to organize things,” said Reider. “For example, the elementary had a farm safety coloring contest and she organized the whole thing by herself.”

Strey’s future plans include joining the U.S. Air Force.

Strey, Piskow and Muraski will receive their State FFA Degrees July 7 at the Wisconsin State FFA Convention at the Alliant Energy Center in Madison. Reider said she was proud of this accomplishment for each of them.

“It’s that final reward and the goal you’re working toward the whole time. It’s really impressive because a lot of students come close, but they ae missing one or two requirements so they don’t get it. So, to be able to check all those boxes is something to really be proud of.”


From the Clark County Press, Neillsville, WI

June 23, 2021

Transcribed by Dolores Mohr Kenyon, June 23, 2021

Web page by James W. Sternitzky PhD, June 24, 2021

Return to Grant Township Community Web Page

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