Four GRANTON Students
Earn State FFA Degrees

Four Granton Students Earn State FFA Degrees

Granton State FFA recipients shown (l-r) are
Megan Walter, Dolorosa Thomas, Samantha Martin and Justin Berg.

Submitted photo

By Jesse Heslip

The Granton Area School District is home to not just one State FFA Degree recipient, but a total of four students have accomplished the feat this year.

The state degree is the second-highest award an FFA member can earn and has a laundry list of requirements, such as 360 hours of agriculture education instruction while in high school, 24 months of FFA membership, having earned and productively invested $1,500 or worked 1,000 hours in a supervised agricultural experience (SAE), and many other participation and volunteer requirements as well.

Justin Berg is one of this year’s award recipients. A senior, Berg has been in FFA since he was first eligible in seventh grade.

“My mother was an FFA member, so it’s something that had been talked about ahead of time and I grew up around agriculture,” Berg stated.

He has learned a lot about hard work. My SAE was done with experience working at my family’s farm, so I have been able to develop a good work ethic,” Berg said.

His FFA experience has offered other on-the-job type training as well. He was able to further his fabrication abilities and basic skills doing maintenance during a summer apprenticeship program.

Berg wants readers to know that “the FFA is not just for farm kids; there is something for everyone.”

He is planning on attending Mid-State Technical College in Wisconsin Rapids and studying to become a diesel technician. He plans to open his own repair shop in the future.

Dolorosa Thomas is also a state degree recipient. An FFA member since her sophomore year, Thomas decided to do her SAE on hydroponics, through which she was able to learn the differences between dirt and soil, how to grow lettuce and all of the ins and outs surrounding feeding, nutrients and lighting.

“I wanted to join the FFA for the opportunities it would provide me to help out in the community and along with those opportunities, I have grown through things like improving my public speaking skills and learning what it actually means to be involved in the community,” Thomas stated.

Those lessons arrived in the form of community service and obtaining leadership roles through planning and assisting with community projects such as cleaning up after a logging project with the school, working during Fall Festival teaching knot tying, making hats and dog toys, and working as the reporter for the FFA meetings.

Thomas is planning on attending Mid-State Technical College in Wisconsin Rapids to pursue a degree in criminal justice, after which she plans on working toward a career in law enforcement.

Megan Walter also achieved the status of Wisconsin FFA Degree recipient after submitting information on her SAE on diversified livestock.

“Ag is all around me. I have ben farming and around animals my entire live. I wanted to join the FFA to help the community,” Walter said.

She has her own herd of cattle, one of which she co-owns with her sister, and has been showing animals at the fair starting in the third grade.

“I like to help other kids learn the ropes on how to show an animal at the fair, to get them feeling comfortable,” she said.

Walter has been involved in several volunteer opportunities during her time in the FFA, having started in seventh grade. She enjoys helping the FFA alumni in any way she can and sending food boxes to Africa.

“A lot of what I do is behind the scenes setting up and preparing for things, so you won’t always see me, but I’m in the background helping out,” she said.

Walter is planning on attending UW-Stout and pursuing a degree in psychology. She is grateful for all the help she has gotten from her family and advisors.

Also receiving her state degree this year is Sam Martin. She has completed many hours towards her goals while employed at a local greenhouse and making candy, while learning basic leadership skills and working hard to get the job done.

Martin has had some motivation along the way, as her brother pushed her to join FFA after she watched his path unfold and got to see how much he enjoyed it. Martin’s parents were also involved in the FFA, so she was no stranger to the organization by the time it was her turn to join.

“I have been involved in a lot of workshops and community service. It’s taught me leadership skills and how to take initiative. I have been able to see firsthand the impact our work has on the community through volunteering with the local food drives and making boxes for that that are less fortunate,” Martin stated.

Martin has already gotten a jump on her post-high school education as well, taking college credits during her senior year, Martin has also qualified for and received a scholarship that will pay for her first two years of college at Mid-State.

After her first two years of school, Martin plans on attending UW-Stevens Point and pursuing a degree in forestry on her way to becoming a Department of Natural Resources officer. She extended her appreciation to FFA advisor and agriculture teacher Katie Reider for all the help she has provided her during Martin’s time in the organization.

Berg, Martin, Thomas and Walter will each receive the State FFA Degrees at the Wisconsin FFA Convention in Madison June 13-16.


From the Clark County Press, Neillsville, WI

May 11, 2022

Transcribed by Dolores Mohr Kenyon, May 12, 2022

Web page by James W. Sternitzky PhD, May 13, 2022

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