As his time as Wisconsin FFA President winds down, Collin Weltzien looks back at a year that was quite different than most. “We went from going full throttle to sitting idle,” says Weltzien of when the pandemic began. The entire State FFA Officer team was logging thousands of miles driving from one corner of the state to the next prior to quarantine. From there, they had to learn how to continue their duties from the comfort of their own homes. “We were used to seeing all of our teammates every week and now the only time I got to see them was on a screen.” But, they kept on chugging and found a way to make it work.
Despite the abrupt changes, Weltzien says being the state’s FFA President was a dream come true. Weltzien says one of his favorite memories was attending the National FFA Convention in Indianapolis with his fellow Wisconsinites. “That was cream of the crop, right there.” He also points to spending a week at the Wisconsin State Fair as being another highlight. He realizes just how special his State Fair experience was now that this year’s fair has been scrapped.
The Wisconsin State FFA Convention is set to take place July 6th-10th and is completely virtual this year. Weltzien admits that taking a historic event as such totally online was an undertaking. “All of a sudden just like that we have to reinvent the wheel…and start from the ground building an experience that will hopefully be very meaningful and rewarding for our members.”
As far as life after his Presidency? Weltzien plans to finish up his education at UW-River Falls and graduate in Spring 2021. He is majoring in agribusiness and minoring in dairy science. “My plan is to return to the family dairy farm…I hope to be the fourth generation there to farm with my brother someday so I’m looking forward to making that happen,” he explains. “Look forward to relaxing a little bit but still plan to stay busy,” Weltzien laughs.