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WDC FFA members had the opportunity to meet Gov. Mark Dayton recently in the Reception Room at the State Capitol in St. Paul. Gov. Dayton spent time visiting with and asking questions of the students. Pictured, from left: Richard Muckala, WDC FFA Advisor; Christa Jobe, Barb Zick, Gov. Dayton, Presley Sleyster and Ethan Benson.

WDC students attend FFA Day at the Capitol

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Four Wadena-Deer Creek FFA members, along with the Staples-Motley FFA chapter, traveled to St. Paul, March 27 to celebrate FFA Day at the Capitol.

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There, they met with the Minnesota State FFA officers and other state FFA staff. After the protocol meeting, they met with State Representative Mark Anderson, a former Wadena High School graduate.

Rep. Anderson answered questions on job creation, school funding and education. Anderson also stressed getting at least a two-year technical degree, along with vocational education.

Next FFA members visited State Sen. Carrie Ruud, who serves on the Education and Agriculture Committees. She has also judged FFA Public Speaking Contests.

After meeting with Ruud, the FFA members visited with Sen. Paul Gazelka on the Senate floor. Giving the FFA members a tour of the capitol was Kevin Paap, Minnesota Farm Bureau president. There they took photos behind the House podium and toured the gathering room behind the Senate floor. After discussing agricultural issues with Mr. Paap, he talked about lobbying at Washington, D.C. and his activities representing Minnesota Farm Bureau and Minnesota Corn Growers Association. He also talked about building relations while being an FFA member, at college and while serving different interest groups.

At the end of the tour, the FFA members toured the Governor's Reception Moom and met Minnesota Department of Agriculture's Mark Abrahamson. Abrahamson introduced the members to the governor's aids and they talked about their responsibilities (one was a Somalia refugee serving on the Ag and Veterans Affairs Committees).

The FFA members were then surprised by a private meeting with Gov. Mark Dayton. Gov. Dayton discussed educational and agricultural issues with the members. Issues included foreign trade, especially with China, and the shortage of agricultural educators.

"Gov. Dayton was very interested in the students' Supervised Agricultural Experiences and FFA projects," said Muckala.

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