Looking to Make a Difference!

Sarah Wille on her first day at MFL MarMac School.

Sarah Wille on her first day at MFL MarMac School.

As a young girl, Sarah Wille looked up to her mom in her role as a teacher in their community. She spent a lot of time in her classroom, watching her mom make a difference in the lives of her students. Sarah dreamed of one day doing the same as a teacher, but she had another passion for agriculture.

“When I was younger, I loved helping my dad on the farm whenever possible,” said Sarah, whose family owns a small row crop and beef feedlot near Williamsburg, Iowa.

When Sarah began high school, she wanted to be involved with the Williamsburg FFA program.

“I got my start in FFA by participating in speaking events, and I was hooked on the program from then on! I loved all of the opportunities to get more involved with agriculture and meet students from all around the U.S. who had the same passion for agriculture as I did.”

Sarah served as a chapter officer, competed in numerous Career Development Events and earned the Iowa FFA Degree. In fact, Sarah and I met while standing in line to receive our Iowa degrees at Iowa FFA Convention.

After graduating from high school, Sarah chose to attend Iowa State University and study agriculture.

“Iowa State’s College of Agriculture has an outstanding reputation. I knew I wanted to be involved in the industry, but I wasn’t sure in which capacity. I started out as ‘Ag Undecided,’ so I explore a variety of options the college had to offer. I eventually chose Ag Education because I wanted to help today’s students find satisfying careers in agriculture.”

13502690_1840110349550053_6236289136497142933_oIn addition to preparing to become a teacher through her curriculum, Sarah interned for the Iowa FFA Association during her senior year.

“I really enjoyed giving back to FFA by helping out with programs and events throughout the state. It also allowed me to get a sneak peak of what my future job as an FFA advisor would be like, plus I made some great connections along the way!”

Upon graduating from ISU in May 2017, Sarah accepted a teaching position at MFL MarMac Community Schools in Monona. She spent most of the summer remodeling her classroom. She cleaned out old materials, painted the walls and redecorated. She started new activities within the FFA chapter, so students would step outside their comfort zones and compete in events they have never done before such as livestock judging and parliamentary procedure. She also increased the number of students involved in chapter activities during her first year as advisor.

MFL MarMac FFA Chapter

MFL MarMac FFA Chapter

“I enjoy the connections I make with students through FFA because you get to know them better. I also like to see my students succeed when they take opportunities outside of the program and have the chance to apply what they have learned in the classroom.”

The MFL MarMac FFA Chapter hosts many events throughout the year in their school district and community. These include a blood drive and plant sale, as well as maintaining sports fields. They also attend as many leadership conferences as possible such as national convention, state convention and training within their FFA district.

To celebrate FFA Week earlier this month, MFL MarMac FFA Chapter had dress up days at school and cooked breakfast for the teaching staff. They also attended the Clayton County Commodity evening where they learned more about opportunities in agriculture.

Due to Sarah’s busy schedule running the FFA program, her time to cook is somewhat limited. See her favorite quick and easy crock-pot recipe for Honey Garlic Chicken below!

Crock-Pot Honey Garlic Chicken

Ingredients: 

  • 6 boneless, skinless chicken thighs
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 1/2 cup low sodium ketchup
  • 1/2 cup low sodium soy sauce
  • 1/2 tsp dried oregango
  • 2 tablespoons fresh parsley
  • 1/2 tablespoon toasted sesame seeds

Directions: 

  1. Arrange chicken thighs on the bottom of your slow cooker
  2. In a mixing bowl, combine, combine garlic, honey, ketchup, soy sauce, oregano and parsley; whisk until thoroughly combined
  3. Pour the over the chicken thighs
  4. Close with a lid and cook for 4 to 5 hours on low, or 3 to 4 hours on high
  5. Remove lid and transfer chicken to a serving plate
  6. Spoon the sauce over the chicken and sprinkle with toasted sesame seeds
  7. Serve