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Meet our Team

Minnesota FFA Foundation's Board of Trustees are comprised of business and industry professionals from across Minnesota.  All who come together voluntarily to support one cause: engaging partners to build strong Agricultural Education programs across Minnesota.  Supporting Minnesota's youth, one student at a time.

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Message from Board Chair Durben

"Real change, enduring change, happens one step at a time,"

-Ruth Bader Ginsburg  

Greetings Minnesota FFA Supporters!

 

Our world is a big, beautiful place that can seem both overwhelming and full of incredible promise at the same time – especially for students who are on the brink of making big life decisions about what their future holds for them.

 

I believe FFA brings into focus leadership skills, personal growth, and career goals for thousands of Minnesota youth in agricultural education. The FFA experience can be life changing. And the goal is to make that experience available to all students, regardless of financial need.

 

It’s a tall order and the Minnesota FFA Foundation is making it happen, one student at a time, one step at a time.

 

I hope you will consider making an investment in Minnesota FFA members. As you plan your giving, check out all the ways you can give on this website.

 

Let’s work together to make real, enduring change.

 

Lara Durben, Board Chair MN FFA Foundation

Partner, Empowered Events LLC

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Meet our Board of Trustees

Lara Durben

Why Durben is a supporter >

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"I feel strongly that we all
benefit from the life-long leadership skills and career development the FFA organization provides to students. Serving on the Minnesota FFA Foundation Board of Trustees is a natural fit for me and I’m committed to sharing my passion for agriculture and the opportunities it provides; putting my career experience to good use; and ensuring our state’s agriculture teachers and FFA student have what they need to succeed. When our young leaders are nurtured, our world becomes a better place for it."  -Durben

Empowered Events LLC
Partner
Board Chair: 
Pat Dingels

Why I Choose to Support >

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Redwood Area Development Corporation,
Redwood Area Community Foundation

Executive Director
Chair-Elect:
Paula Mohr

Why I Choose to Support >

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The Farmer Magazine / Farm Progress / Informa PLC 
Editor

"I support the MN FFA

Foundation because I believe in agricultural education and efforts to expose student learners to ag-related careers. FFA is the ‘icing on the cake’ for ag students, allowing them the opportunity to delve deeper as individuals and grow as future leaders who will contribute to their communities."

-Mohr

Secretary: 
Peter Grundman

Why I Choose to Support >

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"I choose to support the Minnesota FFA Foundation because of all the good the Foundation does for Minnesota Agriculture Education including the MN FFA.  I have seen firsthand the positive impact that the Foundation has had on our Teachers and Students.  We are very fortunate to have such a great partner that supports all areas of Minnesota Agriculture Education!"  -Aarsvold

Assistant Corporate Controller,
CHS, Inc
Staci Martin

Why I serve on the board>

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"FFA is one of the premier leadership organizations available for young adults. Joining the board was an easy decision. Having the opportunity to support FFA by being part of the Foundation is an honor."  -Martin

AgriBank
Director of Government Affairs
Treasurer: 

Why I Serve >

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University of Minnesota Agriculture Education, Communications & Marketing
Professor and Head

"The Minnesota FFA Foundation supports the Minnesota FFA and, by doing so, supports students across Minnesota. I am proud to serve on the Executive Board of Trustees as a representative of Agricultural Education at the College of Food, Agricultural, and Natural Resource Sciences as we work together to keep Minnesota's agricultural sector strong."

-Homans

Dr. Frances Homans
Jean Johnson

Why Johnson gives >

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As part of my giving this year I have invested in the MN FFA Foundation Legacy club. This program raises funds to support and ensure the growth and development of new FFA chapters across the state. I can’t wait to see how these new clubs develop and grow."   - Johnson

AgCountry Farm Credit Services
Marketing Communications Consultant
Natasha Mortenson

Why Natasha is a supporter >

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I serve through the FFA Foundation Board of Trustees because I truly believe that our belief and support of our youth in agriculture is the driver of our future in agriculture.  Working through the FFA Foundation touches every program in the state of Minnesota.  Just as it states in the FFA Creed, "American Agriculture can and will hold true to the best traditions of our national life and I can exert an influence in my home and community which will stand solid for my part of that inspiring task."   -Mortenson

Riverview, LLP
Social Licensing & Community Relations
Gary Sloan
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BMO Harris Bank,
Senior Vice President: Commecial Food & Agribusiness

"Today’s typical news stories don’t accurately reflect our communities or want we can be. MN FFA Foundation creates opportunities for people from a variety of backgrounds to grow and engage in agriculture. Being a resource through volunteering with the MN FFA Foundation allows me to make a direct, positive impact in our ag community."

-Sloan

Why I Choose to Volunteer >

Executive Sponsors Board Chair
Tim Larson

Why I serve >

Medford High School
Agricultural Educator
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Joe Serbus

Why Joe serves FFA >

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"Living in rural America is very important to me and agriculture is a great way of life-I believe the rewards to our youth are unlimited- it is very rewarding to me to concentrate my efforts in helping to educate and help attract our next generation of agriculture leaders to a way life I love."

-Serbus

Minnesota Soybean Research & Promotion Council 
Chair
Jasmine Brett Stringer
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Carpe Diem with Jasmine
Founder

Why I Choose to Support >

Juleah Tolosky

What the FFA Foundation means >

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"The opportunities provided by Minnesota FFA have serious value for students. The FFA Foundation is an essential partner in making sure those opportunities are within reach no matter where a student comes from."   -Tolosky

Minnesota FFA Association
Executive Director
Mat Vaupel

Why I Choose to Support >

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Vaupel Farms
Owner and Operator
Val Velde

Why Val Volunteers >

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As an FFA member I received an FFA Foundation scholarship at a time that I needed that support.  Today I can serve on the board to raise funds for the next generation.  There are students with financial needs in MN.  Our state foundation is a powerful force to help students achieve their FFA dreams and prepare themselves for amazing career success!"   -Velde

Land O'Lakes, Purina Animal Nutrition
Regional Customer Operations Manager
Past-Chair:
Patrice Bailey

Why I Choose to Support >

I choose to support Minnesota FFA Foundation because I believe that all students should know about Agriculture and where their food comes from. I choose to serve on the Board of Trustees to elevate why Agriculture is important through out the state."   - Bailey

Minnesota Department of Agriculture
Assistant Commissioner
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Mark Jirik

Why Jirik is a supporter >

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"I support the MN FFA Foundation because our communities are in need of leadership.  FFA is the premier leadership program for young people from all backgrounds in the country.  The MN FFA Foundation provides the financial support to make that happen.."          -  Jirik

Northern Crops Insitute
Director
Emily Matejka

How I am making a difference >

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Minnesota FFA Association
State FFA President
Dr. Zane Sheehan

About my commitment to FFA >

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Minnesota Department of Education

State Supervisor of Agricultural Education; AFNR Program Specialist, Minnesota FFA State Advisor and Board Chair

I am committed to the
FFA Foundation because I
personally know the difference FFA makes in the lives of students; I would not be the person I am today without it—and FFA would not be the organization it is without the Foundation. I am on the board as the State Supervisor of Ag Ed and FFA State Advisor at the Minnesota Department of Education, but choose to serve to keep the partnership between our teachers/advisors, students, sponsors, and supporters strong.  

-Sheehan

Julie Tesch

Why Julie is a donor >

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I support the MN FFA Foundation because I have witnessed first-hand the impact that their dollars make in the lives of students and teachers.  I know that my donations are being used to help develop the next generation of leaders in agriculture and across America.  It is an honor to be a donor."   - Tesch

Center for Rural Policy & Development
President & CEO
Gary Wertish

Why I Choose to Support >

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Minnesota Farmers Union
President

Meet our Executive Sponsors Board

Gary Sloan
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BMO Harris Bank,
Senior Vice President: Commecial Food & Agribusiness

"Today’s typical news stories don’t accurately reflect our communities or want we can be. MN FFA Foundation creates opportunities for people from a variety of backgrounds to grow and engage in agriculture. Being a resource through volunteering with the MN FFA Foundation allows me to make a direct, positive impact in our ag community."

-Sloan

Why I Choose to Volunteer >

Executive Sponsors Board Chair
Rod Hebrink

Why I Choose to Support >

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Compeer Financial
President & CEO
Mark Davis

Why I Choose to Support >

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Cambria
Owner

 
Dan Kohls

Why I Choose to Support >

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Form-A-Feed
Services Consultant
Jeff Grev

Why I Choose to Support >

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Hormel Foods Corporation
Vice Presdient of Legislative Affairs

 
Dave Ladd

Why I Choose to Support >

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RDL & Associates, LLC
President

"I support the MN FFA Foundation because I believe in agricultural education and efforts to expose student learners to ag-related careers. FFA is the ‘icing on the cake’ for ag students, allowing them the opportunity delve deeper as individuals and grow as future leaders who will contribute to their communities."

-Ladd

Bill Stevens

Why I Choose to Support >

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AgriBank
Relationship Management Specialist

"I support the MN FFA Foundation because I believe in agricultural education and efforts to expose student learners to ag-related careers. FFA is the ‘icing on the cake’ for ag students, allowing them the opportunity delve deeper as individuals and grow as future leaders who will contribute to their communities."

-Stevens