Jan. 9, 2017 – Kewaskum, WI – Shelly Oelhafen of Kewaskum was recently highlighted in Agri-View, a weekly media based in Madison that covers the agricultural world in Wisconsin and the Midwest.
The article, written by Abrielle Backhaus, focused on Oelhafen’s history in agriculture and teaching.
A portion of the article is below.
Who or what inspired you to become a leader and why: I left the feed mill — after 10 years as a livestock nutrition consultant — to stay home with my young kids at the time. I took on my horse farm to board and train, and to do day camps. Then I decided to substitute-teach. During that time I continued to help with the FFA, whatever Dave Rizzardi needed — he was the wonderful Kewaskum High School agriculture teacher at the time. As he came close to retirement he advised me to go back to school to become a teacher, and take over his position. I student-taught with Rizzardi and got my teaching certificate through Norda — an alternative certification program. I went to Random Lake High School for 2.5 years and taught, and then came to Kewaskum starting in the 2013-2014 school year.
Favorite agricultural quote: I created a quote while I was student teaching. I wanted to leave the students with something when I left, but couldn’t find one that fit what I was looking for. So I said, “Take what you have learned and share it; take what you have learned and love it; but mostly take what you have learned and live it.”
That should mean they take what they learn in agriculture home to their families and others. Take the practical aspects home and be proud to know their stuff. Love it; own that they are part of agriculture — that they have that knowledge. Whether that’s feeding pets correctly or better preparing for livestock competitions, or telling family what cuts of meat are more economical.
What is the biggest challenge and/or reward of working with youth? I guess finding enough time to do it all is the biggest challenge. Spending enough time in agriculture classes and FFA, and being involved in the community. Its reward is having kids learn something new, being part of the group in FFA. It’s them serving their communities and taking on different roles in high school they may not have originally taken on.
To read the rest of the story, log onto Agri-view or click HERE.