Longtime Spencer Ag Instructor passes
From Wisconsin Ag Connection
SPENCER — Funeral services are pending for Mark Zimmerman, who served as the agriculture education teacher and FFA advisor at Spencer High School for the past 33 years. He died June 29 at the age of 56 after a long battle with cancer.
Zimmerman was an active member of the Osseo-Fairchild FFA during his youth and served as State FFA Vice President from 1985-86. His future wife, Cheryl Helmeid, was among his teammates on the officer team. They were married on August 1, 1992 and would have celebrated their 30th wedding anniversary this year.
Mark attended the University of Wisconsin-River Falls, majoring in agriculture education before joining the faculty at Spencer High School. Under his leadership, the program was consistently ranked as a three-star chapter, a Model of Innovation and an NAAE Outstanding Program. The Spencer FFA was also ranked as the state’s top chapter for many years throughout the 1990s and 2000s.
Professionally, Mark served as an officer for the Wisconsin Association of Agricultural Educators and as a board member for the Wisconsin Valley Fair Junior Fair Board for over 20 years. He also coached the Marathon County 4-H meat-judging team, and was the county quiz bowl and Skillathon adviser.
Zimmerman was a recipient of the Herb Kohl Fellowship award and earned the Crystal Apple Award from the Marshfield Area Chamber of Commerce and Industry for his excellence in education.
During the organization’s recent state convention, Mark was inducted into the Wisconsin FFA Hall of Fame.