By Ashlie Fanetti | Bloomer Advance
It’s that time of year again! The Bloomer Community Fair is right around the corner and along with it the annual Bloomer parade. Every year a family from Bloomer is chosen to be the honorary parade marshals and this year Dewayne and Julia Fossum as well as their children, Larissa, Johnathon, and Connor were chosen to lead the parade.
The Fossum family has resided in Bloomer for a number of years as Dewayne started teaching in 1991 and Julia followed after they wed in 1996. Julia also works in the Bloomer School District as the nurse. Since then they have remained very active in the community. They’ve been involved with the Bloomer Community Fair for 28 years, are both members of the FFA Alumni, and have done numerous projects with students in conjunction with many community organizations including the Bloomer Rod and Gun Club, Bloomer Woman’s Club, the Lake Como Lake Association, Long Lake Association, the Chippewa Valley Outdoor Resource Alliance, and Round Lake Association in addition to serving as a project leader in both the Woodmohr and Duncan Creek 4-H clubs.
In addition, they’ve also been involved in the Chippewa County Quality Meat Animal Program for 28 years and have been an announcer/supervisor of the junior livestock exhibits at the Northern Wisconsin State Fair. Dewayne has also served as City Forester and has supervised the planting of countless trees in Bloomer parks and boulevards.
In addition to being involved in their community, Dewayne and Julia are also active members of the Bloomer Baptist Church. Dewayne has served as a deacon there, while Julia has been the Sunday School Superintendent for several years. They have both taught Sunday School and team up to lead the Coached by Christ (CBC) kids group that meets on Wednesday nights during the school year.
Despite all of this community involvement, the thing that makes Dewayne the most proud, and what he’s most known for in Bloomer is his position as the agricultural instructor and FFA advisor here in Bloomer. Dewayne came to Bloomer in January, 1991 to student teach under then agriculture instructors Ray Miller and Merle Richter. A position his dad was in 26 years prior when he student taught under Mr. Miller in 1965 on his way to graduating from UW-River Falls with a Bachelor’s in Agricultural and Computer Science. Dewayne’s father was named the Outstanding Senior of the College of Agriculture at UW-RF.
Dewayne received a Master of Arts degree in Educational Leadership from St. Mary’s University and accepted his teaching job in August of 1991. Since then he, and his students have accomplished some great things.
During his teaching career Dewayne has won many honors including, Outstanding Young Member and national winner (1996) of the Wisconsin Association of Vocational Agriculture Instructors, where he served as Vice President from 1996-1998. Dewayne also was honored with the Kohl Educator Fellowship Award and being named as most influential teacher by 30 honor students at Bloomer High School.
During Dewayne’s time as FFA advisor, the Bloomer FFA has accomplished many great things as well. The FFA chapter was named top chapter in the state 2 years and qualified as a national finalist three times. The FFA chapter has also won the Award of Excellence at the Ag Technology Contest at UW-River Falls 16 times.
The Fossum’s are very excited to be Bloomer’s 2018 Parade Marshals. “The Bloomer Fair and Parade have always been a highlight of the year for me and my family and it is an honor to be the Parade Marshall this year,” said Mr. Fossum.
The Parade will take place on Sunday, August 5 starting at noon.