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GROWING OUR FUTURE A TEXAS AGRICULTURAL SCIENCE EDUCATION MAGAZINE

SUMMER 2021


THERE CAN’T BE A GAME WON WITHOUT A GAME PLAN See what Texas FFA students have to say at mytexasffa.org

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SUMMARY 4

Teaching the Foods of Texas

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Silsbee FFA Member Uncovers Talent and Career Path Through a Floral Design Class

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Ten Most Memorable Chapter Visits

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How FFA Grants Can Provide New Learning Opportunities for Your Students

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Garrison FFA Member Utilizes Rodeo Experience to Train Performance Horses

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An Early Career Perspective

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Texas Team Ag Ed Staff Spotlight

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We Made It!

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How to Plan for Retirement: Part II

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Green and Growing

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Making Doors of Opportunity Bigger

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Aligning Agriculture, Food, and Natural Resources CTE Course TEKS with Industry-Valued Skills

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Texas FFA Alumni and Supporters Updates

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Texas Young Farmers Updates

Gowing Our Furture: A Texas Agricultural Education Magazine 614 East 12th Street Austin, Texas 78701 512-472-3128 Editor/Layout Designer/ Content Director Ashley Dunkerley Assistant Editor Tori Rosser Cover Photo Shot by Wieghat Graphics

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FROM THE EDITOR

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n agricultural science education, we focus on the whole person. Not only the development of a student's technical skills but their personal and leadership abilities. How many times have we said the National FFA mission statement, “FFA prepares members for premier leadership, personal growth, and career success.”

Ashley Dunkerley

This we do, and we do it well. However, what about your personal growth and career success? What about the development of the developers? Often we get bogged down by the deadlines, to-do lists, and pressures of the everyday job that we forget to stop and think about ourselves. Are we prioritizing professional improvement? Just like everything in this world, reaching our greatest potential takes hard work and dedication. Personal and professional development aims to help you manage your learning and growth throughout your career. How can we expect to grow if our development is stagnant? No matter our experience, age, or qualifications, there is always room for growth. We must continue learning and developing to keep our skills and knowledge up to date and ensure we show up the best versions of ourselves. This process looks different to every individual. However, with this publication, our goal is to provide you engaging content that might spark your interest and kick-start your next development effort. We hope you enjoy the Summer 2021 issue of Growing Our Future!

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Session Strands • iCEV Basics

• Industry Certifications • CTE Administration

JULY 27 th - 29th & AUGUST 9th - 11th Don’t miss out on the largest Career and Technical Education virtual professional development event of 2021! Thanks to over 9,000 CTE educators and administrators in attendance last year, iCEV’s first-ever virtual conference was a huge success. This year, we’re going even bigger with more speakers, more sessions and more prizes! So go ahead and mark your calendar, then keep an eye out for important updates as more details become available.

• Pedagogy

• Agricultural Science

• Architecture, Construction,

Transportation & Manufacturing

• Business, Marketing, Finance

IT & Media

• Career Exploration

• Family and Consumer Sciences • Health Science

• Law, Public Safety, Corrections

& Security

• STEM

• Technology in the Classroom

SCAN CODE TO REGISTER FOR CTE INSPIRED 2021!

• General CTE

• Higher Education

• Adult & Correctional Education • Workforce Development

Don’t Miss This Dynamic Keynote Lineup

Angela Duckworth, PhD

Temple Grandin, PhD

Daymond John

Founder and CEO, Character Lab

Animal Science Professor Colorado State University

Founder/CEO of FUBU

Rosa Lee and Egbert Chang Professor, University of Pennsylvania

Presidential Ambassador for Global Entrepreneurship Star of ABC’s Shark Tank and CEO of The Shark Group

Choose from 90 inspiring sessions led by over 100 educational and industry leaders

Engage in live Q&A sessions and roundtables

Earn a professional development certificate and a digital badge

www.icevonline.com/cteinspired

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Immerse yourself in the conference experience as guided by the conference emcee

Play for your chance to win a share of $75,000 in prizes


TEACHING THE FOODS OF TEXAS

HOW A FOCUS SHIFT TRIPLED THE ENROLLMENT OF A FOOD TECHNOLOGY AND SAFETY COURSE BY: E R I N ST U T T S C O L L E G E S TAT I O N H I G H S C H O O L A G R I C U LT U R E S C I E N C E T E A C H E R

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f you take a survey about the best things in Texas, the varied and breathtaking landscapes, friendly people, and diverse music scenes would probably be on the list. At the very top of the list, at least for me, is the amazing food in our state. From the boudin and crawfish of southeast Texas to fajitas originating on the border region, to modern twists on traditional BBQ which merge immigrant food cultures into a delicious new flavor fusion. With this in mind, I took a hard look at the Food Technology course name and curriculum a few years ago. The class was interesting and engaging once students registered for it, but it was difficult for us to get students to enroll in a class called “Food Technology and Safety,” especially at a school with 80+ other elective course options. One day, it hit me, restructure the course around the Foods of Texas! I could use the same TEKS but in the framework of those foods that we all love. We would explore the production, harvest, processing, and marketing of those foods and how the climate, 4


immigration, technology, etc. impact the foods we grow, process, and eat. With a name change and a shift in focus, we tripled the enrollment in the course. I begin the course by exploring what I argue is the greatest Texas invention: chili powder. I show students raw poblano chiles and chili powder and ask how they think the pepper transforms to the powder and who may have invented it. I rely on sources like the Texas State Historical Association website, the UTSA Institute for Texas Cultures website, and a wonderful podcast from the Southern Foodways Alliance to guide the learning. We use a recipe from a vintage Gehhardt’s recipe book to make a version of chili that was popular in the 1950s. Ultimately, the students learn that the unique combination of Mexican and German cultures in the San Antonio area combined with the rise of the tourism industry in San Antonio thanks to the railways provided the inspiration for the dried chili powder that is ubiquitous in Texas kitchens today.

Stonewall Peach Jamboree). We learn about the preservation of fruits and vegetables through exploring Texas companies, like Best Maid pickles. We learn about Ruby Red Grapefruits and the ongoing research into improving fruit and vegetable varieties. This naturally leads to learning about biotechnologies to improve food plant production.

Ultimately, they compete in a fajita challenge, trying to prepare the best skirt steak fajitas in the class, but they must use their learning to cut it correctly, too. In the dairy unit, students learn how the structure of cheese impacts its meltability, and then compete to make the best queso in class. In the fruits and vegetable section, we start by making a map of all of the Texas festivals devoted to a fruit or vegetable (like the Luling Watermelon Thump and the

Through every unit, I focus on Texas-specific products: in the meat unit, the culminating project for the section on the structure of meat and tenderization methods is in the context of fajitas. After a history lesson on fajitas, a meat tenderization experiment using round steak, students search for traditional Texas fajita recipes from classic Tex-Mex restaurants around the state and make modifications to that recipe based on their learning. 5

I add a grain unit into the class, even though grains are not specified in the TEKS. We spend a week on wheat, learning about the varieties grown in Texas, harvesting, and milling, but spend the bulk of the time focusing on gluten and how gluten content impacts biscuits. During the week on corn, we learn how corn is treated with food-grade lye to make hominy, which is dried and ground into masa. We then use masa to make tamales and tortillas. We also study rice: the history of rice production in Texas and the important role Japanese immigrants played in the rice industry in the early 20th century. Students learn why


parboiled or converted rice was invented, how it fed the troops during WWII, and how Uncle Ben’s (now Ben’s Original) in Houston became a leader in rice sales by embracing new technologies. The seafood unit is a class favorite. During this two-week unit, students learn about the commercial fishing industry and aquaculture in Texas. Students use the Texas Commercial Fishing Guide to explore the regulations of a species of their choice. We learn about the shrimp and oyster industries. I grew up on Galveston Bay, so both are dear to my heart, soul, and stomach! I use a National Geographic series called Big Fish Texas to show a (somewhat dramatized) look at commercial offshore fishing based in Galveston. We borrow from our neighbors to the east and use the LSU Ag Center’s publication, Louisiana Crawfish Production Manual, to learn about this important agricultural industry in southeast Texas. We end with a crawfish boil, and this is often the day that my evaluator chooses for a walk-through!

Creating the curriculum for the class and finding sources of information is an ongoing, and fun, challenge. I use a variety of websites, from The Texas Beef Council’s Beef Loving Texans website (their BBQuest series makes for great sub plans) to the websites and YouTube channels of specific companies, like Best Maid Pickles. The videos produced by Texas Farm Bureau and available on their YouTube channel are incredibly valuable to me and my class. I’ve attended the Foodways Texas symposium for several years to gather ideas and resources. I draw material from a huge variety of books: from Lisa Fain’s Queso! to Aaron Franklin’s Meat Smoking Manifesto. In the non-COVID years, my students learn a great deal from field trips: Royalty Pecan Farms, Slovacek Sausage in Snook, and Blue Bell Creameries in Brenham; and finding chaperones is never a problem! Every year I change up the class depending partly on what my students are interested in learning, but also what I’m interested in learning, and that keeps the class

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fresh and exciting for me and for the students. My ultimate goal is that students leave the class with a firm understanding of the technology and processing methods that safely convert the products produced by Texas farmers and ranchers into the foods that sustain us. In fact, the course ends with a food innovation project. My favorite this year is tied between candied bacon with pecan ice cream and a sweet tea peach jam. Students learn that there is so much more to food than just cooking and there are way more jobs in the industry than just being a chef. There’s an entire field of study called Food Science that is so very important to feed our growing population. Students learn to be savvy consumers and not be swayed by fancy marketing terms. They learn to work as a team, to practice food safety, to plan ahead, and they do learn to make some pretty delicious foods, all centered around the amazing and diverse Foods of Texas.


July 19-23, 2021 Corpus Christi, Texas

Registration is Open via the ATAT Online Membership system

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T E X A S F FA N E W S

SILSBEE FFA MEMBER UNCOVERS TALENT AND CAREER PATH THROUGH A FLORAL DESIGN CLASS

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ilsbee FFA member Heather McMillan found While her interest and artistic eye have proa future career and passion for the art of vided a plan for her future career, it has also floral design in the agricultural education inspired her to dream big. classroom. “I want to have classes for kids and adults to “I fell in love the time I put my very first ar- come in and learn how to design and make rangement together,” said McMillan. “Since that arrangements,” said McMillan. “I know this is day, my love for flowers has taken off, and my a huge goal for just a 16-year-old small-town creativity has gone with it.” girl, but I feel like if I put my 110% heart into my dream, I can achieve it and many McMillan confidently says that her favorite as- more within my career.” pect of floral design is the various uses of color. However, it was past conversations with relati- The complexity of the floral industry is often ves who inspire a majority of her designs. overlooked. However, McMillan is passionate about the importance of the many separate “I gather my design inspiration mostly from components that play into the end product my family,” said McMillan. “My great-grandmo- and how they can positively affect commuther's father was from a Cherokee tribe in Ala- nities. bama. My great-grandmother has inspired my passion for making beautiful floral headdres- “You must have growers to grow the flowers ses, and most of my original designs tie back and have them shipped to wholesalers who to my rich and vibrant heritage.” provide the flowers that retailers need to make arrangements for local customers and With this being only her second year in a flo- businesses,” said McMillan. “The industry ral design class, her skill-set continues to grow plays an important role in social interactions and develop with each arrangement. within a community, and it brings so many people together. It’s important to me is to be “This year, we have been studying and prac- able to put a smile on someone’s face or a ticing for our floral certification test,” said Mc- happy moment in their life with flowers.” Millan. “I hope to receive my certification and later start my own business after high school.” 8


SERVICE PROJECT JULY 5-8, 2021

DENIM RECYCLING DRIVE WHAT TO BRING: ANY TYPE OF DENIM APPAREL ITEM – JEANS, JACKETS, SHIRTS, SKIRTS, AND MORE AS LONG AS IT’S 90% COTTON OR GREATER. IT CAN BE COLORED, EMBELLISHED, AND/OR PRINTED. THE DENIM CAN ALSO BE IN ANY CONDITION – RIPPED, STAINED, AND EVEN SCRAPS – AS LONG AS THEY’RE WASHED AND DRY.

WHERE TO DROP-OFF: CHAPTERS ARE ENCOURAGED TO BRING CONTRIBUTIONS TO THE 2021 TEXAS FFA CONVENTION IN FORT WORTH, TEXAS JULY 5-8. DESIGNATED COLLECTION BINS WILL BE AVAILABLE AT THE CONVENTION CENTER NEAR GUEST REGISTRATION.

HOW DENIM IS RECYCLED: SINCE DENIM IS MADE MOSTLY FROM COTTON, A SUSTAINABLE FIBER, IT CAN BE BROKEN DOWN TO ITS ORIGINAL STATE, RECYCLED, AND USED TO CREATE SOMETHING NEW. AT THE FOREFRONT OF THIS PROCESS IS COTTON’S BLUE JEANS GO GREEN™ DENIM RECYCLING PROGRAM.

DO YOU WANT TO CONTRIBUTE, BUT ARE NOT ATTENDING THE IN-PERSON CONVENTION? LEARN HOW BY VISITING

TEXASFFA.ORG/COMMUNITY-SERVICE 9

BLUE JEANS GO GREEN™ IS A TRADEMARK OF COTTON INCORPORATED


AG TEACHER SPOTLIGHT

AMANDA SMITH TEAGUE HIGH SCHOOL TENURE: 19 YEARS

WHY DO YOU TEACH AG? Simply put, I teach ag because it is easy for me to be passionate about such an important industry. I love all things agriculture!

WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE CLASSROOM MEMORY? There are so many! I would say my favorite memories are when I can tell my students have found something in agriculture they love and want to learn more. For example, when a student finds themselves in a horticulture class, they weren't prepared to like or are unsure how they ended up in it, but they end up loving it. I've even had some who choose to go into that career path. To witness students find their passion in agriculture and begin to pursue it is pretty cool for me.

WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE FFA MEMORY? I'm competitive by nature, so anytime we bring home a banner from a contest or stock show is always fun, but my favorite FFA memories are on the overnight trips and time spent in a truck or bus with kids.

WHY DO YOU BELIEVE THAT AG EDUCATION IS SO IMPORTANT? A simple answer would be agriculture is and will continue to be the foundation industry on which all other industries are built and the future of our world resides. Therefore, training and educating students who are passionate and interested in the agriculture industry is imperative to the future strength of agriculture and, ultimately, humankind.

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Teach Ag Tips YOUR SUMMER BREAK TO DO LIST

TASKS YOUR FUTURE SELF WILL THANK YOU FOR BY: MICHELLE VASBINDER, RUDDER

Refect - Take a little time to reflect on this past school year. List out what went right, what went wrong, and what would make your life easier. This gives you an action item list you can tend to throughout summer. Nothing changes or improves without a little reflection. Curriculum Building - I am sure the last thing you want to think about is lesson plans! However, now is the time to set your school life up. It is an amazing feeling to have your lessons in order so in August you walk in that door prepared. We know how many things pop up in a single school day, and by having your classroom plans set you will eliminate a magnitude of stress. Start by editing your scope and sequence, listing out lessons that need to be added to and built. Take a few days to reach out to teachers at neighboring schools and collaborate on your lessons. The best planning I have ever done was when surrounded by my neighboring College Station gals. Professional Development Planning - Think about what kind of professional development you can use. Don’t wait until ATAT Conference to decide. Plan ahead! My first few years of teaching I missed out on awesome professional development opportunities I could have greatly used because I simply didn't realize I needed it. Invest in yourself throughout the summer, not just one week of it. Rest - You made it! Though our jobs really never end, June should be a month of rest and relaxation. Take some time for yourself to do whatever rejuvenates you. Burnout is real, but can be prevented. Recharge your batteries so come August you are not only rested and ready, but pumped about the new school year. I hope you spend time resting and recharging, and I hope this helps you prepare for another year in the life of an ag teacher. 11


TEN MOST MEMORABLE CHAPTER VISITS FOR THE 2020-2021 TEXAS FFA TRAVEL TEAM

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his year the Texas FFA President and First Vice President, Blake Mills and Emilee Sanderson traveled the state and visited more than 230 schools, driving more than 35,000 miles in the Texas FFA Ford Truck as part of their year of service. They met countless members from all different areas of Texas, leaving them with a lot of memories and new friendships. Here are a few chapter visits that Blake and Emilee will never forget:

WESLACO EAST FFA “During this visit, we bonded with Weslaco East FFA members while visiting their chapter garden. The memories made harvesting, cleaning, and sorting a variety of vegetables will be in our hearts forever.”

SUNRAY FFA “It’s safe to say that the students of Sunray were super eager to learn more about FFA. Despite the frigid Panhandle temperatures, we thoroughly enjoyed standing outside with the chapter officer team following our presentation to share stories and take self-timer pictures. We may have also settled a tie by an ultimate rock paper scissors challenge!”

VAN FFA “Visiting with the 7th and 8th graders of Van Junior High was full of energy and good laughs! We especially enjoyed the conversations and silly pictures we took after the visit.”

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BEL AIR FFA “We traveled all the way to El Paso to be welcomed by nearly 20 passionate and kind students all of which have an avid interest in veterinary medicine. Interestingly, each of these students works on a local ranch to care for and provide for animals as part of their coursework. On top of everything, we enjoyed some delicious tamales and donuts!”

JORDAN FFA “During this chapter visit, we met with eager freshman and sophomore FFA members. We were so impressed by the chapter’s desire to grow their program. Be the Legacy!”

NORMANGEE FFA “We had an awesome time with a group of enthusiastic Greenhand members. Since Christmas was right around the corner, we, of course, had a few students wrap presents in a very unique way. Also, the wholesome breakfast prepared by Mrs. Schroeder and the officer team was second to none!”

UTOPIA FFA “Visiting with Utopia FFA members was nothing short of inspiring. Their kind spirit and ambition to grow their chapter blew us away. We are so thankful for the handmade wooden sign they gifted us at the end of the visit!”

MAGNOLIA FFA “During this chapter visit, we admired how energetic and ambitious the students were, even if they had to walk like chickens. Many of them expressed their personal goals for themselves and their chapter, which was so admirable. There is no doubt in our minds that this chapter will continue to grow for the better for years to come under such leadership.”

BALLINGER FFA “Early on in the year we visited Ballinger FFA on a football Friday! What stuck out more than anything was their team spirit and willingness to jump into any challenge offered. Hamma Hamma, forever.”

DENTON FFA “As we kicked off Area V travel this year, we were greeted at Denton High with a competitive, yet trendy, group of students. It was nice to hear about student’s unique goals and optimism towards stepping outside of their comfort zone. Additionally, we not only worked with a solid chapter officer team, but they were the first chapter featured on the Texas FFA Tiktok! Let’s just say, Denton FFA has some moves!”

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BY: K A S E Y N AY LO R S A M R A Y B U R N - I V A N H O E H I G H S C H O O L A G R I C U LT U R E S C I E N C E T E A C H E R

HOW FFA GRANTS CAN PROVIDE NEW LEARNING OPPORTUNITIES FOR YOUR STUDENTS

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o you have a great idea for classroom learning that will benefit your students? Do you have an awesome service-learning or community service idea that would benefit your community or your school district? In 2019, some of my students in my Agriculture Leadership classes completed the Agriculture Literacy Continuum curriculum on the National FFA website. Through this, they learned they could write grants and potentially provide new opportunities for our chapter.

TYPES OF GRANTS National FFA Living to Serve (LTS) Grants are offered three different ways: (1) A year-long grant for up to $3.000; (2) A semester-long grant for up to $1,200 that is offered in the spring and fall; (3) A $400 Day of Service mini- grant.

Yearlong grant applications are normally due in mid-June. The fall semester-long grant applications are due the first of September with the spring semester-long grant applications due the first of February. Lastly, the Day of Service Mini-Grant grants Fast forward to this year, one of those stuapplications is due the first of each month. dents came to me with the idea of our chapter raising laying hens that would allow us to provide eggs to our school cafeteria. Toge“OVER THE YEARS, THESE ther, we completed the application and were GRANTS HAVE TAUGHT awarded a semester-long National FFA Living NUMEROUS STUDENTS ABOUT to Serve Grant. Now we’re in the laying hen business! This project has sparked interest MANY DIFFERENT ASPECTS with our students and throughout most of my OF AGRICULTURE. NATIONAL school days I hear “can I go get the eggs?” These grant opportunities are not limited to one area of study. We have used grants for many different projects from raised garden beds (pictured), to a makeshift greenhouse, and raising cattle. The sky is the limit!

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FFA GRANTS ARE A SIMPLE WAY TO HELP FUND A PROJECT WHICH MIGHT NOT BE POSSIBLE OTHERWISE.”


National FFA’s Grants for Growing is another opportunity that might benefit your chapter. Applications must identify how the funds will be utilized to grow the classroom, grow the FFA chapter, or grow ag awareness. In the past, our chapter has submitted projects such as raised garden beds, building makeshift greenhouses, and now this year raising cattle. These applications are due in May each year. GRANT APPLICATIONS

“THESE GRANT OPPORTUNITIES ARE NOT LIMITED TO ONE AREA OF STUDY. WE HAVE USED GRANTS FOR MANY DIFFERENT PROJECTS FROM RAISED GARDEN BEDS, TO A MAKESHIFT GREENHOUSE, AND RAISING CATTLE. ”

You might think writing these grants is difficult, but in reality, they are actually very easy to complete. Most of the grant applications offered by National FFA simply want you to provide a short overview of the project. They want to know who the grant benefits, where the project will be hosted if your chapter will have other funding resources to support the project, and how the project will

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be infused into your classroom. In addition, they want to know some numbers that will go along with the project. For instance, if you’re doing a raised garden bed project to give back to your community, how much food will be donated? The final part of most National FFA grant applications is the budget. As ag teachers, we like to make a penny go a mile. but this is not the time to be conservative about money. If you know you will


need something that’s going to cost a little more, go for it. I promise the judges of the grant applications will understand. Also, make sure your monetary numbers are rounded up. If a line item actually costs $25.63 you should round up to $26. Moreover, keep in mind you’ll have taxes and potential shipping costs as well, so build those into your budget. Over the years, these grants have taught numerous students about many different aspects of agriculture. National FFA grants are a simple way to help fund a project which might not be possible otherwise. I encourage you to visit the National FFA website and check out all of the aforementioned grant applications, and many more. They are a great way to help your chapter and fund activities that your students are wanting to accomplish.

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BY: L A N I P I E P E R T E X A S F FA N E W S S TA F F

GARRISON FFA MEMBER UTILIZES RODEO EXPERIENCE TO TRAIN PERFORMANCE HORSES

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arrison FFA member Mallory Moore turned her experiences in the rodeo industry into a Supervised Agriculture Experience (SAE) project in equine science.

ticipating in rodeo allowed me to become skilled and well-versed in the capacity of all events offered. Enough so that all of my horses that I use for competitive events are personally trained by me.”

“My love for the rodeo industry and working closely with performance horses outlined the Throughout her experiences at Brown Equiideal paid placement SAE for me,” said Moo- ne Services, Moore said she learned that re. patience and planning ahead are key. The high school senior's job at her parent’s business — Brown Equine Services requires her to train customers' horses, focusing on their groundwork, endurance, and agility. “In our contract with the clientele, I ride five out of the seven days a week, providing the horses with substantial, high-quality training,” said Moore. “Horses are exercised, fed, shoed (if needed), and seasoned for the span of their training.” Moore stated that oftentimes performance horses are trained to specialize in specific rodeo events. Whereas her training teaches horses and their riders to work as a single unit which helps them be more experienced in numerous rodeo events.

“I am heavily involved in many other high school extra-curricular activities,” said Moore. “My advice would be to always plan ahead because ‘when you fail to plan, plan to fail.’” Moore’s parents limit her to training two clients per month so that she has enough time to provide the adequate attention necessary to meet the needs of the horse and maintain a proper education. “In the end, my goal is to provide complete satisfaction to our clientele by sending their horse home in better shape than when it arrived,” said Moore.

Moore’s successful SAE project was recognized as the 2020 Texas FFA proficiency “My family is heavily involved in the rodeo winner and a National FFA finalist in Equine industry,” said Moore. “Growing up and par- Science. 17


AGRICULTURE TEACHERS ASSOCIATION OF TEXAS

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AG TEACHER SPOTLIGHT

BRENT WICKER PEASTER HIGH SCHOOL TENURE: 20 YEARS

WHY DO YOU TEACH AG? I truly enjoyed my student teaching experience at Jacksboro with Mr. Joe Ray Burkett. But, of course, the canned answer is, "I do it for the kids." That's true, but it's still a calling. I enjoy teaching most days, and I understand the tremendous value of teaching ag. There is no other facet of education that positively impacts their lives. It matters, and it makes a difference. Our youth need as many great ag teachers as they can get, and I strive to be one of them.

WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE CLASSROOM MEMORY? One of my favorite classroom memories occurred when we had a snow day at school. I picked up several of my ag mechanics guys, and we worked on our ag mech projects in the shop for nearly 12 hours that day. Everyone worked hard, had a good time, and we had to take breaks occasionally to build a snowman and have a good old-fashioned snowball fight.

WHY DO YOU BELIEVE THAT AG EDUCATION IS SO IMPORTANT? Agriculture science courses and FFA involvement teach lessons students can carry with them the rest of their lives. But, it is so much more than just academics. Students see more significant benefits from these programs than any other if they buy in. There's something for everyone in ag. As ag teachers, it is our responsibility to spark the interest and ensure more young people will play an active role in the agriculture industry to carry on the wonderful legacy that was left for us.

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AN EARLY CAREER PERSPECTIVE AN AGRICULTURE TEACHERS ASSOCIATION OF TEXAS MENTOR PROGRAM INTERVIEW M E N T E E : K A Y L A B R O C K , B L A N C O H I G H S C H O O L A G R I C U LT U R E S C I E N C E T E A C H E R M E N T O R : R O N W H I T S O N , R E T I R E D H I G H S C H O O L A G R I C U LT U R E S C I E N C E T E A C H E R

What made you decide to teach ag?

I knew I wanted to be an ag teacher my senior year of high school. My own ag teacher, Mrs. Rumfield taught me so many things, some ag-related and some about life in general. I wanted to make a difference in the lives of students, just as she did for me.

Why do you believe ag education is so important? Agriculture education not only teaches students how to raise livestock and grow crops but also develops knowledge, responsibility, and leadership skills. The combination of classroom instruction and applied agriculture experiences build the foundation for these students. There are too many adults in the world we live in that have no idea just how important agriculture is to their everyday lives. My hope is that 20

when they leave my classroom they will have knowledge of why agriculture is so important to our community and spread their knowledge. In addition, I hope they leave with the drive to be respectful young adults wherever their journey leads them.

What is one thing you wish you had been told before you started this year? I learned that things don’t always go the way you plan. My first year was in the middle of COVID. I had all these plans for in-person activities, field trips, and contests and I did not get to do most of it because of mandatory online learning and restrictions. However, I did not let that stop me doing my best to give my students all the knowledge they needed. I had to change up a bunch of different lesson plans and move things around on the schedule, but I made it work. I just had to remember to go with the flow and everything will work out.


WHAT DO TEXAS AGRICULTURAL EDUCATION PROGRAMS TEACH? OVER 2,300 AGRICULTURAL EDUCATORS TEACH THE AGRICULTURE, FOOD, AND NATURAL RESOURCES CAREER CLUSTER STANDARDS COVERING MORE THAN 49 COURSES AND LABS STATE SO THAT MORE THAN 214,000 STUDENTS CAN GAIN AN IN-DEPTH UNDERSTANDING OF THE DIFFERENT SECTORS OF THE AGRICULTURE INDUSTRY.

TEXAS AGRICULTURAL EDUCATION PATHWAYS Percent of students who participate in each education pathway:

25% 1%

iples of AF inc NR Pr

7% 1%

24% r o d u c to r y C

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ys

Int

4%

16%

22%

UNIVERSIT Y LEADERS SAY TEXAS FFA STUDENTS ARE: 1.5 times more prepared than their peers 1.6 times more valuable than athletic students when recruiting 1.13 times more valuable than National Honor Society students when recruiting FOOTNOTE Pathway statistics acquired from Texas Education Agency data. Universit y statistics obtained via the Texas FFA Foundation Student Success Repor t (available at TexasFFA.org).

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AG TEACHER SPOTLIGHT

DANNY REAVES

KLEIN COLLINS HIGH SCHOOL TENURE: 30 YEARS

WHY DO YOU TEACH AG? Teaching ag is very enjoyable. It is a life choice, not just a career. Student feedback, impacting the future of our youth, and guiding them to something they like is rewarding. Hopefully, I can make a difference in my student’s lives for the better.

WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE CLASSROOM MEMORY? The “ah-ha” moment when a student gets it, like teaching a kid to weld, and then they see the proof of their hard work.

WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE FFA MEMORY? One of my favorite memories is when my oldest son John was in my chapter and won several scholarships his senior year. John received over $40,800 his last year in ag. Another favorite was when my chapter conducting team had all three of my kids and my niece on the team, and they made it to the state LDE contest at SHSU.

WHY DO YOU BELIEVE THAT AG EDUCATION IS SO IMPORTANT? We live in a world disconnected from the land. Therefore, someone must educate the vast population to understand the benefits and challenges modern agriculture faces in the 21st century to our world.

WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE YOURSELF AS A FIRST YEAR TEACHER? Don't give up; calm down, and be an inspiration always. 22


DON’T DREAMS

PROUD SUPPORTERS OF THE

TEXAS FFA 23


TEXAS TEAM AG ED

STAFF STAFF SPOTLIGHT SPOTLIGHT TAMMY GLASCOCK

WHAT ARE YOUR JOB RESPONSIBILITIES? As the SAE Coordinator, I work with teachers and students in regards to the various SAEs available and I assist students and teachers with award and degree applications at the local, district, area, and state levels. As the Swine Validation Coordinator, I attend the major stock shows to check and verify that the pigs showing have been validated. In addition, I work with AgriLife Extension and their validation programs, I coordinate compliance visits, verify gilt registration papers, and assist with the collection and filing of validation paperwork. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE THING ABOUT YOUR JOB? Seeing students being successful and helping students and teachers whether it is dealing with SAEs, award and degree applications, or validation. WHY DO YOU THINK AGRICULTURAL SCIENCE EDUCATION IS IMPORTANT? People need to know that agriculture is the backbone of civilization. As educators, we are responsible for teaching the skills necessary to future generations so that they can continue filling agricultural jobs, producing agricultural commodities, and developing innovative practices and products that are needed for survival. JOB TENURE: 3 1/2 YEARS JOB TITLE: SAE AND SWINE VALIDATION COORDINATOR EMPLOYER: TEXAS FFA ASSOCIATION

WHEN TALKING DIRECTLY TO OUR ADVISORS, WHAT WOULD YOU LIKE TO SAY TO THEM? As agricultural science teachers, you have the opportunity to teach students valuable life skills that are not taught in other courses. What you teach is not just related to those students pursuing agricultural-related careers, it is vital to all students as you teach responsibility, leadership, hard work, teamwork, and the skills needed for survival in the game of life. Take it seriously, the future is in your hands!

MEREDITH HARTMANN WHAT ARE YOUR JOB RESPONSIBILITIES? I am in charge of the lending and daily operations of the credit union. Everything from answering the phone, loan processing, collateral tracking, member relations, maintaining accounts, and marketing for the VATAT Credit Union. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE THING ABOUT YOUR JOB? My favorite part of my job is knowing that I will be presented with an opportunity to help our members and make a positive impact in their lives. The credit union provides a collaborative and family-oriented environment making it even more enjoyable to perform my job. WHEN TALKING DIRECTLY TO OUR ADVISORS, WHAT WOULD YOU LIKE TO SAY TO THEM? The VATAT Credit Union is here to help you and your family reach your financial goals. Our main priority is the members and we want to make sure you are always getting the best that you deserve. We are your credit union and our goal is to improve our member’s quality of life.

JOB TENURE: 8 1/2 YEARS JOB TITLE: LOANS AND OPERATIONS ASSISTANT EMPLOYER: VATAT CREDIT UNION

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The Texas FFA Supporters save 10% or more off BAR* at over 9,000 locations across 20 iconic brands Book today at wyndhamhotels.com and use Corporate Code 1000028580 or call 800-407-9832 and ask for the Texas FFA Supporters discounted rate

Encore Hotels are not available in the United States or Canada. *Subject to availability at participating hotels. Blackout dates and certain restrictions may apply. Discount for Texas FFA Supporters is 12% off our Best Available Rate (BAR) at La Quinta by Wyndham hotels and 10% off BAR at all other by Wyndham hotel brands. Savings are discounted from property’s BAR excluding taxes, resorts/service fees, incidentals, gratuities, or additional per room, per night charges that may be imposed. BAR means best, non-qualified, unrestricted, publicly available rate on the Internet for the hotel with equivalent terms, date and accommodations requested. Offer is subject to cancellation or change at any time and void where prohibited by law. Cannot be combined with any other discounts, offers, group rates, or special promotions. Cancel 24 hours prior to 4PM day of arrival to avoid 1 night charge plus applicable tax. Reservations must be guaranteed with a valid credit card. © 2019 Wyndham Hotels & Resorts, Inc. All rights reserved. All hotels are independently owned and operated except certain hotels managed or owned by a subsidiary of Wyndham Hotels & Resorts, Inc.

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BY: R YA N P I E N I A Z E K P R E S I D E N T O F T H E A G R I C U LT U R E T E A C H E R S A S S O C I AT I O N O F T E X A S A N D K R U M H I G H S C H O O L A G R I C U LT U R E S C I E N C E T E A C H E R

WE MADE IT!

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ow, this year has been very different. The question is, what’s next? As we move forward, will we fall back into the way we did things before the pandemic, or will we take something away from all this craziness and use it to improve our students and, in turn, our programs?

Cancellations of livestock shows and other events were just some of the many discomforts we experienced over the last two years. However, we pushed forward and because of leaders in our industry, our students had new opportunities and new venues to exhibit and participate in. Many of these events now plan to continue and offer Hopefully, we will use what we opportunities to our students. learned the past year and a half and grow both as teachers and “I BELIEVE IN MY OWN ABILITY TO WORK as a program. EFFICIENTLY AND THINK As I look back, I feel like we were CLEARLY, WITH SUCH living out the FFA creed. Here KNOWLEDGE AND SKILL AS are just a few things to consider: I CAN SECURE” By keeping an open mind we “IN THE PROMISE OF were able to come together to BETTER DAYS THROUGH come up with solutions for our BETTER WAYS” LDEs and CDEs. Continuing to This past year we’ve all learned seek knowledge to better younew ways to present lessons, rselves and seek new innovatitrain teams, and even show li- ve ways to do things will only vestock. Continue to utilize the- make the opportunities availabse new techniques in the future le to our students stronger and and have them in your toolbox more meaningful. as you never know when you “IN LESS NEED FOR might need them again. CHARITY AND MORE OF IT “FOR I KNOW THE JOYS WHEN NEEDED” AND DISCOMFORTS OF AGRICULTURAL LIFE AND With many people being out of HOLD AN INBORN work, we saw a need to help FONDNESS FOR THOSE the people within our commuASSOCIATIONS WHICH, nity and beyond. Continue to EVEN IN HOURS OF seek ways to help those that DISCOURAGEMENT, I most need your help. CANNOT DENY.” 27

“I BELIEVE THAT AMERICAN AGRICULTURE CAN AND WILL HOLD TRUE TO THE BEST TRADITIONS OF OUR NATIONAL LIFE” Through all the chaos American farmers and ranchers once again proved that they are the backbone of our country. Continue to train the next agricultural leaders of our country and our world and as you will truly help your students “stand solid for my part in that inspiring task.” I hope each of you will take some time to reflect on this past year. I look forward to seeing all of you at the state convention and at conference in July. Enjoy some much-needed time for yourselves, you surely deserve it. God Bless each and every one of you and we will see you down the road.

“HOPEFULLY, WE WILL USE WHAT WE LEARNED THE PAST YEAR AND A HALF AND GROW BOTH AS TEACHERS AND AS A PROGRAM.”


BY: R AY P I E N I A Z E K A G R I C U LT U R E T E A C H E R S A S S O C I AT I O N O F T E X A S E X E C U T I V E D I R E C T O R

HOW TO PLAN FOR RETIREMENT PART II

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n our spring issue, we discussed what TRS is, how your retirement is calculated, and when you can retire. In this issue, we will talk about how sick leave accrual works for TRS, how your benefits payment will be calculated, and some of the other options you can use to put away money for retirement.

SICK LEAVE ACCRUED

I am often asked, “Can I use my unused state sick leave to get service credit?” The answer is yes, but it can be a costly one for you. By no means is this option an even trade. You can purchase a year of credit if you have at least 10 years of service and over 50 days or 400 hours of state sick leave. If you have that, you are allowed to purchase the value of a service year in terms of contribution. “A member is eligible to purchase one year of service credit if the member has at least ten years of TRS service credit for actual service with one or more employers defined by Government Code §821.001(7), retires from such an employer, and has at least 50 days or 400 hours of accumulated state personal or sick leave on the last day of employment before retirement. Not more than an aggregate of five days of unused state personal or sick leave may be accumulated per year. State personal and sick leave may be combined, if needed, for the purpose of calculating the necessary 50 days or 400 hours. No more

than one year of service credit duced for one or more of the may be purchased even if more following reasons: time has been accumulated.” You are eligible for early-age retirement, but not normal-aA reminder that as of September ge retirement (based on your 1, 2015, “TRS will use the age of tier) the member and the service credit established by the member on You select one of the optioSeptember 1 of the school year in nal retirement payment plans which the cost of the purchase is (Option One, Two, Three, established.” Four, or Five) instead of the standard annuity payment plan BENEFITS PAYMENTS When you meet the requirements You are eligible for (based on for retirement, you may apply to your tier) and elect the Partial receive a monthly annuity calcuLump Sum Option (PLSO) lated according to state law. There is a retirement calculator on Other reductions required by the MyTRS website that can help law you do your benefits calculations. With a few exceptions depending There are a few tiers of retirement on age and service requirements, that may use only your highest your standard annuity will be cal- three years instead of your hiculated in the following manner as ghest five. Please refer to the Beshown in the Benefits Handbook. nefits Handbook for more details. TRS uses the following formula to According to TRS Benefits hancalculate a normal-age monthly dbook, there are a wide variety of standard annuity: ways TRS retirement plan benefits may include the following, deAverage of Highest Five An- pending on your eligibility: monnual Salaries (based on credi- thly service retirement annuity table compensation) = Avera- payments for the life of the retige Salary ree, with a choice at the time of Total Years of Service Credit retirement of standard annuity, x 2.3% (multiplier) = Total % joint and survivor annuity (Option One, Two or Five), or guaranteed Total % x Average Salary = 29-period annuity (Option Three or Four) payment plans, monthly Annual Annuity disability retirement annuity payAnnual Annuity ÷ 12 = Mon- ments, Partial Lump Sum Option thly Standard Annuity (PLSO) payment in addition to a reduced monthly service retireThe standard annuity will be re-

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ment annuity, distribution of a DROP account, and survivor benefits payable on the retiree’s behalf to a beneficiary.

A N E XC E R P T F R O M A PA S T A G R I C U LT U R E T E A C H E R S A S S O C I AT I O N OF TEXAS NEWSLETTER

The above information tries to summarize much of the information that is in a large benefits handbook. TRS is your primary retirement but you should consider a few other options. The most common plan teachers are offered is the 403(b) plan which is similar to a 401(K) plan for those not in the public sector. This plan allows you to take money out of your paycheck and put it into a tax-deferred investment. What this means is you will pay the taxes when you take it out later in life after retirement. Most 403(b) plans are invested in stocks, bonds, mutual funds, or index funds. Some of these do face risk if the funds drop in price. These plans allow you to take out small amounts each month up to a certain dollar amount total for the year to invest.

THINKING OF THE

PAST

80

If offered by your school, a Roth 403(b) could be an option to invest in with post-tax dollars. You will not owe tax on it when you cash it out in the future. Please check with your investment company on what fees they might have for managing your money and choose wisely. For the most part, you would be investing in these for the long term for use after retirement. You could also invest in a variety of other things such as CDs, land, property, gold, insurance policies, or whatever you think you can make money at. Certificates of Deposit right now are at low rates from .25% to 2% if you are lucky enough to find it.

YEARS THE DOINGS AND HAPPENINGS IN YOUR ASSOCIATION

Another option to consider if you have or plan to have a family is investing in a College Savings plan or a 529 plan. If your children are planning on attending college in Texas whether it is a community college or a four-year college, you can invest in plans such as the Texas Tuition Promise Fund, the Lone Star 529 plan, and the Texas College Savings Plan. The Texas Tuition Promise Fund is a prepaid tuition program while the other two are a savings plan. With the TTPF you are buying tuition units to use and they can be redeemed at the college or university. If your child decides not to enroll in a college or university, the money can be taken out and used for other life experiences and you would receive the interest. If your child does go to college and doesn't use all the funds, they will be refunded to the student. Do research on them to see what are the best plans for you to invest in.

From July 1986 By VATAT President William Woody "The 1985 -1986 school year has come and gone. This association has stood the test. The FFA has stood the test. I have found that the leadership of this association cannot do everything. However, I believe that the membership of this association could accomplish any task that it undertakes. You have proved to me that you can perform at any level that is required of you. I challenge you to attend this year’s conference with the professional dedication to serve. Let us all possess enthusiasm for this conference and for the upcoming year. We must all be dedicated to the service of this profession. I challenge every ag teacher not only to be a member of this association but to contribute to it with all their talents."

Retirement is something to look forward to, whether it is a long way off or right around the corner. Your current salaries and the means by which you live will determine if your TRS will fulfill your future needs. Having other sources of funds besides your standard annuity may help you be able to travel and do the activities you are looking forward to in your post-teaching life. Always do your research on investments and watch your TRS account to make sure everything is correct with it.

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BY: AU ST I N L A RG E T E X A S F FA A S S O C I AT I O N E X E C U T I V E D I R E C T O R

GREEN AND GROWING

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f you are green you’re growing; if you’re ripe, you rot. This was the mantra of a former employer of mine. He would repeat it often as a reminder to our staff that growth and development was not only a process but a mindset. At the time, I dismissed this overused phrase as just more of his militant positivity. As I reflect back on my experiences with this boss now and recall the contexts in which he would always remind us to be “green and growing,” I realize he was laying the groundwork to help us grapple with a time of significant change. I know I mentioned this last year at this time, but the COVID-19 pandemic has continued to challenge us as professionals and challenge our organizations. The last year (and then some) has had a significant impact on individuals, families, communities, and schools. We all have had to work to change and adapt to the “new normal” of a world recovering from COVID-19. These changes have consumed our time, energy, and resources; but it’s been incredible to watch how our profession and students have adapted and overcome. As we prepare for a new school

year, I hope we can all maintain an attitude of “green and growing” so the learning and progress achieved in the last year do not go to waste. No one wants to get back to normal and start “rotting” because we are just back in our old routines and not challenging and pushing ourselves to grow. Please don’t interpret that comment to mean you cannot take opportunities for rest and recovery, which EVERYONE needs. I merely hope to encourage you to not lose the fire for creativity and innovation I have seen spread through our profession this year.

tivate relationships that provide the care you need to show up as your best self. “Weed out” those things that drain you physically, mentally, and emotionally. We know seeds only germinate when the conditions are just right, and you’re basically a seed, just with more complicated emotions!

SOAK IT UP Once you’ve got yourself in the right environment, it’s time to start a regular care routine. Just like you would water and fertilize plants, you have to pour into and feed yourself. The Agriculture Teachers’ Association Professional Development Here’s how I propose staying Conference is just one example “green and growing” as we get of a way that you can do just back into some of our old rou- that. There’s going to be a huge tines: menu of options to fill up your plate with information to digest CULTIVATE AN ENVIRONMENT FOR GROWTH “'IF YOU’RE GREEN We all know plants need water, YOU’RE GROWING; nutrients, and sunlight to germinate and grow. People are IF YOU’RE RIPE really no different, our grow- YOU ROT' IS MORE th is certainly impacted by our environment. This summer I ABOUT A MINDSET encourage you to “work the OF EMBRACING THE ground” a bit to set the stage for your growth. Structure OPPORTUNITIES your schedule so that you can FOR GROWTH IN get good rest, and unplug from the demands of your job. Cul- EVERY CHALLENGE." 30


before you go back to school. Use the time this summer to fill your tank, so that you can use that to sustain your growth over some of the droughts which will come during the school year. Identify ways to keep your tank filled during the year so you don’t wither halfway through. Like I shared at the beginning of this article, the mantra of “if you’re green you’re growing; if you’re ripe you rot” is more about a mindset of embracing the opportunities for growth in every challenge. There’s no doubt we have been tested as a profession, and we are here today stronger and more equipped to meet the needs of the 21st-century learners and workforce. Let’s not lose the momentum and expectation of growth and change we’ve built over the last year. I know growth and change are difficult and tiring, but if there’s any group of people who can rise to meet those demands, it’s agricultural science teachers!

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BY: A A RO N A L E JA N D RO T E X A S F FA F O U N DAT I O N E X E C U T I V E D I R E C T O R

MAKING DOORS OF OPPORTUNITY BIGGER

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hat does your daddy do? I remember my oldest son must have been in the fourth grade, and it was a day to bring your father to school. So, “what does your daddy do?” I didn’t mind sharing my job and the passion I have to see young people excel, but I live in a community where NATO pilots train; we have firemen and police officers; we have other cool jobs like doctors, lawyers, and nurses. I was asking myself, “How do you explain to fourth graders that you are a professional fundraiser?”

started nodding and smiling and saying, “Yes, we could get through that door!” I quickly responded, “That is what I do … I make doors bigger.” Since starting at the Texas FFA Foundation in 2000, I have been committed to making doors of opportunity bigger than ever before for Texas FFA members and our agricultural science teachers. Many of these doors are the result of sponsors who give generously to provide the fuel to help dreams come true. Some of the doors have gotten bigger around the annual Texas FFA convention, i.e., more academic and award scholarships, convention activities like the concert, and leadership development opportunities like the Foundation Ambassadors. Some doors of opportunity have been made larger by closely listening to what students and teachers say are professional development needs. The Growing Our Future Leadership Series and the LEAD Series, which includes the LEAD Experience for teachers and the Legislative LEAD program for students and teachers, meet a need and open the door to even larger professional networks and subject matter experts.

I didn’t want the students to think that I am a professional “beggar,” but I want them to value the important role a development officer plays in an organization. An object lesson would help share the idea. I asked to use the whiteboard in front of the class. I drew a small door and asked the students, “How many of you could get through that door?” They smiled, giggled, looked around and said, “No, sir. It is too small.” Next, I drew a much larger door, which took up almost the entire whiteboard from top to bottom. I then asked, “How many of you could get through this door?” They Philanthropist

Dick 32

Wallrath

said, “The students, teachers, and supporters of the Texas FFA represent all that is good about America. Students learn about and demonstrate honesty, respect, and the free enterprise system. The Texas FFA is grounded in a great sense of faith, and I’m honored to be a supporter of this impressive program.” One man’s generosity was, and hopefully will always be, legendary in the ranks of the FFA program. He is the first individual donor to provide a $1 million plus dollar gift in addition to the 35 $10,000 scholarships he gives annually. Couple his generosity with the major stock shows and other scholarship sponsors, doors to career opportunities, post-secondary academic achieve-

“WE SHOULD HAVE AN ATTITUDE OF GRATITUDE. WE SHOULD SEE THE BRIGHTEST FUTURES. WE SHOULD ACT, SPEAK, AND STEWARD ACCORDINGLY."


“LOOK AT THE TEXAS FFA AS A POSITIVE EXAMPLE OF STUDENTS AND TEACHERS WHO SEE A WORLD FULL OF OPPORTUNITY, PEOPLE WHO TREAT ONE ANOTHER IN THE FFA JACKET WITH RESPECT, AND AN ORGANIZATION WITH MORE LEADERSHIP AND SCHOLARSHIP OPPORTUNITIES THAN EVER IN OUR 93-YEAR HISTORY!” ment, research, and workforce success have never been more available. We have so much to be grateful for and appreciative to have. If you are reading this article, you are reading at a point of great historical levels for the Texas FFA. Unfortunately, if you turn on the news, you may think the world is terrible, people are mean, and our country has lost its way. But, again, look at the Texas FFA as a positive example of students and teachers who see a world full of opportunity, people who treat one

another in the FFA jacket with respect, and an organization with more leadership and scholarship opportunities than ever in our 93-year history! We should have an attitude of gratitude. We should see the brightest futures. We should act, speak, and steward accordingly. In the words of Abraham Lincoln, “Most folks are as happy as they make up their minds to be.” Texas agricultural science teachers and FFA members, do you see those doors of opportunity? Can you see that they are more prominent than ever before? Put the FFA jacket on and take advantage of all you have offered to you. To all our student and adult leaders, what are you doing to make those doors bigger? Our organization has grown, is growing, and hopefully will continue to grow. So we have to get to work and make the doors of opportunity BIGGER for those who will follow in our footsteps. Thank you to all our generous supporters who have fueled incredible dreams; leaders who have imagined “what else can we do;” and to all of those who have become carpenters to the doors being created for tomorrow. Lead On!

Your membership has perks Texas FFA members and Ag teachers qualify for discounts in any of our Texas store locations. 33


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ALIGNING AGRICULTURE, FOOD, AND NATURAL RESOURCES CTE COURSE TEKS WITH INDUSTRY-VALUED SKILLS

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n July 2021, the Texas Education Agency will launch a skills validation process using the Calibrate application from Skills Engine. The goal of this process is to identify the skills students need to be successful in AFNR occupations and determine the importance of each of these skills. The identified skills will allow TEA staff to create a skills gap analysis and highlight important skills and knowledge which are not included in the current Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS) for AFNR courses.

the current TEKS will be prioritized. This is your opportunity to impact the next round of AFNR TEKS revisions by completing the skills gap analysis for the programs of study for which you have particular knowledge and expertise. Skills validation sessions will be available at the Agriculture Teachers Association of Texas conference. A high level of participation in these sessions will increase the accuracy of the results. Your

TEKS review committees will leverage this gap analysis to revise the ANFR TEKS to help ensure these critical skills are included in the relevant courses within the programs of study aligned with in-demand, high-wage occupations. This information will also be used to prioritize courses most in need of review and revision; the career clusters with the largest gaps of skills not included in 35

participation in this project will impact students’ success for years to come. In addition, TEA also seeks input from leaders in the agriculture industry. The TEA is counting on Agriculture Science teachers to encourage agriculture industry stakeholders in your community to complete the skills validation. For additional information or questions please contact Les Hudson, Statewide CTE Coordinator for the TEA at les.hudson@tea.texas.gov.


B Y: K E L LY W H I T E T E X A S F FA A L U M N I P R E S I D E N T

TEXAS FFA ALUMNI AND SUPPORTERS

A

UPDATES

lthough ag teachers are a special breed, we are still human. I have seen several incidents of individuals in our profession ignoring warning signs because they had too many things to do and did not have time to go to the doctor. The health of show animals was a greater priority than their own well-being. Sometimes it may be their physical health and perhaps their mental, emotional, or spiritual health. Case in point, one individual ag teacher had a stinging/nagging pain in his upper neck and upper chest region. He ignored the pain and blamed it on a pinched nerve that occurred when he had an automobile accident weeks earlier. He would have that pinched nerve checked in the summer because he had the district degree check, area convention, and local banquet. Not to mention he wanted to please his administrators by going to the adopt-a-school banquet, the Prom, etc… Needless to say, the pain continued until he gave in and went to the emergency room to get some meds for this nagging pain. The doctor diagnosed this “nagging pain” as myocardial infarction. In layman’s terms, he was having a heart attack and found out that he was a diabetic as well. They found

that he had four blocked arteries. One was blocked 100%, one 95%, one 90%, and another 60%. A triple bypass and good meds got him going again.

us to serve as a supporter for the Ag Teacher Association of Texas. How does the Texas FFA Association develop this money? Through our Annual Texas FFA Alumni Auction that is held on the Thursday night of the Texas FFA Convention. We will have secured items from various vendors such as fencing material, boots, ice chests, hotel stays, tools, jewelry, and much more. We accept cash, checks, and credit cards. You can have fun while the students are at Fun Night!

Yet again, another ag teacher was blaming his heartburn and upset stomach on bad or spicy food. You guessed it, a few years later he had his gallbladder removed cured the problem. We all know personal instances where we have witnessed such occurrences. So make it a part of your summer plans to check on your medical health, mental health, and spiALUMNI CHAPTER ritual health. BASKET CONTEST "If your doctor's last name is We ask each Texas FFA AlumGoogle, It's time to get a se- ni chapter to enter into our cond opinion." basket contest. It is encouraged that the contents repreIf you don’t take care of your- sent their local community. self, how can you be expected That can look like homemade to develop a thriving program items, goods made by local bufor your students, your com- sinesses, items from the local munity, and develop a healthy ag department, etc. Alcohol is routine for yourself? not allowed. DEVELOPMENT How does the Texas FFA Association develop the funds that are generated to give back to those FFA chapters that have Alumni and Supporters Affiliates? These funds include four $500 Scholarships, ten $500 Grants, FFA Alumni Life Membership to the retiring state FFA officer team, and allow 36

Baskets should be delivered to the FFA Alumni booth by 4:00 p.m. on Tuesday, July 6th. The baskets will be judged on a penny ($.01) per vote. The baskets become the property of the Texas FFA Alumni Association and will be sold in the auction on Thursday evening.


CONTEST RULES

Baskets need to be delivered to the FFA Alumni booth by 4:00 p.m. on Tuesday. The sooner the better! Contest ends on Wednesday when the exhibit hall closes and the votes will be counted that evening. The chapter name and a list of the items included must be clearly identified and labeled on the basket. The “basket” can be of any creation. We have had BBQ Pits, Ice-Chest, etc… TEXAS FFA ALUMNI AWARDS & SCHOLARSHIPS Chapters must be in good standing with Texas and National Alumni Associations. Application deadlines are in place for each of the application types. Documents can be found on the Texas FFA website. www.texasffaalumni.ffanow.org.

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NATURAL RESOURCES MANAGEMENT

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www.icevonline.com/ecology


B Y: S A N D R A C H O AT E S TAT E E X E C U T I V E S E C R E TA R Y

TEXAS YOUNG FARMERS

I

UPDATES

have had the term development in my mind ever since I learned it was the theme of this quarter’s magazine. So, what is development? Is development the new subdivision being built on your neighbor’s land, as you watch the pasture turn into backyards? A new shopping center being built over land your family was forced to sell due to bankruptcy? The lake being built to provide power for the metropolitan area an hour north of you? Not to mention the homes crowding your own home place! Or, is development the community garden the ag chapter from that metropolitan area planted and is using to provide fresh produce to local

families? Is it the bee project sponsored by a corporation? The same one that FFA members use to bolster the population of pollinators in an area producing agricultural products, like that previously mentioned garden or a blueberry stand. Development can be defined as bringing about social change, allowing people to achieve their human potential. The changes happening in our society and our world are astounding, but like anything else, change is what we make it. The Texas Young Farmers invite you to join us on our journey to encourage positive development in Texas Agriculture.

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39 and Ranches | Ag Production | Agribusiness | Country Homes Financing for: Farms


THE AET

Educational Resources to Support the Classroom Thank you for working with us and allowing us to assist your students We hope to bring innovations that help support your program and capture data to support your CTE program and Perkins Come see us at the booth at the Texas Ag Teachers’ Conference & attend both our face-to-face and virtual workshops Also, be sure to check out our virtual & traditional SAE Management workshops listed on JudgingCard.com beginning in June 2021

Questions? Contact info@theaet.com today 40


ACTIVE

MEMBERSHIP BENEFITS

LOBBYIST WORKING FOR INTEREST INVOLVING AGRICULTURAL SCIENCE EDUCATION AND RELATED TEACHERS

TIMELY LEGISLATIVE UPDATES CONCERNING AGRICULTURAL SCIENCE EDUCATION

ANNUAL PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT CONFERENCE REGISTRATION FEE IS WAIVED

ACCESS TO LEGAL ASSISTANCE

ACCESS TO A $1 MILLION PROFESSIONAL LIABILITY INSURANCE POLICY

YEARLY SUBSCRIPTION TO THE ASSOCIATION’S QUARTERLY MAGAZINE, GROWING OUR FUTURE

ACCESS TO THE ASSOCIATION’S WEBSITE, INCLUDING THE CAREER PAGE

ACCESS TO THE ASSOCIATION’S ONLINE MEMBERSHIP DIRECTORY

ELIGIBILITY TO APPLY FOR THE ASSOCIATION’S STUDENT SCHOLARSHIP (MEMBER’S CHILDREN ONLY)

ELIGIBILITY TO APPLY FOR THE ASSOCIATION’S AWARDS AND RECOGNITION PROGRAM

ELIGIBILITY TO APPLY TO BE A PART OF THE ASSOCIATION’S PROFESSIONAL NEW TEACHER MENTORING PROGRAM

ELIGIBILITY TO PARTAKE IN THE KENNETH HUGHES LIFE INSURANCE PLAN

ACCESS TO THE ASSOCIATION’S AGRICULTURE SCIENCE TEACHERS CRISIS FUND

ACCESS TO THE VATAT CREDIT UNION

ACCESS TO A DISCOUNT AT WYNDHAM HOTELS NATIONWIDE

ACCESS TO THE AGRICULTURAL EDUCATION FORD TEXAS FFA LEADERSHIP CENTER FOR MEETINGS OR SMALL GATHERINGS


MAKE YOUR CATALOGS STAND OUT. FOIL STAMPING, EMBOSSING, DIE CUTS, RAISED UV, SOFT TOUCH

Don Denny Cell: 806-789-7713 Office: 806-794-7752 slategroup.com/cattle

Profile for Texas Ag Ed

Growing Our Future: Texas Agricultural Science Education Magazine  

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