NEWS A Texas Team Ag Ed Publication
The Way I See It Jack Winterrowd, Cedar Park
“God gave you a gift of 86,400 seconds today. Have you used one to say ‘thank you’?” – William A. Ward In this season of Thanksgiving, we are often reminded of everything that we have in our lives to be thankful for. One of my family’s traditions is to allow everyone who is gathered at our annual “Thanksmas” dinner to tell the group assembled what they are thankful for. We gather in a big circle, hold hands and go around the circle one by one giving thanks. The responses are varied because even the little ones are included in this activity. It’s a tradition that we have been doing for many years and it is one that all of us older folks really enjoy. If you were to ask me what I am thankful for I would have to say first and foremost is my family. My wife of 35 years, Tammy, my daughters, Holly and Ashley, my son-in-law, Jason, my grandchildren, Avery, Emery and Hudson, my dad, my siblings and all the big Winterrowd clan. Our family and extended family has grown so large that we now rent a place to have our “Thanksmas” gathering. But even though our family group continues to grow with grandchildren, in-laws and great-grandchildren, we still continue this tradition of each person giving thanks. “We can only be said to be alive in those moments when our hearts are conscious of our treasures.” – Thornton Wilder As a profession, I believe that we have much to be thankful for. We are members of an excellent professional
organization that supports us and looks out for our best interests. The staff, Barney McClure, Karen Jones and Ashley Dunkerley, deserve our heartfelt thanks and appreciation for their efforts. Especially when their jobs are often thankless. We have Ron Whitson at the Texas Education Agency to represent our interests at the state agency level. The Texas FFA Foundation staff, Aaron Alejandro and Joanne Shelton, work tirelessly to promote Team Ag Ed to business and industry leaders across Texas. The Texas FFA is in good hands with Tom Maynard, Dean Black, Kaleigh Burnett, Pat Fancher and Suzanne Anders. All of these people deserve our sincerest thanks for the jobs they do so well. So what else should we be thankful for? Well, that’s kind of a personal question. Certainly one that I would not presume to have an answer for other people. I am thankful for my religion and the freedom to
publicly practice my faith. I must say that I am thankful for my country and the many freedoms we enjoy that countless people have given their lives to ensure we continue to have. I am thankful for the many friends I have in my profession. My students always ask me how I know so many people. Whenever we go anywhere as a FFA group, I am constantly stopping to shake hands or say “hi” to someone. Their remark usually goes something like this, “Mr. Jack, you know everyone!” I just laugh and tell them that I have been teaching since dinosaurs roamed the earth so I had better know a bunch of people by now. Otherwise my career would not be of much consequence. “Nothing you do for children is ever wasted. They seem not to notice us, hovering,averting our eyes, and they seldom offer thanks, but what we do for them is never wasted.” - Garrison Keillor
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The Way I See It
Maximize Your Member Benefits
Karen Jones, Membership Services Coordinator
I am thankful for all the students who have walked into my classroom for over 30 years. There are lots of standouts, both good and not-so-good. Periodically, I like to look through my server account where I have so many years of photos stored. My favorite thing is seeing them as greenhands and following their progress until they are seniors. One of my greatest joys is getting to see a former student who is all grown up and making a difference in the adult world. I see pictures posted on Facebook of former students about to be married or graduating from college. They send me pictures of their children and tweet funny things going on in their lives. There is no predictability to it and the randomness of it always surprises. Sometimes, that alone is what makes me feel thankful. When I can look at a young man who is about to graduate from Texas A&M, eye to eye, and remember the little boy that I hauled to stock shows when he was in the 6th grade and would fall asleep in the front seat of the ag truck. Or when I am asked to prepare the flowers for a beautiful young lady on her wedding day and recall the fresh-faced girl who was my junior creed speaker several years ago. The look on her face when I hand her the bouquet for the first time is priceless and generates a memory that I will always treasure. Those are the things that I am thankful for in my professional life. I am confident that I am not alone in those experiences. I am certain that anyone who reads this article will have similar experiences to recall and fondly store away in their teaching toolbox. As I get closer to a retirement time, my toolbox gets a little fuller with the passing of each year. I am looking forward to that time when I can enjoy the time to open it and savor all of these great memories that I am so thankful for. “The smallest act of kindness is worth more than the grandest intention.” – Oscar Wilde So now you know where I stand on the subject of thanks, giving thanks and being thankful. But what should I, or we, do about it? The phrases “pay it forward” and “random acts of kindness” are in the forefront of our collective social conscience now. We hear inspiring stories of FFA chapters being involved in community outreach activities. We see pictures on social media of young people giving back as a way to say “thank you”. We hear it in the words and emotions of retiring addresses of state officers as the reality of the closure of their year of service and FFA membership comes to an end. I challenge you to define the word “Thanksgiving” and develop a means of expressing those thanks in your own special way. I am looking forward to my favorite meal of the year, my wife’s turkey and dressing and layered salad, and a time when we can be with family and friends. I hope and pray that everyone has a reason to be thankful and enjoys the bountiful blessings that this holiday season brings to mind. “No duty is more urgent than that of returning thanks.” - James Allen And that’s the way I see it…
VATAT recently renewed your member benefits through American Life Insurance Company so you should have received information and a card to designate your beneficiary for the $3,500 Accidental Death & Dismemberment policy. We recommend that you fill out the card and return it in the enclosed envelope to make sure you get the full value of the benefits they offer. There is no cost for the AD&D policy. It is provided to you as a benefit of being a member of VATAT. After you fill out the card, a representative from AIL will contact you to deliver and explain the official AD&D policy that you can keep with your important papers, as well as the other no cost benefits the company provides including: • Health Discount Card Basic Program (40 to 60 percent of “out-of-pocket costs” for eye care, hearing care, prescription drugs and chiropractic.) • SmartKids/SmartParents Money Basics 101 activity book to teach kids the fundamentals of money management When you speak with the AIL representative, they will also review your current insurance situation and share information about additional life insurance plans that you may want to purchase. There is no purchase necessary. However, if you decide that purchasing additional insurance is good decision for your family, you can have confidence that you are supporting a company that supports your organization. AIL’s supplemental benefits are not in competition with any group benefits through your workplace/ employer and can complement any insurance policies you may already have. If you choose to take advantage of any insurance programs offered through AIL, your benefit program is permanent and portable throughout your lifetime. AIL’s supplemental benefits include automatic built-in features to help members during hard times, such as a lay-off waiver of premium benefit. If you qualify, your coverage lasts a lifetime and is under your independent control. If you have any questions, please contact our office or our American Income, PR Representative Michelle Baker at (806) 626-2650.
INSIDE THIS ISSUE VATAT.........................................1 - 3 Texas FFA....................................4 - 5 Foundation.............................8 Texas FFA Alumni........................12 Young Farmers....................14 - 15
Local Control-What It Means To You
Kenneth Hughes Plan
Barney McClure, VATAT Executive Director
VATAT Life Insurance Plan
For several years “local control” has been a popular phrase used in education. The politicians in Austin use it rather liberally when talking about education issues. Some are very careful not to give the appearance of telling local districts how to run their schools, usually right before they tell local districts how to run their schools. The truth is that we need some guidelines or rules on how districts are run, but there really has been movement in giving local school boards and administrators some leeway in operating their schools. I have heard it said that the kind of agricultural education program found in any given district is usually what that community and administration demand. If a community is happy with a program that does little, costs little, causes few problems and achieves minimal results, that is what they get. On the other hand, if the expectations are high, they will have a program that does much, costs more, has issues to deal with and yields great results. I get calls on a variety of subjects that are essentially local control issues. As long as you are being paid above state minimum, salaries are locally controlled. Class size is locally controlled with no maximum number of students. Class schedules and offerings are locally determined. The number of days you and your students may be away from school each year is decided locally. Travel policy is decided by the local board and administration. Program budgets are determined locally, as long as they follow the state rules for distributing CTE money. FFA activity funds are subject to local policy. Teacher contract issues, with some Texas Education Code directives, are also decided by local decision makers. Even booster clubs may be governed by school policy. Do the preceding facts mean you are powerless to influence all these “local” decisions? Of course not. Every outstanding agriculture program should strive to be at the table when these decisions are made. Use an advisory committee to further the cause of the program. The committee should have a stake in what is going on. Strive to have a yearly meeting with administration to do some strategic planning on where your program is heading. Come to the meeting with specifics on what your vision is for the program. The worst thing to do is come to such a meeting with vague requests for improved support. The bottom line is that local control is great as long as you have great decision makers making great decisions. If you have poor decision makers, there will likely be poor decisions. As agricultural educators we need to articulate our needs and keep the lines of communication open with the local leaders. It is vital to program success. We are an organization dedicated to member services, so as always, you may contact me if you have any questions: Barney McClure (512)472-3128 firstname.lastname@example.org. www.vatat.org
Have you heard of the Kenneth Hughes Plan? Are you a VATAT member? The Kenneth Hughes Plan was started to give ag teachers a life insurance plan to financially help their families at the time of their passing. The plan is named after 1982-1983 VATAT president Kenneth Hughes. How do you participate? Active VATAT members sign up by filling out the enrollment form and beneficiary form and pay the initial payment of $25 ($5 administrative fee included). Go to www.VATAT.org, click Members>Membership Benefits then download the application and the beneficiary forms, fill them out and mail them to the VATAT offices with your payment. It’s that easy! What happens when someone passes away? When a teacher that is on the plan passes away we will calculate the numbers of teachers on the plan times $20 and send the amount to the person(s) listed as the beneficiary. When there is a death of a member on the plan the members of the plan will be notified and asked to remit $20 to stay on the plan. The more active teachers that are on the plan the more the beneficiary will receive at a time when they could need it the most. What happens when an active member retires? If you are on the plan at the time of your retirement you will be automatically moved the Honorary Life plan in which the policy is the same. In addition to the VATAT member plan we also have a spouse plan. If the VATAT member is a member of the Kenneth Hughes plan his/her spouse is eligible to be on the spouse plan. The spouse sign up for the plan and pays the initial payment of $10. The spouse plan works the same way as the active plan. When there is a death of a member on the spouse plan the members of the plan will be notified and asked to remit $10 to stay on the plan. Open enrollment is now open for Active VATAT Members. If you have any questions or are interested in participating in the Kenneth Hughes Life Insurance plan please contact: Karen Jones (512)472-3128 email@example.com. www.vatat.org
UPDATE The Hands-On Leadership Development Experience Tom Maynard, Texas FFA Executive Director By November, your greenhands should have mastered the FFA Motto. Usually it is one of the first things you have your students learn before shocking them with the FFA Creed assignment. Learning to do; Doing to learn…. In career and technical education we pride ourselves on learning by doing—having that hands-on experience that enables a student to truly master a skill. What are some things that come to mind? Welding? Managing livestock? Growing greenhouse crops? Think about it, a student doesn’t really learn to weld until he or she starts building things—actually applying the skills in the unpredictable environment that might require them to weld materials of different thickness or unusual shapes or to welding out of position in awkward or hard to reach spots. The same can be said for managing livestock or crops. None of us would think that a student will master the science and art of production by reading a textbook, watching a DVD or even listening to one of your brilliant lectures. However, I am amazed how many of my colleagues, when asked about their leadership development strategy, will respond, “We take the kids to the area leadership conference.” Where is the learning to do, doing to learn in that? That is the equivalent of taking students to a three-day workshop on welding and proclaiming that they are accomplished welders. The leadership workshop might give them the equivalent of learning how to strike an arc. What is the real hands-on leadership development experience? It is your chapter program of activities, better termed your Annual Strategic Action Plan. Through your POA or ASAP, your members should learn how to: 1) Identify long-term strategic objectives for an organization and annual S.M.A.R.T. goals. 2) Lead a project team and serve as a member of a project team. 3) Delegate responsibility, communicate expectations, encourage, mentor, correct and recognize team members. 4) Develop and manage an overall budget and project budget, understand fiduciary responsibility and internal controls. 5) Advocate for a position within an organization, negotiate middle ground and resolve conflicts. 6) Post agendas, develop and submit committee reports and
develop meeting minutes. 7) Apply parliamentary procedure outside of the controlled classroom or contest environment. Study the list above. Do all of your students have these competencies as a result of being in your program? These are some of the intended outcomes of the FFA hands-on leadership development experience—one of the circles in our model. Your students need the opportunity to fail. Really. Most of us have a passion for excellence and some of us have compulsion for perfection that tempts us to do things ourselves because it is more efficient and easier than having the students stumble through it. Most of us would never dream of teaching welding that way, because we know that every student has to struggle and make those ugly-bird-dropping appearing beads before they master the skill. However, we are often guilty of robbing the students of the opportunity of making mistakes in leadership, because it’s simpler to snatch it away than just doing it. Learning is inefficient, and it doesn’t matter what the learning is. When implemented properly, your POA/ASAP should instill in your members the capacity to truly live to serve in their future—in organizations, school boards, city councils, commissioners courts, boardrooms and other places, because you facilitated a real-life, hands-on experience for them, complete with the drama of budget shortfalls, political intrigue and coping with their own mistakes.
Ag Awareness Day at State Fair
Dean Black, Leadership Development Coordinator
Ashley Dunkerley, Communications Coordinator
Living to serve is a line that we all have heard since the beginning of our FFA membership. Opportunities for service are all around us. Whether it is service for our loved ones or service for complete strangers, FFA members worldwide strive to build up others through servant leadership. In an effort to serve fellow members across the state of Texas the 2014-2015 Texas FFA State Officer team is proud to announce the launch of a statewide service project, Random Acts of Kindness for Texas FFA or otherwise known as RAK4TXFFA. Throughout the year the Texas FFA Travel Team will be visiting chapters across the state in an effort to encourage FFA members and students everywhere to serve. What better way for us to serve as FFA members than to raise money in an effort to help an FFA Chapter in need? Students and chapters will be encouraged to participate in this statewide service project by purchasing wristbands in order to raise funds for a Texas FFA chapter that is less fortunate. Toward the conclusion of the school year interested chapters will be asked to submit an application to apply for funds generated through RAK4TXFFA. Chapters will be selected based on their need for additional funding and will have the ability to use these funds in numerous ways. If you are interested in supporting our cause please do not hesitate to express your interest to the Texas FFA Travel Team as they visit your FFA Chapter or email firstname.lastname@example.org with questions or comments.
Texas ranks ninth in the nation in food insecurity. While that is shocking to most, our state youth leadership organizations were challenged to find a solution to this major problem during the State Fair of Texas’® Ag Awareness Day. Ag Awareness Day is a very special occasion where the State Fair of Texas honors its roots by celebrating the future leaders in agriculture. This year’s Ag Awareness Day theme was “Feeding the Future.” Texas FFA, 4-H and FCCLA state officers joined forces to brainstorm and think creatively about feeding our increasing population. While the officers were doing their part, 3,458 FFA, 4-H and FCCLA members in attendance at the State Fair of Texas did their part in raising 18,284 pounds of food for the North Texas Food Bank. That is an increase of more than 7,200 pounds of food from 2013.
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UPDATE Catalyst Aaron Alejandro, Texas FFA Foundation Executive Director A catalyst is something or someone that causes a change. It can be ordinary, like a hot day being a catalyst for wanting to wear shorts and flip flops. Or it can be major, like how key supporters have helped catapult the Texas FFA Foundation to great accomplishments in our efforts to support Texas Team Ag Ed. As we prepare for Thanksgiving and reflection on the many blessings we have and bounty of food, we thought it was a great time to highlight some of those individuals responsible for serving as a catalyst to our success to date; there are many to whom we are thankful, but these helped us step out to new levels of organizational excellence. In addition, they have helped empower Texas Team Ag Ed to achieve more and reach for greater opportunities.
“The Texas FFA represents values we at Justin Boots share. The numerous opportunities FFA offers to its members are critical in development of young men and women. We recognize that behind every FFA chapter are dedicated and life-touching teachers whose love for agriculture and their students leave a lasting mark.” - Randy Watson, Chairman of the Board, Justin Brands
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UPDATE National FFA Group Exemption Kelly White, Texas FFA Alumni President The FFA Alumni Association (local, state, and national) is considered for Internal Revenue Service exemption purposes as a subordinate to the National FFA Organization, which at the time of non-profit exemption approval in 1976 was the Future Farmers of America Organization. Article I, Section A of the FFA Alumni Association Constitution defines the FFA Alumni Affiliate as an affiliate of the National FFA Organization. Article V, Section A of the National FFA Constitution also lists the National FFA Alumni as a division of membership followed by Section C giving a definition of eligible persons for Alumni membership.
phone (801-620-6019) or mail (Internal Revenue Service Center, Ogden, UT, 84201). The IRS sends the National FFA Organization a list of all affiliates using the National FFA’s group exemption number for their EIN on an annual basis. The national office is required to verify this list for the IRS and add/ delete FFA Alumni affiliates as necessary. If an affiliate becomes inactive (less than 10 dues paying members) with the National FFA Alumni, they will be in violation if they use the GEN for non-profit status. Newly chartered affiliates will receive a tax information packet along with their charter certificate and scroll.
Internal Revenue Tax Number
Who Must File Form 990/990-N
The central organization, according to the Internal Revenue Service, is the National FFA Organization. The National FFA has been designated a group exemption number (GEN) by the Internal Revenue Service. All subordinates of the National FFA, which include all chartered and active local and state FFA Alumni Affiliates, must use this GEN number to verify tax exempt status on all reports to the IRS. Local and state FFA Alumni Affiliates must file for their own employer identification number (EIN) which is required when filing the IRS Form 990/990-N. The EIN is also required when bank accounts are opened or other investments are established that generate interest or dividends for the local or state FFA Alumni. The EIN is obtained by filing Form SS-4 with your regional Internal Revenue Service Center. The Form SS-4 has 18 questions and will take only a few minutes to complete. Under 9A, check box “other nonprofit organization” and write in Future Farmers of America. Line 16, check “other” box and list educational support as the principal activity. Submit application to IRS. Once you have been assigned an EIN, this information needs to be provided to National FFA on the appropriate form. National FFA will then contact the IRS to link your affiliate to the GEN. This will automatically default your fiscal year to match National FFA’s, which is September 1- August 31. If you require a different fiscal year, you must contact the IRS to make the adjustment. This may be done by
Any Alumni Affiliate receiving a Form 990 or Form 990-N must return it to the Internal Revenue Service. Note that if the gross income of your affiliate is normally not more than $25,000 you are only required to complete the Form 990-N. When gross income is (over the period of two or more years) normally greater than $25,000 a year, the affiliate must complete the entire Form 990 or 990-EZ. An affiliate should define gross receipts to mean the total amount received from all sources (including membership dues and all fund raising activities) during its annual accounting period, without subtracting any costs or expenses. If the Alumni affiliate does not receive Form 990 and does not normally have gross income of $25,000, the affiliate is not required to file Form 990. These affiliates should receive from the IRS the Form 990-N instead. All affiliates must submit either the Form 990-N or the Form 990 to maintain their nonprofit status.
Tax Advice For specific tax or accounting questions, please consult your local tax advisor/accountant. You can also visit www. irs.gov. National FFA Alumni Association Group Exemption email@example.com (317) 802-4292
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UPDATE Notes From the Executive Secretary Don Beene, Texas Young Farmers Executive Secretary Your state board is working hard to have a successful state convention. On the adjacent page you will see a registration form. Please review the form and make your plans to attend. It will be hard for you to find a better bargain than you have for the 59th Annual Texas Young Farmers State Convention. Look at what you are getting for the registration fee of only $125; breakfast, lunch and dinner Friday and Saturday and Sunday. Thursday evening we are having our first ice breaker and mixer. It should be a lot of fun! Register now and make your room reservations. Notice the rooms start at $96 for a king and $101 for a double. If you are a new chapter you may apply for the grant. This grant will pay registration fee for two delegates and give each delegate $100 spending money. The form can be found at www.txyoungfarmers.org. I also would like to remind everyone that it is dues time. Please get your dues in ASAP and do not forget to submit everyoneâ€™s email addresses that way they will receive the NYFEA updates. Speaking of the National, remember if you plan to go to Louisville to the National Institute early bird registration is October 15th. Go to http://www.nyfea.org/institute-brochure-2014.html for the registration form and a list of the things happening in Louisville. To the right you will also find pictures of the raffle winners from the Convention and Conference this summer. Vanezza Reyes, Brownsville FFA, was the winner of the $100 given away at Convention. Todd Harkrider, North Zulch, was the winner of the ice chest given away at the VATAT Conference.
2015 Texas Young Farmer Convention January 9th – 11th, 2015 Bryan, Texas Registration Form
Hotel: Best Western Premier-Old Town Center, 1920 Austin’s Colony Parkway, Bryan, Texas 77802. Phone: (979) 731-5300, Use Group Code: TYF15 or State Association of Young Farmers. Room Rate: $96 King / $101 Double. NOTE: The Hotel does not have On-Line Registration, you must call and reserve your room. Schedule: Complete Details at: http://www.txyoungfarmers.org/default.aspx?ID=4415 Thurs., Jan. 8th – 3pm – 5pm State Board Meeting. NEW: 7pm – 9pm Icebreaker and Mixer for everyone Fri., Jan. 9th – Breakfast at Hotel, Morning Tours, Lunch in Downtown Bryan, Afternoon Tours. Dinner at Hotel (provided by TYF), Ag Olympics with additional activities. Sat. Jan. 10th – Breakfast at Hotel, Delegate Meeting, Business Meeting, Sponsor Appreciation Lunch, Scholarship Auction, Workshops, Awards Banquet and After Banquet Entertainment Registration Costs: Early Bird Registration Deadline is December 15th. Early Bird Registration is $125 Late Registration is $150 Registration includes: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner for Friday and Saturday; Thursday Mixer; Tours; Ag Olympics and After Banquet Entertainment. Friday Night (Ag Olympics) and Saturday Only is $75 before December 15th and $100 after December 15th. Kids are $50 ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Register On Line at TYF website www.txyoungfarmers.org If a computer is not available, You can mail Registration Form and Registration Fees (payable to Texas Young Farmers) to: Texas Young Farmers: 1694 LCR 256, Mexia, TX 76667 Early Bird Registration Deadline: December 15, 2014 Name(s): ____________________________________________ TYF Area: ______ TYF Chapter: ______________ Address: _____________________________________ City, State and Zip: __________________________________ Email Address: _________________________________________________ ____ Phone: (_____)______-_________
Early Bird Registration for January 9th - 11th Late Registration for January 9th – 11th Friday Night (Ag Olympics & Saturday Only Friday Night (ag Olympics & Saturday Only Child Registration (12 & Under)
$125 before Dec. 15th $150 after Dec. 15th $75 before Dec. 15th $100 after Dec. 15th $50
# _______ # _______ # _______ # ________ # _______
@ $ 125 @ $150 @ $75 @ $100 @ $50
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Credit Card Information: Number: _______________________________ Exp Date: _____________ Signature: ___________________________________________________________________________ 15
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Upcoming Events November
1st FFA Dues Deadline 8th Texas A&M Equine Judging Workshop 25th Aggiefest Judging Contest 27th - 28th Team Ag Ed Office Closed 30th Last Day to Validate Swine
1st HLSR Stock Show and Calf Scramble Entry Deadline
12th Texas FFA Board of Directors Meeting
1st Junior FFA Dues Deadline
13th Texas FFA Foundation Board of Directors Meeting
5th & 6th State LDEâ€™s at Sam Houston State University
16th Fort Worth Stock Show Begins
14th &15th VATAT Board of Directors Meeting 24th - Jan. 2 Team Ag Ed Office Closed
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Officers Jack Winterrowd, President
Ray Pieniazek, Vice President
Shane Crafton, Secretary/Treasurer
Staff Barney McClure, Executive Director
Ashley Dunkerley, Communications
Karen Jones, Membership Services
Vol. VI Issue III