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NEWS A Texas Team Ag Ed Publication

It Takes All


December 2017


Michael Meadows, Simms

One of the many honors and privileges of serving as President of the VATAT is getting to represent Texas ag teachers at different functions, meetings, and activities. One of these opportunities is the National Association of Agricultural Educators Convention. During this convention at our regional meetings, our officer team gives a report on the state of agricultural education in Texas. It was at this meeting three years ago that I realized how fortunate we are in Texas. As I sat and listened to the reports of the other six states in our region, I realized how much I had taken for granted in my career. I guess I assumed every other state had an active ag teachers association with an executive director, staff, and benefits like we have. I guess I assumed every other state had ag education representation on staff in their state education department. I guess I just assumed every other state had an aggressive fundraising foundation that helped fund scholarships, awards, and provided support to their ag teachers. I guess I just assumed all state FFA associations were fully staffed, financially stable and provided tremendous support for their local chapters. Boy, was I wrong; my eyes were opened! The National Association of Agricultural Educators convention is a great event with educational and informative workshops and sessions. I have learned things

that have helped me in my profession the last two years. However, the biggest benefit I have received from attending is a deeper appreciation of our ag ed family, and how each member of this family contributes to help us do our jobs as ag teachers. I see it as a journey. It all starts with a destination. One of my favorite quotes is, “If you don’t know where you are going, how will you know when you get there?” The FFA mission, along with the TEKS of the courses we teach, gives us a destination for the journey. It gives us direction or a roadmap, if you will, of what we need to accomplish through our programs. We have an advocate in the Texas Education Agency in Ron Whitson, a former ag teacher, who helps develop this “roadmap” of where we want to go. Not all states have this. With any journey, you need a dependable vehicle. I see this as the Texas FFA Association. The FFA is our vehicle to get our students to their destination. These FFA opportunities make what our students learn in the classroom come alive, allowing them to apply what they have learned in a real-world way. Austin Large and his staff do an excellent job in providing opportunities, structure, and support for local ag teachers to accomplish the mission of the FFA. Not all other states have this. Who is driving this vehicle? Vehicles are useless without a driver. That is Texas ag teachers.

We drive the vehicle, following our roadmap to our destination. The driver is always in control of the vehicle so how we “drive” it will have a huge effect on the quality of the journey and if we make it to our destination. The VATAT helps us along the way. As vehicles change and adapt, drivers need to be trained. We do this at our Professional Development Conference each year. Brand new drivers sometimes need some extra help and training to get started on their journey. The VATAT has a professional mentoring program designed to do just that. We want all our drivers to reach their destination and enjoy the journey. Barney McClure and his staff are constantly helping,supporting, Continue on page 2

Be Thankful For a Career That Matters

It Takes All of Us

Recently I had the pleasure to attend grandparent’s day at my grandchildren’s school. My grandson Mason’s project was a “Thankful Tree.” On a tree branch he brought from home, he had carefully pasted paper leaves with the things he was thankful for. Among others he was thankful for his family, grandparents, friends, teachers, his body, and his brain. It got me thinking about what should appear on our “Thankful Tree.” Like Mason, we should be thankful for our families, friends, and others we care about. We should be thankful for our country, and the freedoms we all enjoy. We should be thankful for those who protect our country and its citizens. As we are involved in the holiday season, there is another thing to be thankful for. We have careers that matter to those we meet. Teachers have the ability to influence the future like no other group. Assisting the young people as they grow and mature into young adults is a special calling. Those in support roles are also important. Teacher educators, sponsors, FFA staff, VATAT staff, and others also play key roles. Having a job that matters to others is no small thing. Many people each day work for no other reason than the salary. At the end of a career, all they have left is some type of pension or savings. I am thankful that those in our profession have much more than that to look back on. A career that matters should be something that we all should be thankful for.

and providing benefits for Texas ag teachers. Not all states have this. All vehicles also need fuel. The Texas FFA Foundation helps provide fuel to make sure our vehicles reach their destination. Providing academic scholarships, award scholarships, securing donors, securing sponsors for conventions and conferences, and providing media technology to help us promote our program are just a few ways Aaron Alejandro and his staff fuel our vehicle to make sure we reach our destination. Not all states have this. Agricultural education in Texas is good. Is it perfect? No. Should we all still be working to make it even better? Yes. The key here, in my mind, is “we all.” It takes a village to raise a child and It takes all of us to make Agricultural Education in Texas what it is and what it can be. Every member of the family is important, and every member of the family has to work together and support each other to be as strong as we can be. For many years I didn’t know just how fortunate I was. As you work hard each day to help those students in your classroom, just know there is a whole family of supporters who are here to help and support you. Until next month, be safe and have a Merry Christmas!

Barney McClure, VATAT Executive Director

the vatat






INSIDE THIS ISSUE VATAT.......................................1 - 3 Texas FFA Alumni ...................... 4 Young Farmers........................8 - 10 Foundation..............................11




Stephenville, Texas - Dec. 1-2, 2017 Don’t miss this hands-on training for FFA Alumni members, state leaders, advisors, or anyone interested in starting an alumni chapter. You’ll network and build relationships that will Transform Purpose to Action!


• Deliver professional, personal and alumni program development to our members closer to home so they can amplify their ability to engage our members, support our advisors and tell our story. • Provide a regional opportunity for alumni members to network and share local visions of innovation with other alumni.


• Free. • A two-day event providing specific training for both local and state-level members. ˚ Friday evening - state-level leader training focusing on state-level administration and activity building. ˚ Saturday - local-level training targeting individual members, agriculture educators and other members of Team Ag Ed. • Workshops are broken into beginner and advanced levels providing more authentic and useful information for all attendees. • Workshops focus on growing alumni members and chapters.

Past Attendee Reviews:

• “Every member needs to attend this.” • “Amazing workshops and resources.” • “We wish we would have known how powerful and impactful this was going to be. We would have brought our entire alumni chapter!”

Schedules and registration for each regional event will be posted online at:

Proudly supported by:

#FFArdc 4





THE NEW MY TEXAS FFA MOBILE APP Get immediate access to the latest information about Texas FFA Watch live streaming video events Get exclusive offers and discounts for My Texas FFA App insiders Easily stay connected and share the Texas FFA story online VISIT MYTEXASFFA.ORG TO DOWNLOAD IT TODAY 6

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




UPDATE Notes From


Executive Secretary

Don Beene, Texas Young Farmers Executive Secretary

I would like to remind everyone that the Texas Young Farmers State Convention will be held next month, January 2017, at the Inn of the Hills in Kerrville, Texas. You can complete and submit the form found on page 10. If you have any issues registering, please contact me. We have a terrific event planned. The host hotel is very nice, with spacious comfortable rooms. I encourage you to make plans to join in on the fun! Also, please turn in your dues as soon as possible. Please visit, download the roster form and type all of the data. I then need you to email me that form at dbtxyfa@ I would like to formally announce that I will be retiring at the end of the state convention. Bob Young will be our new Texas Young Farmers Executive Secretary. He is entering his new role with new ideas and a very enthusiastic and energetic outlook regarding our future. I want to thank everyone for their support throughout my tenure. It has been a joyous 14 years that included many adventures. Fortunately, I plan to continue participating in the Texas

Young Farmers program. I believe in the future of agriculture and ag education and I am certain that participation is the way for us to get stronger. Have a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Thank you

Don Beene for your

14 years of service as the

Texas Young Farmers Executive Secretary

Thank You to Our Texas Young Farmers Sponsors



Texas Young Farmer Convention January 4th – 7th, 2018 in Kerrville, Texas

“I’d like to extend a personal invitation to join us for and exciting and educational weekend in the beautiful hill country city of Kerrville. It’s the 64th Annual Texas State Convention of the TYFA. There will be interesting tours and speakers and I will be sharing pictures of my farm tours in Germany. I look forward to seeing you.” Texas YF Area I Vice President Herb Casey

“I would like to personally invite you to attend a fun weekend in Kerrville at the Annual State Convention of Texas Young Farmers. You will enjoy staying at the Inn of the Hills Hotel and attending the Tours we have set up for Friday. You will also enjoy making new friends and learning about why we are Texas Young Farmer members. Hope to see you.”

“I’d like to ask that if you’ve never been to our convention that you come and join us. From Thursday’s arrival to Sunday’s departure you’ll have a great time and understand more about your organization. Be a part of it.”

Texas YF Area V Debi Peyton

Texas YF Past President Kenneth Brown


2018 2018 Texas Young Farmer Convention Texas Young Farmer Convention th – 7th, 2018 January 4thJanuary – 7th, 42018 in Kerrville, Texas

Kerrville, Texas Registration Form Registration Form

Hotel: Inn of the Hills; 1001 Junction Hwy., Kerrville, TX 78028; Phone: 830-895-5000 -- on line at . (Deadline is Dec. 21st.) Website: Use Group Code: TYF18 or State Association of Young Farmers. Room Rate: Hotel “Convention Block” less than $100. Schedule: Complete Details at:  Thurs., Jan. 4th – 3pm – 5pm State Board Meeting. 7pm – 9pm Icebreaker and Mixer for everyone  Fri., Jan. 5th – Breakfast at Hotel, Morning Tours, Lunch, Afternoon Tours. Dinner at Hotel (provided by TYF), Ag Olympics with additional activities.  Sat. Jan. 6th – 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 1st.

 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 (Does NOT include the Friday Meal but does include Ag Olympics) and Saturday Only is $75 before December 1st and $100 after December 1st .  Friday Night Meal if arriving before Ag Olympics for Friday and Saturday Only Attendees - $25 each  “YALE” Contest Participants - Early Bird Registration - $75 and $100 after December 1st  Kids are $50  “Crafting” Workshop – participants will keep their projects - $10 (Registration required to get needed supplies) Register On Line at TYF website If a computer is not available, You can mail Registration Form and Registration Fees (payable to Texas Young Farmers to: Texas Young Farmers; C/O Debi Peyton, PO Box 465, Chico, TX 76431 Early Bird Registration Deadline: December 1, 2017 Name(s): ____________________________________________ TYF Area: ______ TYF Chapter: ______________ Address: ___________________________________ City, State and Zip: __________________________________ Email Address: _________________________________________________ Phone: (_____)______-_________ Early Bird Registration for January 4th - 7th $125 before Dec. 1st $150 after Dec. 1st Late Registration for January 4th – 7th Friday Night Meal (Fri/Sat Only Attendees) $25 each Friday Night - Ag Olympics & Saturday Only $75 before Dec. 1st Friday Night - Ag Olympics & Saturday Only $100 after Dec. 1st “YALE” Contest Participants $75 before Dec. 1st “YALE” Contest Participants $100 after Dec. 1st Child Registration (12 & Under) $50 “Crafting” Workshop – (Participant keeps project) $10

# _______ @ $ 125 = __________ # _______ @ $150 = __________ # _______ @ $25 = __________ # _______ @ $75 = __________ # ________ @ $100 = __________ # ________ @ $75 = ___________ # ________ @ $100 = ___________ # _______ @ $50 = ___________ # ________ @ $10 = ___________ TOTAL DUE: ____________ Additional Names and Chapters included on this Registration: _____________________________________________ _________________________________________________________________________________________________.

Registration using a Credit Card can only be done using the On-Line Registration. For Help call Debi @ 940-389-4052. Paper Registration only accepts Check payments. (Must be included with Registration). (Version 2) 10

UPDATE The Biggest Gift...A Better Tomorrow Aaron Alejandro, Texas FFA Foundation Executive Director

Christian music artist David Meece, of Humble, Texas, made a name for himself in the ‘80s through the early 2000s with more than 30 top ten hits, many reaching number one. One song stands out – “We Are the Reason.” The lyrics speak to this time of year, “As little children we would dream of Christmas morning and all the gifts and toys we’d find. As the years go by we’ve learned more about gifts, giving of ourselves and what that means.” As teachers, students and business leaders slow down to enjoy time with family and friends during the holiday season, what gifts can we share? Here are few extraordinary ones: time, experiences, stories, knowledge, natural resources, stewardship and traditions. Hong Kong is a city where as many as 5,000 people can live in a high-rise on one acre. John Bechtel wanted to start a camp where kids in the city could get out into nature and meet God. Bechtel and his partners found a company willing to sell them a one-million-dollar facility for $250,000. One of John’s colleagues volunteered to fundraise. After three months, the friend told John all he collected was one dollar. The donation came from a letter written by a little girl in Georgia named Melinda Holmes. Her letter simply stated that she wanted to donate her ice cream money to help young people in Hong Kong. John decided to give it a try. Imagine this. He walks into the company and says, “I didn’t quite come up with $250,000.” They asked, “How much do you have?” He responded, “I’ve got a dollar.” They sent the offer back to the board where the answer was, “Well, if the camp’s going to be used to help young kids, we’ll sell it to you for a dollar.” That dollar is framed now in the camp as a reminder of what God can do when somebody believes and wants to invest in others. As of today, over 1,000,000 kids have attended this camp. Later in life, John was telling this story at a church when a young woman came up to him afterwards and said, “I was that little girl.” It was

Melinda Holmes. John asked her if she would like to go to Hong Kong to see what had happened and Melinda accepted. People were going out into the parking lot, but John called everyone back into the church to take a second offering, where they raised enough money to fly her over. Melinda walked through the camp, saw what God had done, and tears flowed. One little girl. One dollar. Well done, good and faithful servant. Let’s live a legacy this holiday season and give the largest gift you can give …. the future to those who will follow in our Texas FFA steps.

The Gift of Support Give a gift in the name of someone who has made a positive difference in your life or through a FFA experience. Give securely online at



614 E. 12th Street Austin, Texas 78701

Upcoming Events december



1 Texas FFA Junior Roster Deadline

4 - 7 Texas Young Farmers Convention, Kerrville

1 National Scholarship Online Submission Deadline

1 - 2 Texas FFA State LDEs

8 Texas FFA Board Meeting, Austin

15 State Officer Nom Com & Adult Consultant Application Deadline

7 Swine Validation Materials Deadline (Major Shows) 9 - 10 VATAT Board Meeting

9 Texas FFA Foundation Board Meeting, Austin

17 - 24 National FFA Week 20/22 Texas FFA Day At The Capitol


(512) 472-3128

Officers Michael Meadows, President

Tammy Christian, Vice President


Terry Baize, Secretary/Treasurer

Barney McClure, Executive Director Ashley Dunkerley, Communications Karen Jones, Membership Services Tori Rosser, Special Projects


December 2017  
December 2017