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NEWS A Texas Team Ag Ed Publication

February 2017

Spotlight on Agriculture Education Shane Crafton, Henrietta

If you are reading this when it first comes out, you are probably reading while sitting in line at the Fort Worth market show, so maybe this will either keep you awake, or it might just be the catalyst to put you to sleep despite all the noise of pickup engines and restless animals. Whatever the case, good luck to you and your students as they reap the rewards of a long year’s work with their projects. Many of you have another county show in the books, and I hope yours went well. We just finished the Clay County show, and all went well with the exception of the weather. We had cold, windy weather for the cattle show, ice pellets for the swine show, and four-degree temperatures for the Saturday morning sheep and goat show. I’d like to give a big thanks to fellow teachers Larry Little (Swine), Jimmy Key (sheep and goats), and Chris Beard (rabbits) for doing an outstanding job as judges for our show. I hope you are well rested because the fun is about to begin. Spring is a busy season in the ag-teaching profession. Whether you are at a stock show, Career Development Event, District or Area Convention, speaking contest, degree check, having a greenhouse sale, or simply planning for your annual FFA banquet, there is never any down time. Who helps us get all this done? Great teaching partners are a key, but is that

enough? I have found in 27 years of teaching experience that most successful ag teachers have one aspect in common, and that is a spouse who is involved in all parts of the program. Where would we be without our spouses being involved and helping not only with our own kids but with all the kids of our FFA programs? We are ag teachers, and that is a full time job, but who does everything else with our students? Our spouses become transportation coordinators, concession stand managers, travel agents, nurses, chapter photographers, banquet decorating committee chairs, and anything else we don’t have time to take care of. Basically they are expected to be moms to every student we travel with in our programs. We gripe about being under-paid and overworked, but I would take my job over theirs any day. At least I’m being paid; all my wife gets is a birthday at county show each year and an exotic anniversary trip to wherever the State FFA convention is being held. I just spent four days at the NAAE convention and spent time with two prime examples of spouses who have supported their husbands for many years in all facets of the FFA program. Debbie McClure and Melody Krejci are two very entertaining and interesting ladies, and I now understand how Barney and George have managed

to accomplish so much in their careers. They have had help from spouses who love them very much and see great purpose in what we do as ag teachers. I’ve been teaching in Henrietta for 22 years. Val (my wife) and Cindy (Dunk’s wife) have played a huge role in the success of the Henrietta FFA for that entire time. Where would we be without them? We will never know, and I don’t want to have to find out! Thanks, ladies; you are a major reason the Spotlight of Agriculture Education shines on all our students. So ag teachers, take time to thank your spouses for their involvement and selflessness in making your program work. It should be easy because they are probably right there with you anyway!


$500,000 VATAT Legacy Endowment Campaign Kicks Off Barney McClure, VATAT Executive Director

Many of you are aware of the VATAT Scholarship program for qualified member’s children who attend college or trade school. This initiative began in the late 1980s or early 1990s when the association provided two $500 scholarships. Since that time, the program has grown to the point that next year, every qualified member’s child will receive an $800 scholarship. Usually this includes between 30 and 45 students. These scholarships have been funded by money raised from a variety of sources-private donations, the VATAT Golf Tournament, VATAT Steer Roping, VATAT Archery Tournament, and most importantly RiverStar Farms’ fundraising efforts through an annual raffle and barbeque cook-off. RiverStar Farms has provided the largest annual donation to allow this program to grow. Up until now, the scholarships have been funded each year on the current year’s donations. VATAT has been engaged in conversations with Gordon Davis of Lubbock, the founder of CEV, which is also the title sponsor of our summer Professional Development Conference. Gordon expressed a desire to strengthen our scholarship program with a long-term plan to permanently endow our scholarship program with help from our yearly income from donations. Gordon announced his intention at last year’s conference to begin the process by recognizing individuals who have assisted in CEV’s mission of

providing high quality teaching materials to our teachers. Since Conference, the VATAT has received $50,000 in donations from Gordon and the first 30 names are listed on page 3. More will follow and as many as 89 individuals could be recognized for their contribution to agricultural education in Texas. This $50,000 investment along with another $50,000 from our scholarship operating account is now invested in a high quality investment account with Luther King Capital Management. This is the same fund family that the Texas FFA and the Texas FFA Foundation utilize for many of their investments. Our VATAT Scholarship Committee will continue to oversee this program, and policies were passed at the VATAT Board meeting in December that will restrict how the money is invested and expended. We need to express our thanks to Gordon Davis for jumpstarting this program, and he invites other supporters to participate in honoring individuals with $1,000 donations in their names. We are 20% funded toward our goal of $500,000!


VATAT................................................................1 - 3 Texas FFA..........................................................4 - 5 Foundation.......................................................6 - 7 Texas FFA Alumni...............................................8 Young Farmers.............................................10 - 11






VATAT Legacy Endowment

T hank You of

FIRST 30 HONOREES Cindy Akers, Texas Tech University Aaron Alejandro, Texas FFA Foundation Herman Brown, Texas A&M University Greg Clark, Joshua High School Jack DeShazo, Aledo High School & CEV Guy Finstad, Boys Ranch High School & VATAT Rick Fleming, Academy High School & CEV Roger Green, Lubbock Monterey High School Billy Harrell, Sam Houston State University Gerald Kelly, Abernathy High School Jeff Klose, Canyon High School Bobby Ledbetter, Edinburg High School & CEV Tom Maynard, Texas FFA Barney McClure, Cleburne High School & VATAT Don McGuffin, Carthage High School & CEV Billy Bob McMullan, Snyder High School Dennis Moore, Boys Ranch High School Lloyd Nations, Van High School & CEV Kevin Parker, Stuart Career Center, Goose Creek CISD & CEV Terry Phillips, Seagraves High School & TEA Eddie Puckett, Sweetwater High School & CEV Fud Robertson, Idalou High School Gary Rosenbusch, Glen Rose High School Bruce Smith, Dumas High School Marty Spradlin, Hooks High School & CEV Dan Taylor, Buster’s Gin Albert Usener, Fredericksburg High School Ron Whitson, Mansfield High School & TEA Scotty Windham, Abernathy High School Gerald Young, Katy High School & VATAT



UPDATE Rudder Member Educates Next Generation About Agriculture

Rachel Knight, Texas FFA News Staff

Rudder FFA member, Katherine Fazzino, was inspired to educate elementary students about agriculture by writing and illustrating a children’s book titled Reenie’s Ranch Adventure. The story was founded from her real-life experiences with her show heifer. “This storybook gives students an opportunity to witness agriculture come to life,” said Fazzino. “They also learn about the hard work, dedication, love, and the passion that exists in the agriculture community and the FFA.”

Fazzino brought her book to life by visiting local schools and dressing as one of the characters, with her show heifer by her side. In addition, she prepared lesson plans that encompassed visual and tactile learning and aligned with classroom TEKS [Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills]. “This project was meant to bridge the gap in the educational areas of language arts/reading, math and writing through the foundation of agriculture,” said Fazzino. To aid in the challenging process, Dr. Heather Caldwell of Texas A&M University acted as Fazzino’s mentor through the Texas FFA Ford Leadership Scholars program. “She has been a continuous encouragement throughout the ups and downs of this project and has pushed me to follow my dreams,” said Fazzino. Through Ford Leadership Scholars training, Fazzino established a mission statement that applies to her project. 4

Her mission statement reads, “My purpose is to make a lasting impact on my community and those I encounter by taking time to inform, engage, and inspire elementary students in agricultural and livestock areas, familiarizing them with the industry’s terminology, environment, and lifestyle.”

To ensure that her book’s impact was long-lasting, she donated a copy of her book to the schools she visited. The Ford Leadership Scholars program provides an intense hands-on leadership development experience through apprentice-type scenarios, interaction with nationally-recognized leaders and projects to be completed by student in their respective communities. The program is a result of the Texas FFA Foundation, Ford Division, and Texas Ford Dealers partnership to enhance the leadership opportunities of Texas FFA members.


Austin Large Named Executive Director of the Texas FFA Association Texas FFA Association The Texas FFA Association proudly announced on Thursday, Jan. 19, 2017 that Austin Large will become the new executive director effective Feb. 13, 2017. Texas FFA Board of Directors Interim Chair, Ray Pieniazek shared the news with agricultural education teachers, students and stakeholders, saying, “We are excited to have Mr. Large join the Texas FFA Association. I know he will be a great fit to lead this organization into its next level of achievement.” Large, a former FFA member, brings strong leadership and programmatic development perspective, as well as an educator’s outlook to the organization. Previously, he served as an agricultural science teacher and FFA advisor in California and worked with the California FFA Association as an independent contractor. His tenure also includes serving as the Texas FFA Association Leadership Development Coordinator which provided him extensive knowledge of all the association’s programs and services. He currently serves as an Educational Specialist with the National FFA Organization concentrating on the 212 and 360 Leadership Conferences, the National Leadership Conference for State Officers and the

Blast Off program. He also develops and facilitates the National FFA Convention’s student workshops and coordinates the national delegate process. Large succeeds outgoing Executive Tom Maynard, who retired Jan. 9 after leading the organization for the past 17 years during an era of dramatic growth and success.

Austin Large

Texas FFA Association Executive Director effective Feb. 13, 2017




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




UPDATE Texas FFA Alumni News Kelly White, Texas FFA Alumni President Each year, FFA members from all over the United States travel to Washington, D.C. to attend the Washington Leadership Conference (WLC). During the five-day event, attendees learn how to become effective leaders by teaching them to know their purpose, value people, take action, and serve others. This is no ordinary leadership experience. You will spend a week putting these skills into practice as you make new friends from across the United States, tour our nation’s capitol and visit with members of Congress. This action-packed week will help you gain selfconfidence and leadership skills to take back to your FFA chapter and share with other members. They leave WLC with the knowledge and the confidence to act in ways that help their schools, community, and their country The Texas FFA Alumni will grant two (2) $500 scholarships to deserving FFA members whose local affiliate are in good standing with the Texas FFA Alumni. Applications can be found online at http:// under Applications. More info about the Washington Leadership Conference can be found at

Eligibility and Deadlines 2017 Scholarship: • Only one FFA member per chapter can submit an application for the WLC scholarship. • The WLC scholarship covers $500 of the registration fee for an FFA member to attend the WLC conference. Travel to and from the WLC conference site and incidental expenses are the recipient’s responsibility. • Recipients must attend a WLC workshop for the year the scholarship is awarded. • Applications are due postmarked by February 15 of each year. WLC scholarship recipients will be announced by March 1st and winners notified by March 15th. • Each recipient is expected to attend the Texas FFA Alumni Association’s Annual Meeting in July. The FFA Alumni Association Annual Meeting is held in conjunction with the State FFA Convention.


Affiliation Overview: Membership Processes and Reporting • Annual fee of $100 for National Dues per local affiliate for the affiliate program providing basic support to all volunteers of that local affiliate. This annual fee would be waived if the local affiliate has at least 25 life members. This process would continue to provide additional annual members in the affiliate coverage to keep them current and active without any additional fees. • Annual fee of $100 for State Dues per local affiliate for the affiliate program providing basic support to all volunteers of that local affiliate. This annual fee would be waived if the local affiliate has at least 25 life members. This process would continue to provide additional annual members in the affiliate coverage to keep them current and active without any additional fees. • Reported membership information in all required fields with a minimum of 10 local affiliate members will continue to be in place for the affiliate to be considered active. • The affiliate must keep required affiliate information completed and updated in Ag Career Network to remain active. • Designate a responsible key contact to sign up the affiliate and keep affiliate information current and communicate to members.




2017 HALF-PRICE PRICE CARNIVAL PACKS $10 HALF-PRICE CARNIVAL PACK ($34.00 Value) One Carnival Fun Card with 22 tickets (for rides & games) FREE game coupon $5 OFF Show merchandise 4 refreshment coupons (must buy an item to receive the free item) $50 HALF-PRICE CARNIVAL PACK ($133.50 Value) Two Carnival Fun Cards with a total of 150 tickets (for rides & games) 2 FREE game coupons 2 FREE rides (Ferris wheel & funhouse) $5 OFF Show merchandise st buy an item to receive the free item) 9 refreshment coupons (must $20 CARNIVAL FOOD CARD ($30.00 Value) Enjoy $30 worth of refreshments for only $20! Valid only at RCS carnival food and beverage stands. Not valid at food and beverage stands operated by ARAMARK or Show commercial rcial exhibitors. Not valid with any other promotions. WORLD’S CHAMPIONSHIP BAR-B-QUE (“WCBBQ”) ADMISSION TICKET (valid March 2 – 4, 2017) Adult (age 13 & over) $ 15 Child (age 3-12) (2 & under free) $ 5 6, 2017 2017) NRG PARK ADMISSION TICKET (valid March 7-26, Adult (age 13 & over) $ 10 Child (age 3-12) (2 & under free) $ 5 26, 2017 2017) $ 25 SEASON PASS (valid March 2 - 4 & March 7-26, DONATE Just $10 sends a worthy individual to the carnival to enjoy a few rides and games. The Show is a non-profit profit 501(c)(3) charity, so your donation may be tax deductible. Half-Price Carnival Packs and Food Cards may be used sed during the WCBBQ (March

2-4, 2017) and the Show (March 7-26, 2017). ). Rides require from 4 - 20 tickets. To enter the Carnival during ring the WCBBQ, you must have a WCBBQ Admission Ticket or Season Pass. To enter the Carnival during the Show, you must have a NRG Park Admission Ticket, Season Pass or rodeo rodeo/concert ticket for that day. Admission tickets and Season Passes are not valid for NRG Stadium or Rodeo Uncorked! events.


1. Buy online with credit card at Select “Tickets” icon at the top of the page, Click “Half Price Carnival Packs” Click “Buy Now”, Select Sales Person Soule, Jim from the drop down list. 2. Select direct link: 3. Scan the QR code. Will Call Orders – Handling is Free: Pick up at any NRG Will Call location.

Mail Orders are charged $6 handling fee. Deadline for mail orders is Friday, February 17, 2017. For more information, please contact Show volunteer: Jim Soule

Email: are Phone: March 832-277-2700 Online orders accepted through Saturday, 4, 201



UPDATE Notes From the Executive Secretary Don Beene, Texas Young Farmers Executive Secretary The 63rd annual Texas Young Farmers Saturday’s highlights included a business Convention is now in the history books. It will go meeting, scholarship lunch and auction. Also, we down as one of the best. We had more than one hosted workshops and a convention tour quiz. Our hundred registered participants. awards banquet was held that evening followed by This was our first convention held in Gonzales, a “Barn Dance.” More information will follow next Texas and they were gracious hosts. The convention month. began on Thursday evening with an ice breaker. The Gonzales Young Farmer Chapter had numerous snacks that were very delicious. The group became TEXAS YOUNG FARMERS well acquainted as old friends met, and new ones SCHOLARSHIP APPLICATION were made. Several games of dominoes were played and there was a lot of fun to be had. Friday morning, the group toured Kitchen Pride Mushroom Farm and Spoetzl Brewery (Shiner Beer). Upon completion of the tours, a BBQ lunch was served at the local VFW Post. After lunch, the tours continued with a visit to Fehner and Sons Feed Mill/Gun Shop, the Memorial Museum (home of the “Come and Take REMEMBER TO FILE YOUR TAXES It” cannon) and Pioneer Village. FOR YOUR YOUNG FARMER EIN Friday evening, the group was served a delicious dinner that was followed by our famous “Ag Olympics.”


Thank You to Our Texas Young Farmers Sponsors



Photos From the 63rd Annual Texas Young Farmers Convention

The event hosted the largest attendance seen in the last several years, with 12 chapters represented, and more than 100 registered members.

During our “Ag Olympics” attendees participated in competitions such as “suck-it-up,” a game where contestants must suck M&Ms out of a plate with a straw and place them in a cup. Other various games included redneck horseshoes, bean bag toss, nail driving, and assembling nuts and bolts. A lot of fun was had.

The future of the Texas Young Farmers. We spotted these two dancing at Saturday’s barn dance. Granger is the son of Maykala Cruz, and Sadie is the daughter of Lance and Meagan Hausenfluck, all members of the Bryan chapter.

The Gonzales “Come and Take It” cannon was a Spanishmade, bronze artillery piece of six-pound caliber. The gun was the object of contention in late September and early October of 1835 between a Mexican military detachment from Bexar and Anglo-Celtic colonists. The disagreement produced the battle of Gonzales, considered to be the first battle of the Texas Revolution.

Pictured above is this year’s Texas Young Farmer President and Gonzales Chapter President, Robert Bland. Thank you Gonzales for hosting an outstanding convention.




614 E. 12th Street Austin, Texas 78701


Upcoming Events February



1st State Officer Nominating Committee Application Deadline

1st Texas FFA Membership Submission & Dues Deadline

1st VATAT Scholarship Application Deadline

1st FFA Dues Deadline

20th State Tractor Technician CDE

3rd Texas FFA Association Board Meeting, Austin

25th Texas Tech Invitational CDEs

14th Foundation Ambassador Application Deadline

30th West Texas A&M Invitational CDE’s

14th Texas FFA Convention Media Deadline

18th National FFA Week 23rd FFA Day at the Capitol, Austin

22nd Texas FFA Convention Chorus Deadline


(512) 472-3128

Officers Shane Crafton, President

Michael Meadows, Vice President

Tammy Christian, Secretary/Treasurer

Staff Barney McClure, Executive Director


Ashley Dunkerley, Communications

Karen Jones, Membership Services

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