NEWS A Texas Team Ag Ed Publication
Michael Meadows, Simms
Our association exists to provide member benefits. Probably the greatest of these, and our signature event, is our annual Professional Development Conference. Many of you were teaching when this conference was planned, sponsored, and conducted by the Texas Education Agency. In those days, there were several TEA employees assigned to agricultural education. Eventually, TEA staff reduction and budget cuts led to an uncertain future for our annual conference. I never will forget leaving conference after we had been told that TEA would no longer be having a professional development conference for ag teachers. We all went home not knowing if we would have to attend a conference with other CTE educators in the future. or if we would have the opportunity to attend a conference at all. The thought of not having an ag teachers conference as we had known it, was very scary. How would all our state committees meet and report to the areas? How would our area associations get organized for the coming school year? What would we do for professional development as ag teachers? When would we get to visit with and learn from our colleagues across the state? I am so thankful that our association stepped up to the plate and accepted the responsibility of our conference. Looking back, this was
probably the best thing that could have happened. I always enjoyed the TEA sponsored conferences and learned from them but I believe the quality of our conference now is better. For one thing, our conference is totally planned and conducted by our VATAT staff with input from ag teachers in each area. The workshops are more practical and related to what we do every day. Plus, we have total control of the conference. I have heard our executive director, Barney McClure, state that before he retired from teaching, he could not imagine starting a new school year without having attended ag teachers conference. I completely agree with him. Attending a professional development conference for ag teachers planned by ag teachers is the best scenario I can imagine. I sincerely hope each one of you is already registered and looking forward to a productive conference. We have a very diverse selection of quality workshops available on Monday, Wednesday, and Thursday. During our general sessions, we will recognize many for tenure awards and honor those who are retiring. One of the wisest men I have ever met will deliver the keynote address on Tuesday morning, and we have a special “note burning” ceremony planned to celebrate the payoff of our building. You won’t want to miss your area
meetings so you can begin your school year informed of important dates, events, and plans. Many of you also need continuing education credits to maintain your teaching certificate. Because TEA recognizes the quality of our conference, they allow our association to award these credits. There are many, many reasons to attend conference. If you have not registered, there is still time to do so and make plans to come. You will not regret it. Personally, I can’t wait to be back in Lubbock, Texas. Being from East Texas, I have always loved coming to the panhandle. Everywhere you look there is agriculture. Continue on page 2
Summer Program Assessment
See You in Lubbock
For most teachers the school year is marked by deadlines, pre-determined events, and dealing with the everyday drama that is found in every school district in Texas. Most of a teacher’s time is spent trying to manage the day-to-day events and activities that seem to increase with each year. Summer is a little less hurried and pressurepacked. I would recommend each teacher and each program take some time to examine the past year’s activities and evaluate where/how they really fit into a well-managed agricultural education program. Are FFA activities driving your program but leaving out many students who need attention? Are stock shows taking over more and more time and effort? Is meeting all administrative directives becoming problematic? This past year, VATAT has developed a program assessment that should be of some value to teachers and administrators. It was developed for use in our Professional Mentor Program, but could be an eyeopener for any teacher or program. For those of you familiar with the “three circle model” of agricultural education, it follows closely. It focuses on the three primary components of our program-classroom instruction, FFA activities, and supervised agriculture experiences. The evaluation tool is only about three pages and can be completed in a fairly short period of time. Basically, the components of a quality program are evaluated on three levels. If your program is doing a good job of meeting the needs in that area, you can answer yes, if not, answer no, and if the area needs some attention, the answer is needs improvement. The evaluation tool is found under the teacher resources under program assessment. If nothing else, it can provide some food for thought in planning for next year. I’ll see you at convention and conference.
My love and passion is production agriculture, and there is not a better place to see production agriculture in action than the panhandle. How can agriculture be your passion and you not love being right in the middle of it? Growing up, my dream was to move to West Texas and work in a feedlot. When I moved away from home to go to college, the desire to return home and try to make a difference in my community won over my childhood dream. Even so, it is always a treat for me to get to visit the part of our state that I spent so much time dreaming about when I was young. Come to Lubbock, see agriculture in action, and get ready for a great week of conference. Hope to see you there! Be safe!
Barney McClure, VATAT Executive Director
don’t forget to check your tenure When registering for conference
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INSIDE THIS ISSUE VATAT.......................................1 - 3 Foundation..............................5 Alumni................................6 Young Farmers.............................8 www.FreshCountry.com
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UPDATE Texas FFA Alumni News Kelly White, Texas FFA Alumni President
“Of all the things I’ve lost, I miss my mind the most.” - Mark Twain By the time that you read this article, I hope that you have found some time to prep for convention, be with your FFA officers, and be with your family. I hope that you are working on your “farmer’s tan,” your golf swing, or found your favorite fishing spot. I hope that you have found time for yourself. I hope that you find time to reflect upon your year. I know that there are several areas that I need to polish up on. I hope to find time to talk with my teaching partners to prepare for the year (We have added a 3rd!), and to find time to discuss the POA for next year with our FFA officers. It seems that this year’s POA was not Program of Activities but Plan of Attack (nothing personal to my locals reading this article). By the time that you get this article the Texas FFA Alumni Board will have things prepped for the State FFA Convention. We will have chosen our five $500.00 scholarship recipients, selected ten $500 Grant winners, picked our Outstanding Alumni Affiliate, welcomed the 2017-18 State FFA Officer Team into our fold, and informed the VATAT that they will be benefactors of the Texas FFA Alumni. Don’t forget the auction! We have secured items from various vendors, such as fencing material, boots, ice chests, hotel stays, tools, jewelry, and much more. You can lose your mind at our auction and we won’t care. We accept cash, checks, and credit cards. A special thank you and “shout out” to Liz Treptow, Wade Albert, Joe Lemmon, Garrett Schatte, and Erynn Jenshke for their work on the Alumni Board. And another special thank you to the Weimar FFA Chapter. They were the recipients of the Washington Leadership Conference Scholarship. If you follow them on Facebook you will see some of the things that have experienced while on this trip. 6
Alumni Chapter Basket Contest You are invited to fill a basket and enter your FFA alumni chapter in the Texas FFA Alumni Chapter Basket Contest. Each alumni chapter may enter one basket. It may have homemade jellies, items made by local companies, homemade items, items from the local ag department, caps, etc. Baskets should be delivered to the FFA Alumni booth by 4:00 p.m. on Tuesday, July 10th. The baskets will be judged on a penny ($.01) per vote. The basket with the most votes will receive the rotating “Basket Winner” plaque. 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. • A list of the items included in the basket should be clearly labeled on the basket. • The basket can be of any creation.
The Texas FFA Alumni is always looking for testimonials regarding the hard work that your local affiliate does for your FFA Chapter. Contact Kelly White via the website to submit your testimonials.
UPDATE Notes From
Bob Young, Texas Young Farmers Executive Secretary
Who said that summer is a time for rest and relaxation? We all know agriculture science teachers, FFA members, and the folks who support them don’t get much down time. By the time you receive your newsletter, the Texas FFA Convention will be history, the VATAT Conference will be approaching, and then school will be beginning again. But what a great time it is to be included in this illustrious group of agriculturists. I have always been amazed at how much we can learn by attending these conventions and conferences. It is a responsibility to take advantage of these opportunities. In this article, we honor the recipients of the 2018 Texas Young Farmers Scholarships. These FFA members had outstanding FFA careers and their futures are just as bright. Please read about some of the achievements each of them earned in high school. Pretty impressive, I’d say. Audrey Brown, Dayton FFA, plans to attend Texas Tech University and major in Animal Science/Pre-Veterinary. Audrey participated in Prepared and Extemporaneous Speaking, Job Interview, Public Relations, and Veterinary Science. Her SAEP’s were Agricultural Placement and Entrepreneurship in Veterinary Job Shadowing Placement, fruit and nut tree production, raising and showing Brahman cattle, and breeding rabbits. Kourtnee Kirgan, Fairfield FFA, plans to attend Texas A&M University and major in Animal Science. She earned her Lone Star Degree and participated in Livestock Judging, Farm Radio, Poultry Judging, Vet Tech Judging, and Job Interview. She also served her FFA Chapter as President. Her SAEP’s were cattle and swine production and showing. Kourtnee has been an active participant in Fairfield Young Farmer community service activities. 8
Caelyn Thompson, Teague FFA, is the recipient of the Billy Harrell Memorial Scholarship. Caelyn intends to become an Agriculture Science Teacher. She served as a chapter officer and participated in Milk Quality Judging and Homesite Judging. Her SAEP was raising and showing market steers and heifers. She assists with the annual Lamb & Goat Show and helps raise money for Young Farmers to help Teague FFA. Kaitlin Newman, Fairfield FFA, is the recipient of the Sharon Beene Memorial Scholarship.. She participated in Livestock Judging and Chapter Conducting. She raised and showed Limousine and Beefmaster cattle and market lambs. Kaitlin’s participation in Fairfield Young Farmer activities include selling briskets, football game concession stand, and the “Food for America” program. Cory Sinkule, Penelope FFA, is the recipient of the Past Presidents Scholarship. He plans to major in Agribusiness at Texas A&M University and become an agricultural insurance representative and/or loan officer. His activities include Prepared and Extemporaneous Speaking, Quiz Team, Wildlife Evaluation, Creed Speaking, and Forage Evaluation. Cory’s SAEP was raising and exhibiting Beefmaster cattle. His connection with the Penelope Young Farmers Chapter involves scheduling FFA meetings to coincide with Young Farmer meetings to better bond the two groups and participating in fundraising and community service activities. Until next time, remember this thought as you prepare for another successful school year: “Failure will never overtake me if my determination to succeed is strong enough.”
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Upcoming Events Sunday, July 29
Monday, July 30
4:00 pm VATAT Board of Directors Meeting
Tuesday, July 31
8:00 am Certification & Training Workshops
7:00 am Registration
10:00 am Exhibit Show
8:30 am Opening Session
7:00 am Exhibit Show
1:00 pm Registration
11:30 am Taste of Texas 1:15 pm Area / District Meetings
Wednesday, August 1 7:00 am VATAT Board of Directors Meeting 8:00 am Exhibit Show 8:30 am Professional Development Workshops
Thursday, August 2 8:00 am Exhibit Show 8:30 am Professional Development Workshops
Friday, August 3 8:00 am Closing General Session 10:30 am Area Meetings
6:00 pm Family Night
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