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NEWS A Texas Team Ag Ed Publication

July 2019


Tammy Christian, Penelope

Happy Summer! As I reported last month, we had our follow up meeting with our Mentors. We had 19 mentors who assisted 36 new teachers, 33 of those teachers were offered the opportunity to continue teaching in their home districts. In year two, the results of this program have been positive, it is a program we will continue to improve and provide. If you have checked the VATAT website you are aware there are close to 100 openings for ag science teachers across the state. At this point, we have completed another state degree check and are looking forward to the 91st Texas FFA Convention in a few weeks, as well as our Professional Development Conference in Corpus Christi. Continuing my journey‌I spent a very fulfilling eight years at Hillsboro I.S.D. I enjoyed my students, the connections and friendships of families, and most of all, what I learned and how I grew as an ag science teacher. As I neared the eighth year, I began to feel like it might be time for another change. While it had not really been what I intended, I have always felt I have been led in the moves and changes I have made. A close family friend who serves on the Penelope

school board had suggested I visit with the superintendent there. I decided it could not hurt to at least make an appointment; after all, the school was just five minutes from my house. After much deliberation I decided to return home to teach for the third time! In 2010, I headed back to Penelope High School. The dynamics of the school had changed in my absence, there were a lot of new families and while Penelope is very rural, very few farm families still had students in the area. With the support of the administration, the school board and community I went to work on building what I hoped would be a well-rounded program. I am still working on that today! I hope as long as I teach, I will always see the need to improve and never be satisfied with where the program is. I have loved my time back in Penelope. I have been blessed to have great students and we have been able to enjoy some success and a ton of memories. This year has been a highlight for our chapter, school and community to have the state FFA President, Cory Sinkule. I would be remiss to not share Cory is the grandson of Mr. Hawthorne, my Ag Teacher. In addition, I taught Cory’s

mother, and have now had the opportunity to teach Cory. My journey has come full circle! Ag teachers all over this state have similar stories, experiences and journeys, it is part of what makes this profession so special. I hope you have an opportunity to enjoy some much needed down time, rest, and relaxation. While our schedules allow for more of those things this time of year, summer remains full of activities. It is a chance to attend workshops, plan and prepare for the upcoming year, make repairs and many times catch up on things there has been no other time for. Continue on page 2

Take a Minute For Reflection


Barney McClure, VATAT Executive Director

If you haven’t had a chance to look at the workshops for our upcoming conference please do so. There are more than 90 to choose from. I think everyone will be able to find something that will benefit them. Many of you probably followed the FFA Foundation LEAD activities. Keep this trip in mind and sign up with your area next spring to be a part of this trip. Aaron and JoAnne do a great job planning and putting this trip together. It is an opportunity to visit with the sponsors and stakeholders and get their perspective on why they believe Texas FFA is an important investment. It is also an opportunity to see firsthand the work Aaron does for the Foundation and its importance. I was able to be a part of the trip about five years ago. I enjoyed hearing how sponsors do business and appreciate and know the importance of cultivating relationships. Last year was the first year for the Legislative LEAD, I would love to take part in that experience at some point if time allows. Safe summer travels, I will be looking forward to seeing you soon!

While many agricultural educators are on extended contracts during the summer, there is not the pressure of meeting class every day and dealing with classroom issues. I hope you take a little time to reflect on the past year. I can tell you from personal experience that I was guilty of not doing this enough during my teaching years. It always seemed to be “on to the next thing” as soon as any pressing deadline passed. Professionally, it is a good time to think strategically about your agriculture program. What went right and what went wrong over the preceding twelve months? What could you have done a better job on? Are there things your program is involved in that do not fit into your strategic plan? Do you even have such a plan? These are all good questions to ponder when time permits. Continuing with this theme, is there professional development that could help you become a better educator? Is an advanced degree in your future? We have a number of excellent graduate programs available that are geared toward making you a better teacher. We also have a number of former teachers who have become outstanding school administrators with a twenty thousand foot view of our program. We need more of this kind of administrator. Finally, don’t forget to think about your personal life. Is there an adequate balance of personal and professional life? Your family deserves your best efforts just like your students do. Childhood passes in the blink of an eye and it is gone. Enjoy every minute and challenge of it. Don’t forget about your spouse. Without the support of a loving spouse, many of our careers would not have played out the way they have. Enjoy the rest of summer, and I hope to see you at Conference. 2


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

INSIDE THIS ISSUE VATAT.......................................1 - 3 Alumni....................................6 Young Farmers......................12 - 13




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6/21/19 4:05 PM

UPDATE Texas FFA Alumni News Kelly White, Texas FFA Alumni President

How fitting that the 91st Texas FFA State Convention is a lighthouse. My wife and I will be taking some time off prior to this year’s convention to visit the East Coast. I often reflect on my trip a few years ago to this destination and can’t help but smile about highs in the 70’s during the day and lows in the 60’s at night. We enjoyed the sights and sounds of the small fishing village (lobster… yum). We sought out various lighthouses in/around the southern coast of Maine and marveled at their beauty. Often forgetting the purpose of their placement. A lighthouse is a light that shines to navigate ships into a harbor or to mark hazardous spots along the way. Are you a lighthouse or a beacon to the FFA members and community that you serve? 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 four $500 scholarship recipients, selected seven $500 grant winners and our Outstanding Alumni Affiliate. We look forward to an outstanding State FFA Convention as this group of twelve officers “Illuminate” their year of service to the Texas FFA. We will be happy to welcome them into Lifetime Membership of the Past State Officers Alumni Affiliate. A special thank you and a shout out to Liz Treptow, Wade Albert, Joe Lemmons, Garrett Schatte, Erynn Jenshke and all of the Weimar AST’s for their work with the Texas FFA Alumni. Thanks also to my teaching partners, Mr. Perry White and Ms. Taylor Eurich, for the assistance that they provide.

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 16th. 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.

AUCTION ON THURSDAY NIGHT OF CONVENTION We will have items from various vendors. Items such as fencing materials, boots, ice chests, hotel stays, tools, jewelry and many more items. We accept cash, checks and credit cards.


We want to help FFA members be more successful, so we’re offering discounts on the products you use most. Visit for additional information about special pricing.

Projects big or small, we’re ready to help!


Fresh Country Supports the

VATAT with a

Annual Donation! 8




UPDATE Notes From


Executive Secretary

Bob Young, Texas Young Farmers Executive Secretary

By the time you read this, the Texas FFA Convention will be completed, but I have to say I am extremely excited to have the opportunity to have an exhibit booth at the convention. It’s a wonderful time to visit with Ag Teachers and FFA members. The convention will serve as great motivation for all in attendance. During the convention we will host the Texas FFA State Officer Team at a breakfast on Wednesday morning, a wonderful opportunity to get acquainted with the officers. On Thursday afternoon, we will award five $1000 scholarships to some very deserving FFA members whose local FFA chapters also have a Young Farmer chapter. Please allow me to introduce the recipients to you. Sharon Beene Memorial Scholarship: Haylee Young is a member of the Teague FFA Chapter, where she graduated 6th of 95 graduates. She served her chapter as President and Sentinel and as District and Area president. LDE activities include Chapter Conducting, Job Interview, and Creed Speaking. Haylee was active in Livestock Judging, Wildlife, and Plant Identification. She was Star Greenhand, Star Chapter Farmer, Lonestar Degree recipient, and a Texas FFA Ford Leadership Scholar. Her speaking skills earned her Reserve Champion HLSR Public Speaker. SAE projects included swine, heifers, and a vegetable garden. Haylee plans to attend Texas Tech University majoring in Agribusiness. Career goals include becoming an Agricultural Policy Analyst, a lobbyist, and an agricultural commodity lawyer. Billy Harrell Memorial Scholarship: Allee Walterscheid is a member of the Barbers Hill FFA Chapter. She exhibited rabbits, sheep, and Brahman heifers in 30+ shows per year, while maintaining AP classes and being a member of the National Honor Society. She served her chapter as President and Chaplain. She earned the Lonestar Degree. LDE’s included Chapter Conducting and Public Relations, and Prepared Speaking. Allee also participated in CDE’s in Floriculture, Livestock judging, and Poultry Judging. Allee has had tremendous success in showing and developing Brahman cattle. She 12

has received numerous awards in showmanship, exhibition, and in herd development. She has won championships at every major show that she has attended. “Improving my herd, selling and trading genetics with breeders all over the world has enabled me to realize even the small breeder can have a global influence on tomorrows generations,” she said . Allee plans to attend Texas A&M and major in Agribusiness to prepare for a career in Agricultural Sales and Marketing. Past Presidents Scholarship: Danaleigh Stiles is a member of the Crossroads FFA Chapter. She was Valedictorian, a Dale Hansen Scholar Athlete, Texas Farm Credit Student of the Month, and received the Ronald Reagan Leadership Medal. She served her chapter as Greenhand President, President, and Vice-President. She was Star Greenhand, Star Chapter Farmer, and received her Lonestar Degree. Danaleigh participated in Wool Judging, Creed Speaking, and Prepared Speaking. She won numerous awards exhibiting steers at the Henderson County Livestock Show and East Texas State Fair. Her SAE included showing steers and building mineral feeders. One of her major accomplishments as a student was graduating from Trinity Valley Community College with Highest Honors as a Junior in high school. Danaleigh plans to attend Texas A&M and major in Animal Science. She hopes to pursue a career in Pediatric Oncology and work at St. Jude’s Research Hospital. Texas Young Farmer Scholarship: Brianna Knowlton is a member of the Deer Park FFA Chapter. She served as chapter Historian and President. She received Deer Park’s Star Chapter Degree, Star Lonestar Degree, and Floral Proficiency Award. Brianna was an active participant in Wool Judging, Farm Skills, Dairy Cattle Judging, Public Relations, Floriculture, and Ag Advocacy, earning many individual awards while competing. She also proved her worth in the community by completing over 250 hours of community service. SAEs include rabbits, poultry, swine, and steers and heifers. Plans are to develop a Limousin breeding herd. She was the 2019 Ft. Worth Stock Show Heifer Showmanship

Champion. Brianna’s career goal is to become a nurse. She will attend San Jacinto Junior College, then transfer to Texas A&M. Texas Young Farmer Scholarship: Bethany Knowlton is a member of the Deer Park FFA Chapter, where she served as Chapter Historian. She received the Diversified Livestock Proficiency Award in 2019. She participated in Farm Skills, Floriculture, Ag Advocacy, Ag Issues, and Wool Judging. Her SAEs included goats, chickens, rabbits, steers, heifers, and floral design. She won several showmanship awards while exhibiting her livestock. Bethany plans to develop a breeding Limousin herd with her twin sister and younger brother. Her higher education plans are to attend San Jacinto Junior College and then transfer to Sam Houston State University to earn a Bachelor’s Degree in Education to become an Agriscience Teacher. Texas Young Farmers Association is extremely proud of these students for all their accomplishments. We are excited to help them achieve their educational goals by awarding these scholarships to them. All five of these FFA members worked very closely with their local Young Farmer chapters throughout the year(s). Until next time, remember, “Blessed are those who can give without remembering and take without forgetting” –Anonymous.

Thank You to Our Texas Young Farmers Sponsors


VATAT Credit Union would like to announce that we will have five (5) Director positions up for election at our 2019 annual meeting in Corpus Christi. We have four (4) incumbents willing to continue to serve for another (2 year) term. Any member interested in submitting his/her petition for one of the five (5) positions should contact our nominating committee no later than July 19, 2019. The nominating committee members are: Joe Lemmons 281-250-2147, Steve Forsythe 512-734-0914 and Barney McClure 512-472-3128.


During the week of July 29-Aug 1 we will have limited access to our voicemail & email while at our Annual Meeting & Ag Teachers Conference in Corpus Christi, TX. We will be back in the office on Friday, August 2nd from 8:30-4:30PM. Contact us: * (800)777-1825


Join Us for Finance 101 Workshop Wednesday, July 31 10:15-11:45AM American Bank Center, Rehearsal Hall Grab your Boxed Lunch & Join Us for Financials, Director Elections, Door Prizes & our

58th Annual Membership Meeting Noon-1PM, Rehearsal Hall

ACCESS TO CREDIT UNION DOCUMENTS: In accordance to Section 91:315, this notice is to advise you, as a VATAT Credit Union member, you have the ability to request certain documents relating to the credit union’s finances and management. These documents are: the balance sheet and income statement, a summary of the most recent annual audit, written board policy regarding access to articles of incorporation, bylaws, rules, guidelines, board policies, and the Internal Revenue Service Form 990. Any requests for these documents should be made to management at our main office with advance notice.


If you have a problem with the services provided by this credit union, please contact us at: VATAT Credit Union, 614 E. 12th Street, Austin, Texas 78701; (512)-472-3258 or (800)-777-1825. The credit union is incorporated under the laws of the State of Texas and under state law is subject to regulatory oversight by the Texas Credit Union Department. If any dispute is not resolved to your satisfaction, you may also file a complaint against the credit union by contacting the Texas Credit Union Department at 914 East Anderson Lane, Austin, Texas 78752-1699; (512) 837-9236 or online at


DISH is proud to support Texas ag education. Introducing the DISH Ambassador Program, a new way to fundraise for Texas FFA chapters Are you an FFA advisor? Learn how your chapter can participate in the DISH Ambassador Program at

FFA and its members are not authorized retailers of DISH products and services, for information on DISH products and services please contact DISH directly. Door-to-door distribution of materials regarding the DISH-FFA program is prohibited. Telephone solicitation in connection with the DISH-FFA program is prohibited. Use of the FFA Name or Mark does not represent an endorsement by FFA of this product or service or an endorsement by FFA of the manufacturer or provider of this product or service. From October 24, 2018 until June 31, 2019, for every new and qualifying former customer that signs up under DISH’s Digital Home Advantage program, FFA will receive $200.00. Restrictions apply. Program not available in AL, HI, IL, MA, MI, SC. See website for details.

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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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(888) 390-4332

5:08 PM

Spotlight on Teachers Educators do more than teach They nurture, encourage and inspire our youth. BASF appreciates teachers throughout the year and recognizes outstanding agriculture and science educators. Teachers, we applaud your dedication to student success! © 2019 BASF Corporation. All rights reserved.



614 E. 12th Street Austin, Texas 78701

Upcoming Events Sunday, July 28

Monday, July 29

4:00 pm VATAT Board of Directors Meeting

Tuesday, July 30

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, July 31 7:00 am VATAT Board of Directors Meeting 8:00 am Exhibit Show 8:30 am Professional Development Workshops

Thursday, August 1 8:00 am Exhibit Show 8:30 am Professional Development Workshops

Friday, August 2 8:00 am Closing General Session 10:30 am Area Meetings

6:00 pm Family Night


(512) 472-3128

Officers Tammy Christian, President

Terry Baize, Vice President


Ryan Pieniazek, Secretary/Treasurer

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


Profile for Texas Ag Ed

July 2019  

July 2019  

Profile for texasffa