NEWS A Texas Team Ag Ed Publication
Tammy Christian, Penelope
It’s stock show season, I am on week #4 of stock show duty. I have Fort Worth and our county show in my rearview mirror and I am currently on week #2 of San Antonio. I am sure many of you may have more than that. The legislative session is underway and our reports from Barney indicate we should be cautiously optimistic some good things will come from this session. I hope you have had a chance to review the new and updated industry certification list on the TEA website and shared your comments on those. Conference planning is underway; Barney, Karen, Ashley and Tori work really hard to insure our conference is a good one. It’s also National FFA week, it is fun to see what chapters are doing to celebrate and all of the memories and posts on social media. Continuing my journey, I was convinced teaching was not for me. I turned in my resignation but completed my contract and attended the FFA Convention in El Paso with four of my students. I was unsure what I would end up doing but determined I would find something. I worked on my resume and started putting in applications. I worked a minimum wage job in a small warehouse near Penelope, doing assembly line type work. I must admit, I enjoyed that job! It was nice going to work and leaving it behind at the end of the day. In my search, I dropped by my local farm bureau office in Hillsboro, one of the agents there started
talking to me about becoming an insurance agent. It sounded like an opportunity I might enjoy. In December of 1991 I started as Insurance Agent for Hill County Farm Bureau. I enjoyed my work there, visiting with old acquaintances and meeting new ones. Writing auto and casualty insurance and property insurance came easily but life insurance was more difficult. As I neared my one year anniversary, I started to realize I missed teaching. I missed the students and I missed what we all do as an ag Teachers. I told my agency manager I appreciated the opportunity and everything he had done to help me, but my heart was leading me back to teaching ag. I tell people the move from teaching to insurance agent was expensive but, it may have been the best move I ever made because it helped me realize what I truly wanted to do. I was ready to acquire any additional certifications or whatever I needed to do to be an ag teacher. To be continued… This stock show season I have taken the opportunity to observe, visit, listen and do some thinking. The stock show industry in Texas has grown a great deal during my career. Stock shows offer many opportunities, including a wide array of contests for students. It would be interesting to know the amount of money that is associated with the industry between the animals, feed, supplies, equipment, entry fees, accessories and all things that go along with it.
As stock shows have evolved, I am a bit saddened. We have lost sight of their purpose and reason they began. I sometimes feel like it is no longer about the kids. As ag teachers, we have a large margin for error in our business. Make good choices, encourage good ethics and do not abuse the opportunity. Do not forget shows are only a part of what we do. Schools support us in this venture, so it is our responsibility to maintain our classroom duties and uphold the reputation of our schools and programs. As you travel to Houston and CDE events in the coming weeks, be safe. We have a lot of road time ahead of us. There is a light at the end of the tunnel and it is approaching rapidly. Keep your chin up and stay positive!
William T. Woody: A Life of Service Barney McClure, VATAT Executive Director
On December 18, 2018, retired agriculture teacher William T. Woody passed away at the age of 80. If you entered the profession in the last twenty years, your career didn’t overlap with his. You might remember him from the VATAT Credit Union booth, or as a volunteer at the Heart of Texas Fair and Rodeo. His career in agricultural education and FFA began in the 1950s in Gainesville. He served as a state FFA officer in 1959-60. Following college at Sam Houston, he began a 37 year career as an agriculture teacher with the last 35 years at Lorena High School. I gathered some data concerning his career, although I knew some of the facts, I was unaware of others. He coached 19 state champion teams spanning four decades, taught three students who became state officers, mentored 75 state degree recipients, and taught 12 American degree recipients. The entire time he marked these milestones, his wife Sue was always by his side, supporting him every step of the way. He always credited her as being instrumental to his success. Their two children, Bill and John David followed in their dad’s footsteps as agricultural educators. In addition to all the teaching accomplishments, Mr. Woody was an active volunteer both in and outside his community. He served as Lorena PTA president, two-time president of the McLennan County TSTA, a city councilman, mayor of Lorena, and VATAT President at the district, area, and state levels. In addition, he served on the Texas and National FFA Board of Directors, was chairman of the VATAT Credit Union board of directors, served as chairman of the Lorena United Methodist Church board, and served on the school board at Lorena I.S.D. I know I haven’t listed everything he accomplished, but there are space limitations, even for an article like this. To me, as a teacher in Area 8, I viewed Mr. Woody as not only one of the most successful teachers in our Area, but one of the most helpful and accommodating. I looked at him as one of the teachers I wanted 2
to emulate and as an example on how to lead young people. I saw him go out of his way to offer assistance to younger teachers who wanted to learn how to better coach a chapter conducting or dairy foods team. His example of how to be a good husband, father, agriculture teacher, FFA advisor, and servant leader made our profession better. R.I.P. Mr. Woody.
INSIDE THIS ISSUE VATAT.......................................1 - 3 Texas FFA....................................4 Alumni....................................5 Young Farmers........................8 - 9
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What ag education classes do you teach? Principles of Agriculture, Food, and Natural Resources, Floral Design, Veterinary Medical Applications, Agricultural Mechanics and Metal Technologies, Wildlife, Fisheries, and Ecology Management and Livestock Production. Why do you teach ag? I teach agriculture because agriculture is my life. I was raised on a farm and agriculture has always been a part of my life. My parents Sidney Beard and Esther Beard, who is now 91-years-old, instilled good work habits in all their five children. I have chopped and picked cotton, worked at a cotton gin, hauled rice, worked cattle and fixed fence. Even though, when I was in high school girls were not allowed to be in FFA, I was active in 4-H. I found that agriculture education was where I wanted to focus my career. I believe that there is no other job that could be as rewarding as being an agriculture science teacher. The friends that I've met and the students that I've taught are priceless. Many of my students tell me that I know everyone, well not everyone, but over the past 40ish years I've met a few.
What’S your favorite classroom memory? Being named our school’s Teacher of the Year in 2002, being a finalist for the entire district’s Teacher of the Year and having the new agriculture facility named in my honor. What is your favorite FFA memory? My students winning the state floriculture contest the year that I was battling cancer.
What advice would you give a first-year teacher? Don't try to do everything, get the students involved and be good at a few things in the beginning and broaden your horizons later. People will remember you for what you did well, just as they will remember you as the one that bit off more that they could handle.
Why do you believe that ag education is so important? One year, during freshmen orientation students were stopping by my room. The leader told them that this was the FFA part of the building. One student said, "What is FFA?" Another answered him. Then he responded, "I don't want to be a farmer.” I had to comment on his remark. I ask him “son, where did that cotton shirt that you have on come from, or where do the chicken nuggets that you like come from?” Yes, I told him they come from the farmer. I believe all students, especially suburban students, need to take Principles of Agriculture. Too many of them take agriculture for granted. Do you have advice on balancing work/home life? Family comes first. Many ag teachers are with their students more that with their own children. There must be a balance, or both suffer.
UPDATE Record Book Keeping Tips Tammy Glascock, Texas FFA SAE Coordinator
1. Designate one day per week for students to work 8. Incorporate The AET mobile app. This is great for on record books.
2. Watch The AET tutorial videos to stay on top of technology updates.
The AET curriculum and practice sets to teach students how to keep record books.
4. Become familiar with common financial terms. 5. Develop and utilize a grading system for record books.
6. Post activities on a board or a classroom calendar
so students know what your chapter is participating in locally and on the district, area and state levels so they can enter the events as they participate.
regular SAE visits and take pictures of students while they are engaging in their projects.
teachers to take notes while making SAE visits and great for students who are on the go.
the buddy system so students can work together to develop their record keeping skills.
Provide students with examples of completed record books from former students who had similar SAE projects. Remember these are for reference only, do not plagiarize.
Make friends with your technology department to ensure that all computers and internet are functioning properly and can handle the data space.
12. Utilize paper copies as a backup. 13. Donâ€™t be afraid to ask fellow teachers assistance.
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UPDATE Texas FFA Alumni News Kelly White, Texas FFA Alumni President
The following is an article that I submitted a while back. I felt it appropriate to include in this newsletter after hearing pros & cons of a “Support Organization,” aka FFA Alumni & Supporters Affiliate, Booster Club, or Young Farmers. The italicized statement below was included in a letter titled “Headache or Handshake” I handed out at the program where I would begin my teaching career. Why did I do this? There was discord amongst the supporters group, bickering about how things were done, and who was responsible. Major personality conflicts happened and spread to the students. It was like a soap opera looking from the outside in. Sometimes it was even comedic. But why did a 23-year-old have to be a referee to adults/supporters? The letter began like this: “Webster defines boost as to raise or lift by pushing up from behind or below.” I added “It does not mean to put down or hold back.” I mentioned that if they could not support the program, there may be a need for this “Booster Club” to disband. I passed the letters out and I asked that they take the time to read the words that I had written and I would be glad to discuss more of my expectations for this group and their children. And the discussion began… We discussed the direction we wanted to go and the steps it would take to get us there. We talked about how we needed to forget the negatives, focus on the positives and build upon them. We started talking about fundraising, the local chapter show, and what major shows that we would attend. I thought things were going well. Don’t get me wrong- we did not break out and sing “Kumbaya” or anything like that. But I felt that we were accomplishing something. But not everyone was happy with my letter. A slight minority (note slight) openly asked who I thought I was talking to them the way I did and they had children my age. I bit my tongue, said nothing, and soon the meeting adjourned. There
was still a split in the group. I did not accomplish what I had set out to do. Or did I? The next meeting would be the determining factor. The next month, the meeting was called to order. The room was divided into cliques. The opposition related back to my letter and asked about how to go about disbanding the group. It took me by surprise when the group was disbanded in the first few minutes of that meeting. Even those I felt had supported me voted in favor of disbanding, but what happened next was astounding. One of those who supported me stood up and stated “I do not need a name or a title to support an organization that means so much to my children and does so much for them in the long run. Mr. White, if you need me to bake a cake to raise money, I will. I will work in the concession stand like I have for years. I am here for the FFA kids. I do not need a title!” You may call your support group an FFA Alumni & Supporters Affiliate, Young Farmers, or a Booster Club, but hopefully you call it an FFA Alumni & Supporters Chapter or Affiliate. Either way, tell them how much you appreciate their support of you & your program.
THERE CAN’T BE A GAME WON WITHOUT A GAME PLAN See what Texas FFA students have to say at mytexasffa.org
UPDATE Notes From
Bob Young, Texas Young Farmers Executive Secretary
Ahh, spring is in the air. At least some days and then it is winter again. Just as weather can be unpredictable, so can our schedules. This is especially true when your livelihood is connected to the weather. We all realize this, because we are involved with the greatest industry on earthagriculture. Many times, we do not know from day to day exactly what is in store for us, making life as an agriculturist extremely challenging. It is evident in the daily lives of ag teachers, farmers and ranchers, and agri-business people we may have to change plans, alter work schedules, or even redo something to make things right in our worlds. Do unpredictable circumstances help or hurt us? They can definitely cause us to make occasional mistakes in judgment. I believe having to “think on our feet” has tremendously positive effects upon our daily lives. We can practice the art of reasoning- probably the greatest example of the use of “common sense” in our lives. Regardless of the variations of circumstances we face every day, we must realize life is a series of decisions and judgments. Folks involved in agriculture have numerous occasions to practice dealing with unpredictability. Be it weather, world issues, actions of other people, or anything else, we should consider these situations as learning tools to enrich our lives. Agriculturists definitely get a lot of practice at it, huh? Now to a Texas Young Farmer success story. Congratulations to the Gonzales Young Farmer Chapter. 2018 Outstanding Chapter of the Year Award: The Gonzales Young Farmer’s educational and community activities have been strong and continuous over their 61 years of existence. Educational programs are a strong emphasis for the chapter as a way to expand their knowledge of agriculture, agricultural practices and the 8
community in general in an atmosphere of fellowship. The chapter started the year with Investigator Sean Newlin of the Gonzales Sheriff’s Office and Investigator John Brumme of the Gonzales County Attorney Office giving a presentation on Agriculture and Rural Crime Prevention. In October the chapter cosponsored, with the Beef Committee, the Gonzales County hay show. The quality of hay across our county was outstanding. Dr. Joe Paschal of the Agri-Life Extension Service gave a presentation on beef cattle production and understanding the results from the hay test. The January meeting was an overview of the NYFEA Institute in Savannah, Georgia, and the State Convention held in Kerrville. They discussed the tours and happenings on both a State and National level. Health was the topic of discussion for the March meeting. Holly Danz, with the Gonzales Healthcare System gave a presentation about the improvements and advancements to the rural Gonzales Healthcare Facility. In April member, veteran and Veterinarian Dr. Susan Miller. Susan gave a program on her military service in Asia as an Army Veterinarian and the work she did with their livestock. In May, Gonzales Young Farmers heard from their local FFA members about the year. Community service is another area that the Gonzales Chapter has had a long and storied tradition. In order to fund community service projects, the chapter has a Super Bowl and 5th Sunday BBQ sale as well a yearlong gun raffle. This year they worked with the Gonzales FFA Chapter selling barbeque tickets, donating the profit raised back to them to support the Gonzales and Waelder stock shows and scholarships. The Gonzales Chapter has always donated money to help the Pilot Club with their Project Graduation event, but this year in addition to the financial support, several Young Farmer members
helped chaperone the all night event. The most expansive community service project is their work with the BAMC Fisher Houses. Members of the chapter traveled to San Antonio twice this past year to cook a full barbecue meal for the wounded soldiers and their families who are rehabbing at BAMC. This is quite a rewarding project, and is just a little showing of their appreciation to our soldiers for their dedicated service to our nation. Gonzales FFA is included in this project, helping slice brisket and serve plates. The Gonzales Young Farmer’s realizes that agriculture is based on strong family values and fellowship, evident in three yearly events. In December the chapter holds a Christmas party and meal with a White Elephant exchange. In June chapter members and their families met for a fish fry. July was the awards banquet at the Gonzales VFW Post and the chapter was pleased to have Executive Secretary Bob Young on hand to discuss happenings with the State Association. The chapter was very active during the past year and continues to strive to build upon the success that has blessed the chapter in its long and storied history. And I leave you with this today from an unknown author: “Staying positive does not mean that things will turn out okay. Rather it is knowing that you will be okay no matter how things turn out.”
Thank You to Our Texas Young Farmers Sponsors
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Texas Young Farmers 2018 Outstanding Chapter of the Year Award:
The Gonzales Young Farmer Chapter 9
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Upcoming Events March
1 Spring Texas FFA Roster Deadline
1 VATAT Scholarship Application Deadline
1 State Officer Candidate Application Deadline
25 Texas FFA Board Meeting, Austin
15 Foundation Ambassador Application Deadline
23 Texas FFA Foundation Board Meeting
15 Texas FFA Convention Media Deadline
24 Ford Leadership Scholars Interviews
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