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NEWS A Texas Team Ag Ed Publication

May 2017

Spotlight on Agriculture Education Shane Crafton, Henrietta

Congratulation to all of you who have been crowned state champions in the past couple of weeks. I hope you realize what a tremendous accomplishment it is to be state champion of one of our Career Development Events and heading to Nationals later this year. Be sure to take time to consider the hundreds of other teams that are all looking at your kids in the spotlight. This month I would like to take time to discuss a subject that has been important to me ever since I signed on at Henrietta ISD. A good teaching partner is one of the most important necessities to have a successful agri-science program and FFA chapter. For the past 22 years, I have been blessed with a teaching partner who has way too many talents and accolades to be mentioned in this short article. He is a truly humble man who never puts himself in the spotlight, and as a matter of fact, tries to avoid recognition if at all possible. If I were a better teaching partner, I would respect his wishes and keep my mouth shut, but I’m not, so too bad. Tony Dunkerley (my teaching partner) is officially retiring at the end of the 2017 school year after 32 years of teaching Agriculture Science. What defines a good teaching partner? I would guess

we all have some idea of what the perfect teaching partner looks like. Well here’s mine. “Dunk” and I have taught for 22 of those years together, and I give him a lot of the credit for the ag teacher I have become. He has pushed me to be better than I would have ever been without him. He has taught this country kid more technology than I would ever admit to knowing. He has taught me the true meaning of what a teaching partner should be. As teaching partners we spend a lot of time together. Maybe too much if you asked our wives. We know exactly what each other is doing before it gets done. After 22 years, I know when the banquet gets here he will have the video ready and the invitations sent, and I will get the food, kid reservations, and the script ready to go, and we never even have to discuss it. “Dunk” does the roster and stock show entries, and I do the meat sale and plant sale. “Dunk” takes care of the American degrees and proficiencies, and I supervise the scholarships, and we both work with the kids on lonestars. I guess you could say we have grown comfortable with each other over the years. Change is hard, but we all face change in our lives. How we deal

with that change determines the kinds of individuals we are and will become. I feel like I will be starting over this next fall when school starts because a big piece of our department will not be there. However, the real losers in this are Henrietta ISD and our FFA chapter. They are losing a selfless individual who has been their biggest supporter, role model, motivator, and advocate for the past 32 years. They don’t make ag teachers like Tony Dunkerley anymore. I just feel extremely thankful and blessed our paths crossed when they did. Thanks “Dunk” for shining your light and showing me the way.


VATAT News

How Can You Evaluate Agriculture Programs?

Barney McClure, VATAT Executive Director In the course of developing materials for our new mentor program, the need for a realistic program assessment became apparent. There are many teacher evaluation instruments out there, and several program evaluation documents available. I looked at one that involved 63 pages of topics to be rated 1-5. While that type of instrument has value, I wonder how many teachers or administrators would take time to actually complete it. Our objective was to develop a useful, insightful, simple document that would actually be used. After working on our four page system, we realized it really followed the “three circle” model of agricultural education. The three circles include FFA, supervised agricultural experiences, and classroom instruction. It is not designed for a “gotcha” scenario, but to be an honest evaluation of where your program stands. Some will be things agriculture teachers have under their control, but also things that may be used to point out administrative shortcomings. These would be

things like adequacy of budget, proper class size, staffing, and other support strategies. No program will be deemed perfect, but after doing some self analysis as teachers, it may be a way to open a dialogue with the decision makers of your district. Most of the items on the instrument have to do with student opportunities, and most districts want to be perceived as doing at least as much as their neighboring districts. Please take a look at our program assessment instrument found on our website under “Teachers”, then “Resources” and the document can be found on the right side of the page. Please let me know how useful you think it might be.

INSIDE THIS ISSUE VATAT................................................................1 - 4 Texas FFA..............................................................6 Foundation......................................................8 Texas FFA Alumni.................................................9 Young Farmers.............................................10 - 11

Registration and Housing now open visit VATAT.org don’t forget to check your tenure When registering 2


VATAT News

The VATAT Legacy Endowment is a $50,000 donation towards the VATAT scholarship fund. Gordon Davis’ intention is to recognize individuals who have assisted in CEV’s mission of providing high quality teaching materials to our members. The first 30 names were announced in the February VATAT Newsletter, below you will find the Last 20 additions.

Last 20 HONOREES Mindy Brashears - Texas Tech University Jimmy Carter – Seymour High School Tim Closs – Naaman Forest High School Jennifer Edenfield - Brazosport ISD James Henderson - Snyder High School/Prime Dirt Erica Irlbeck – Texas Tech University Mac McAllister – Alvarado High School, CEV Mark Miller - Texas Tech University Joe Muller - Sam Houston State University Eddie Nichols – West Hardin High School John Pipkin - West Texas A&M University Ryan Rathmann - Texas Tech University Tobin Redwine - Lazbuddie High School, TAMU Stephen Scitern – Anson High School Joe Skinner – Naaman Forest High School Tim Tatsch – Hondo High School Mike Teague – Saltillo High School Don Topliff - Angelo State University Kevin Williams - West Texas A&M University Kermit Woolley – Spur High School

T hank You founder of

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VATAT News

vatat

MENTOR

program VISIT VATAT.ORG FOR MORE INFORMATION ON THE PROGRAM AND HOW TO APPLY

SEEKING RETIRED AGRICULTURE EDUCATORS TO ACT AS PROFESSIONAL MENTORS FOR THE 2017-18 SCHOOL YEAR

APPLICANTS SHOULD HAVE BEEN OUTSTANDING EDUCATORS THAT PUT ON BALANCED PROGRAMS, ARE RESPECTED BY THEIR PEERS, AND HAVE A PASSION FOR THE FUTURE OF OUR PROFESSION

WILL BE A PAID POSITION

VATAT ,

WALK OR CRAWL REGISTRATION LINK FOUND AT

VATAT.ORG

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MONDAY JULY 24, 2017

7AM

LOCATION TBD IN ARLINGTON, TX


VATAT News

2017

battle at the ballpark bbq cook-off PRESENTED BY RIVERSTAR FARMS

JULY 24, 2017 PIONEER ELKS LODGE 601 W. PIONEER ARLINGTON, TX

7AM MOVE IN – 10 AM COOKS MEETING – 2 PM FIRST TURN IN CATEGORIES: BEEF TRI-TIP, PORK SPARE RIBS, WHOLE CHICKEN, OPEN APPETIZER, OPEN DRINK, AND CAMPSITE. COMPETITION MEATS ARE PROVIDED

$100 ENTRY PER TEAM TEAMS ARE RESPONSIBLE FOR WATER, GENERATED POWER, APPETIZER AND DRINK INGREDIENTS AWARDS FOR 1ST PLACE IN EACH CATEGORY PLUS GRAND AND RESERVE CHAMPION (FOUR AWARDS FOR EACH WINNING TEAM)

TEAM NAME: MEMBERS:

PLEASE INCLUDE HOMETOWN OF EACH TEAM MEMBER

CONTACT INFO NAME AND PHONE NUMBER

: ENTRY DEADLINE: JULY 1

CALL BRIAN AT 1-800-662-8808 FOR DETAILS OR QUESTIONS

ALL PROCEEDS BENEFIT THE VATAT SCHOLARSHIP FUND.

Vocational Agriculture Teachers Association of Texas 5


VATAT News

UPDATE Texas Chapters Collect Wildfire Relief Texas FFA News

Fast-moving grass wildfires ravaged rural farm areas in several states, including Texas, this past March. Farmers, ranchers and many others lost livestock, equipment, buildings and much more. The fires were so severe, Gov. Greg Abbott issued a statement saying he was sending state resources to the area to assist in fighting the fires. The disaster created immediate need for large quantities of hay, feed, fencing materials and other supplies for local individuals who were affected by the fires. Since the fires subsided, many individuals have put together programs that offer relief to those affected and FFA chapters across the state have been helping any way they can.

Here’s just a sampling of the ways FFA chapters from across the state have been helping: • Rotan FFA and Roby FFA collected and donated cattle feed, fencing supplies, water and chapstick. • Gilmer FFA collected and donated t-posts and barbed wire. • Saltillo FFA, with the help of Tractor Supply and Priefert, collected donations and used chapter funds to send supplies, including a pallet of range cubes, eight bags of milk replacer, 16 calf bottles, t-posts, wire and clips. • Chisum FFA donated funds and supplies collected during their local show, as well as the proceeds from auctioning off a pair of custom spurs. • Chester FFA collected and donated 12 bags of milk replacer and two calf bottles. • Hico FFA and Iredell FFA hosted a “Sack of Cow Cubes” drive to collect cattle feed. 6

• North Lamar FFA is holding a team roping event on April 22, 2017 to raise funds. They are donating 70% of the profit to the Leflore Volunteer Fire Department who is helping producers replace livestock lost in the fires. • Graham FFA hosted a car wash and donated funds. • Nazareth FFA donated range cubes and aided locals who were affected by the fires by picking-up hay and feed for their livestock. • 2014-2015 Texas FFA Vice President Rhett Wilson, organized various opportunities for individuals and FFA chapters to donate funds and supplies. He then organized several trips to transport the materials to the panhandle fire victims. • 2014-2015 Texas FFA President Ryon Cox, along with Cox Concrete and Priefert, organized various opportunities for individuals and FFA chapters to donate funds and supplies. He then organized for the materials to be transported to the panhandle fire victims. These chapters are a wonderful example of how FFA members and chapters can embrace the idea of giving back by living out the final line of the FFA motto: Living to Serve.

Is your FFA chapter helping out? Let us know by emailing ashley@vatat.org.

How can you help? In an effort to help those who have been affected by this event, the Texas Farm Bureau has developed the Panhandle Wildfire Relief Fund. Visit texasfarmbureau.org for more information regarding how you can help. [Photos via Stover FFA Chapter, Missouri and Saltillo FFA]


VATAT News

SEPT. 29 - OCT. 22, 2017

TO LEARN MORE VISIT OUR WEBSITE

WWW.BIGTEX.COM

016_396B_2017_VATAT_03_Mar_R2.indd 1

2/28/2017 8:40:11 AM

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VATAT News

UPDATE Don’t Let the Tail Wag the Dog Aaron Alejandro, Texas FFA Foundation Executive Director Don’t let the tail wag the dog. An expression which refers to a situation where a minor or secondary part of something is controlling or dominating the whole or the main part. More definitively, the less important or subsidiary factor, person, or thing dominates a situation; the usual roles are reversed – this is referred to as “the tail that wags the dog.” Now, this couldn’t happen in an organization that practices “premier leadership” and “career success” … could it? The Bible has even a more definitive approach: “Where there is no vision … the people shall perish.” I’ve always believed, and have written many times, a fountain can only rise as high as its head. Leadership must have a clear vision, expectation and accountability of strategies and outcomes. Great organizational culture can be disrupted when leaders fail to lead and allow “the tail to wag the dog.” Leadership is situational and falls into three basic categories: autocratic, democratic and laisse faire. Depending on the situation, we exercise the appropriate leadership. When the wrong leadership is used or a “hands off” mentality prevails because we don’t like conflict or we don’t understand; problems can arise. Strong leaders know when to address a problem, recognize the root of the conflict, and move quickly, through collaboration or decision making, to resolve the problem. Whether it be the wonderful sponsors of the Texas FFA and the organizations they represent or teachers at the local level; we must pay attention and lead effectively or we could find “the tail wagging the dog.” What’s worse, the dog that’s attached could have “fleas” bringing an unhealthy culture not consistent with the standards of excellence the organization represents. In almost every case, what causes the “tail wagging the dog” is a result of leadership lacking clear direction and effective oversight or the fear of creating an unsatisfied customer who may take their business elsewhere. Often woven across each of these situations is a weakness across internal communications. Here are few tips to avoid a “tail wagging problem.” • Organizational Awareness - Know and understand when a parent, sponsor, vendor or stakeholder may hold an agenda counterproductive to the mission of the greater good. Be willing to address, confront or move on … if not, prepare for the tail to wag the dog. • Options - What are the options you must address, collaborate or curtail in an unhealthy business

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relationships or structure? Successful leaders and organizations have strong networks with viable options when situations may prompt us to make courageous changes to operations. • Lead - Simply put, we must lead. We must lead the vision, direction and expectations of an agricultural science / FFA program at the local level in collaboration with administrative and community expectations. In organizations, we must lead in setting the expectations, accountability and standards of board management, vendor relations and organizational culture. Failure to lead creates a “vacuum” where unhealthy elements can take hold and cause dysfunction, cost time resources and some cases financial resources, which many times could have been avoided by effective leadership, communication and collaboration. I love my dog “HB” (Hunting Buddy). He’s a big ol’ puppy and that tail it can wag and sometimes looks like it is “wagging the dog.” However, at the end of the day, he knows my expectations of behavior, performance and success; we get along great. As Texas agricultural science education and the Texas FFA promotes “premier leadership and career success,” let’s be sure we are empowering our students with effective leadership, communication and collaboration skills to succeed under a well-defined mission and strategy. Use examples and warn them of what happens when “the tail wags the dog.” Additionally, share the benefits of having healthy, successful and well-coordinated parent, administration, sponsor and vendor relations consistent with the vision, strategies and expectations of the successful organization.


VATAT News

UPDATE Texas FFA Alumni News Kelly White, Texas FFA Alumni President Money isn’t the most important thing in life,but it’s reasonably close to oxygen on the “gotta have it” scale. - Zig Ziglar This article wasn’t the easiest to begin writing due to the state of our State at this time. It is not a conversation to have at the dinner table with your spouse either. Times are tough! Money is tight! No one is going to just give you money…or will they? The Texas FFA Alumni is willing to give you money. But there are strings attached. But first about the money…

The Money Each year the Texas FFA Alumni gives out the following monetary awards. These include: four $500 scholarships; ten $500 local grants; we welcome the retiring Texas FFA State Officers into the Alumni by paying their Lifetime Alumni dues; and lastly we support the VATAT Conference’s Family Night with a $1,500 donation. The money that we give is raised at our Annual Alumni Auction held in conjunction with the Texas FFA Convention. Items such as scales, airline tickets, boots, retreats, FFA memorabilia, outdoor items, and much more is bid on and goes home with the fortunate bidder. FFA Alumni Affiliates/Chapters also contribute to our auction by entering in the Alumni Basket Contest (rules for the contest can be found on the alumni website). Texas FFA Alumni Scholarships must be submitted via the information found on the Texas FFA Alumni website. The selection and distribution of these scholarships are handled by the Texas FFA Alumni Governing Body. Please do not register for an Alumni Scholarship via Judging Card. What do you do to get a $500 grant? How must it be used? Be prepared to answer the following questions. What is your Project? What do you want to accomplish? What is your Plan of Action (who, what, when, where, why, how)? How will this project make an

impact on your members and/or program and be prepared to have an estimate of what your project will cost.

The Catch Now you are asking how do I get the free money and what is the catch? All a FFA chapter has to do to be considered for the above mentioned awards is to have an active local FFA alumni affiliate (minimum of 10 members to pay their annual state & national dues by February 1st) and to fill out the applications and have them into the Texas FFA Alumni Association by the June 1st deadline. Grants and scholarships have been denied because they did not meet the requirements or missed the deadline. Applications can be found on the Texas FFA Alumni website at www.texasffaalumni.ffanow.org. Register to get updates about the Texas FFA Alumni.

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. 9


VATAT News

UPDATE Notes From the Executive Secretary Don Beene, Texas Young Farmers Executive Secretary Spring is here, with its green fields, singing That afternoon we will travel to Comfort, Texas birds and nice weather. With that, you are just and visit the Bending Branch Winery. I have visited about to complete another school year. many wineries over the years, but our tour guide, Our committee has selected our scholarship Jennifer McInnis has more knowledge of grapes winners and we will be announcing those in next and the industry than anyone I have ever met. month’s newsletter. Following the winery, we will tour the Hill County Your state board has had its first planning Distillery, home of Cactus Moonshine. This will be meeting for the 2018 convention, which will be held a unique stop that you will enjoy. at the Inn of the Hills Resort in Kerrville, Texas. Saturday will include the scholarship auction, The event schedule will include an ice breaker workshops, contests and will end with our banquet. Thursday evening and educational tours on Friday. There will be delicious food, great fellowship and We will begin the tours at an aquaponics garden loads of fun. followed by a visit to The Market at Bridget’s The 2018 Texas Young Farmers Convention Basket where they specialize in locally grown tours will be unique and interesting. I hope you produce. I encourage you to ask her how she got will mark your calendar to attend January 4-8 in rid of the harlequin bugs on her radishes. I have Kerrville Texas. Hotel room rates are only $79 per been involved in agriculture my whole life, and her night. answer was a new one for me. I am not going to May your May be pleasantly remembered by give you the answer, but please ask. While there, well attended banquets, success at contests, and we will have lunch on Bridget’s beautiful property. most of all, one that is free of illness.

Thank You to Our Texas Young Farmers Sponsors

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VATAT News

Looking Forward: The 64th Annual Texas Young Farmers Convention

Above Photo: Aquaponics allow us to see the growth of plants without soil. All necessary nutrients are in the water. They have 13,000 plants in this house.

Join Us

Above Photo: Hill Country Moonshine - We will visit this distillery and see various flavors of moonshine. This will be a great place to visit.

These photos briefly show a few opportunities that await those who plan to attend the 2018 Texas Young Farmers Convention in Kerrville, Texas this January.

We want to encourage you to bring a basket to enter our annual basket contest. These baskets are judged and the Kelli Dunbar - Here is the person that has been top three are awarded a cash prize. The most important extremely helpful in making our plans for Kerrville. thing about the basket contest is that they are sold in the auction and the money goes into the scholarship fund. Thank you Kelli! 11


VATAT News

VATAT

614 E. 12th Street Austin, Texas 78701

Upcoming Events May

June

July

1st Begin Late Swine Tag Orders

1st State Public Speaking Entry Deadline

7th All Swine Validation Materials Deadline

1st State Officer Candidate Application Deadline

3rd - 6th State Leadership Conference

10th - 14th Texas FFA Convention

7th - 9th State Degree Check

23rd - 28th VATAT Professional Development Conference

9th Texas FFA Board of Directors Meeting 19th AgriScience Fair Entry Deadline

Contact www.vatat.org

(512) 472-3128

vatat@vatat.org

Officers Shane Crafton, President

Michael Meadows, Vice President

Tammy Christian, Secretary/Treasurer

Staff Barney McClure, Executive Director

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Ashley Dunkerley, Communications

Karen Jones, Membership Services

May 2017