NEWS A Texas Team Ag Ed Publication
Spotlight on Agriculture Education Shane Crafton, Henrietta
November is here, and like me, I’m sure you are finishing up with buying those last pigs, validating all of your animals for spring shows, and preparing to finalize all those stock show entries and plans. Leadership development teams are in full swing, and many of us are dealing with meat and fruit sales along with maybe a football concession stand or two. How do we accomplish all of this? Well, what I have learned over 27 years of teaching is that it will take a complete team effort, and I’m not just talking about us, our FFA students, and their parents. The team effort I’m referring to is everyone that is needed to have a successful chapter. First, it is important to build relationships that will make your job easier. Obviously our jobs are easier if we have good relationships with our school board, administrators, and the rest of the faculty where we work. This will make it easier to ask for help when we need help with transporting kids to contests, running stock shows, or simply sharing those kids so we can have time to practice for contests. I know we have all fought that battle. Another part of that team is teaching partners. I’ve had the same exceptional colleague, Tony Dunkerley, for 21 years. I know what he’s doing, and I know what I have to do before either of us does it. That doesn’t just happen overnight. You
have to build and maintain that kind of relationship. I now have a third teaching partner, and I’m sure it is harder on him because he has two relationships to build. Many of you don’t have teaching partners. If you are alone, that makes relationships with parents, students, and school employees that much more important. Does anyone feel like their spouse is part of the FFA team? They probably deserve an article all to themselves. Val and Cindy have been together as long as Dunk and I have been, transporting and chaperoning students to stock shows, conventions, banquets, and to any other place I had to have them delivered. These two ladies might be the team MVP’s, as I’m sure many of your spouses are. Finally, how about other school staff, secretaries, janitors, and transportation coordinators? I’ve been known to make a mess or two in my time, and I’ve noticed that when I arrive at school the next day, my building is clean and ready to go again, thanks to Tammy and Robert. Ed and Al always have the right transportation I need to get to the contest or show no matter when I need it and are always available to pick up class supplies. Mrs. Tyler and Mrs. Brooks have covered me time after time over the years when I lost a receipt, forgot to turn in a list
of students on a trip, or anything else I need to make my day go easier. As ag teachers we need to build relationships with all these team members to insure the success of our programs. Be sure to treat all of these individual with total respect and help them out when you can, because one day in the near future, you will need their help, and if that relationship is in place, they will help you make your program a success. These relationships will keep your program and students continuously in the spotlight. Without a doubt, it takes a team to build a successful ag program, and I’m extremely grateful for the team that surrounds me.
85th Texas Legislature Dead Ahead Barney McClure, VATAT Executive Director January 10, 2017 marks the beginning of the next 140 day session of our Texas Legislature. Most of the races were decided in the spring primaries, so we pretty much know who the players will be. Of course the Presidential race is soaking up all the media attention, but in reality, our legislature will probably impact our lives more than who sits in the White House. Please take some time in the next month to contact your State Representative and Senator to let him or her know who you are and what you are interested in. I am your designated lobbyist, but it is physically impossible for me to develop a relationship with the 181 men and women who represent our state. The big issue that will be addressed will be school finance. The Texas Supreme Court ruled earlier this year that our current plan is “constitutional, but flawed.” Efforts will be made to address some of the aspects that cause it to be flawed. It is my hope that CTE issues will be largely left alone, since the 83rd Legislature addressed and reinforced the importance of Career and Technical Education. Larger issues such as how districts will be funded, vouchers, and the reluctance to recognize the importance of the state minimum salary schedule will potentially affect us all. Again, a phone call or email is an easy way to open the door to your elected officials. I can tell you that every call or email from a constituent is logged and tallied. If these people never hear from anyone on an issue, they assume no one cares. Don’t be that person.
INSIDE THIS ISSUE
VATAT................................................................1 - 2 Texas FFA.............................................. ............4 - 5 Foundation....................................................6 Texas FFA Alumni................................................8 Young Farmers.............................................10 - 11
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UPDATE 89th National FFA Convention: Texas Rewind
Texas FFA Association
Texas agriculture students shined in national competitions hosted by the National FFA Organization at the 89th Annual Convention in Indianapolis, IN. Texas FFA members dominated agriscience fair competitions and made a solid showing in career development events and award competitions based on student supervised agricultural experience programs.
Elizondo Elected Western Region Vice President Trey Elizondo of Yoakum was announced as the national nominating committee’s choice for western region vice president in the waning moments of the 89th National FFA Convention’s final session and became the 30th Texan to serve as a national FFA officer, dating back 80 years, when Roy Martin of Cotulla became the first Texan national FFA officer in 1936. Elizondo is the first national officer from Texas since 2009, when Randa Braune of Bellville was elected. Elizondo served as an Area X officer. His SAE focused on beef production. He participated in livestock evaluation, chapter conducting, public relations, quiz and senior creed speaking. He will take a leave of absence from his studies at Texas A&M University where he is studying Agriculture Science.
National Agriscience Fair Texas members brought five national titles from the National FFA Agriscience Fair back to the Lone Star State. Stephenville and James Madison each had two national winners and Florence had one. Historically, Texas members have fared well in the national competition winning a new total of a record 77 Agriscience Fair national titles since the event’s inception in 1998. No state has ever won more agriscience championships than Texas. National Champions Animal Systems, Division 4 - James Madison Food Products and Processing, Division 3 - Florence Social Systems, Division 1 - Stephenville Social Systems, Division 2 - Stephenville Social Systems, Division 3 - James Madison
Career Development Events As a state, Texas boasted another strong showing in Indianapolis, capturing one national champion career development event title, and eight national runner-up titles. All together, Texans turned in 12 top-five finishes 4
this year out of the state’s 25 entries, which is 48% of total entries. Fourteen of the state’s 25 entries (56%) finished in the top ten, and 15 (60%) were rated as gold in the National FFA Organization’s three-tier, goldsilver-bronze, rating system. No Texas team finished as a bronze entry. Since 1928, 87 Texas entries have claimed national championships. Only California has won more national titles. Six states have never won a national FFA career development event in that time span. National Champions Poultry Evaluation - Ridge Point National Reserve Champions Agricultural Issues Forum - Canyon Ag. Tech & Mech Systems - Sandra Day O’Connor Food Science & Technology - Florence Horse Evaluation - Smithson Valley Marketing Plan - Madisonville Milk Quality Products - Klondike Prepared Public Speaking - Madisonville Veterinary Science - Byron Nelson
Proficiency Awards Texas won five national proficiency awards in Indianapolis. Out of the 11 Texans that advanced as finalists, the following were National Winners: National Champions Agricultural Services, Ent.- Canyon Beef Production, Placement - Schulenburg Home and/or Community Development - Canyon Outdoor Recreation, Ent./Placement - Pilot Point Small Animal Production and Care - Dawson
Membership Growth The Texas FFA Association was recognized for the nation’s top membership growth in an award ceremony that was part of the national delegate process. Texas FFA grew by 6,836 between membership year 2014-15 and 2015-16 and became the first state association in FFA history to surpass 115,000 in total membership. The Texas membership surge accounted for 38% of the National FFA’s 18,137-student membership growth. Texas FFA has grown by 41,569 members since 2009, in large part to a revision in the membership business model. 2016 marks the seventh consecutive year that Texas has recorded the top membership gain.
Model of Innovation
Honorary American FFA Degrees
Bullard FFA was named as the nation’s top entry in the National Chapter Award Models of Innovation Recognition. The nation’s top 10 three-star chapters in the student development division competed for the award. Austin-Lanier was also a finalist in the Models of Innovation Student Development Division and Weimar was a national finalist in the Community Development Division.
Nine Texas agricultural science teachers received the Honorary American FFA Degree at the 89th National FFA Convention. Ken Abney of Hardin-Jefferson, Rebecca Brummond of Magnolia, Karen Eaves of Hamshire, Tonny Hamby of Canadian, Elizabeth Holster Green of Silsbee, Cheryl Lynn Kinney of Wills Point, Raymond Ramirez of Alice, Michael Daniel Teague of Saltillo and John C. VanDevender of Buna received the highest honorary degree bestowed by the National FFA Organization. Other Texans receiving the Honorary American Degree were CyLynn Braswell of Justin, Mike M. Jarrar of Houston, Teresa Jimenez of Houston, Lisa Walker of Sunnyvale, and Clay Ewell of College Station.
National Chapter Awards Texas posted a great overall showing in the National Chapter Award, with 12 chapters earning three-star ratings in the three-tiered rating system that evaluates a chapter’s program of activities execution. Nine chapters earned a two star designation. Over the past few years, Texas chapters have begun to establish themselves as strong contenders in this national award program. National Chapter Award applications are evaluated by a state committee in June, with gold-rated applicants advancing to national judging held in late July and early August.
Outstanding State FFA Executive Tom Maynard, Texas FFA Executive Director, was named as the nation’s outstanding state FFA executive by the National Association of Supervisors of Agricultural Education at the organization’s annual conference and meeting held in conjunction with the 89th National FFA Convention and Expo.
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UPDATE Agricultural Education and The Big City Aaron Alejandro, Texas FFA Foundation Executive Director New York City! While at the 89th Annual National FFA Convention, I had the chance to visit the Hall of States. Because I think they “talk funny” and because they think I “talk funny,” I stopped by the New York FFA exhibit to learn more about their programs. I was greeted by two lovely young ladies and an older couple serving as chaperones. They told me New York state only had 89 FFA chapters and only one – that’s right one– in New York City. The New York City metropolitan region remains, by a significant margin, the most populous in the United States. Bottom line they eat a lot of food and should be more connected to agriculture. We could have great discussion regarding the dynamics of media content surrounding “food” that comes out of New York City and the limited input of agricultural expertise to support opinions, but we’ll leave that discussion for another day. What is interesting is that New Yorkers consume a lot of food by virtue of their size. So, the state has a healthy agriculture economy but seems to have some disconnect when it comes to agricultural education/FFA. With only one FFA chapter in New York City, the state is still robust in food production. For example, about 23% of New York State’s land area, or 7 million acres, is farmland. There are nearly 36,000 family farms. Agriculture is a major driver of the New York State economy and the State ranks high among the major agricultural states in the nation, ranking in the Top 10 in 30 commodities. It is the second largest producer of apples and maple syrup, second in cabbage and snap beans, third in grapes, grape juice and wine, and fourth in pears and dairy, which is the largest segment of the agricultural sector. What about the Lone Star State? Well, we are a food producing machine! Here’s a quick glimpse of our production: • Texas leads the nation in cattle, cotton, hay, sheep, goats and mohair production. • Texas leads the nation in number of farms and ranches, with 248,800 farms and ranches covering 130.2 million acres. • Texas has more women and minority farm operations than any other state in the nation. • Texas also leads the nation in value of farm real estate. • Rural lands, including privately owned forest, total 142 million acres, 84% of the state’s total land area. • 12% of Texas’ population resides in rural areas. 6
• 1 of every 7 working Texans (14%) is in an agriculture-related job. • 98.6% of Texas farms and ranches are family farms, partnerships or family-held corporations. • The average age of Texas farmers and ranchers is 58 years. • The economic impact of the food and fiber sector totals more than $100 billion annually. • Agricultural cash receipts, including timber, average $20 billion annually. With all this production, our agricultural education footprint is just as impressive. Texas ranks nationally both in terms of agricultural education programs and FFA membership. • 170,000 Students enrolled in agricultural science education courses in Texas • 116,000+ Texas FFA members (1 in 6 FFA members nationally now reside in Texas) • 1,050 local FFA chapters • 1,950 Agricultural Science Education Teachers Houston is the most populous city in Texas and the fourth-most populous city in the United States, located in Southeast Texas near the Gulf of Mexico. With a census-estimated 2014 population of 2.239 million within a land area of 599.6 square miles, it also is the largest city in the Southern United States, as well as the seat of Harris County. Even in a “Big City” our agricultural education footprint is impressive. The Area III FFA Association has 165 local chapters and 19,987 FFA members. Let’s drill that down a bit more. Agricultural education is well represented within the county of the 4th largest city in America. Harris County has 8,093 FFA members, 61 chapters and 187 teachers! Thank You Houston and Harris County for not only being great consumers but for having a dynamic agricultural education footprint in the Big City. It is important that FFA members and teachers are not only informed consumers, but that they are involved in the dialogue of farming and ranching. When people think FFA is only for the rural or suburban areas, our friends in Houston/Harris County have demonstrated we can be a part of the conversation. Here’s to our Big Cities and to the agricultural education programs that provide a foundation of information/education to have a more informed constituency. We may not be New York City, but hats off to the big cities in Texas who embrace agricultural education.
UPDATE Alumni Dues Liz Treptow, Texas FFA Alumni Member and Ag Teacher
Just as the Texas FFA Alumni Convention is held during Texas FFA Convention, the annual National FFA Alumni Convention is held each year during the National FFA Conventioion. During the annual meeting, alumni awards are handed out as well as official business is completed. This year official business consisted of National FFA Alumni Council elections, seven bylaw amendments and setting of the 2017-2018 annual and life dues. The following are the results of the seven bylaw amendments: • Amendment #1: removal of annual dues and moving to 100% Affiliation Fee – FAILED • Amendment #2: removing associate membership as a type of alumni membership if Amendment #1 passes – NO VOTE TAKEN SINCE #1 FAILED • Amendment #3: removing corporate partnership as a type of alumni membership – PASSED • Amendment #4: expanding the office of President-Elect candidates to include organization representatives and past National FFA Officers – FAILED • Amendment #5: increasing the number of Past National Officers on the council from 2 to 3 and extending their term to from 2 years to 3 years – FAILED • Amendment #6: new delegate process for the annual meeting – PASSED • Amendment #7: corrections/revisions/changes not previously covered by amendments 1 – 6 in this version of the Bylaws of the National FFA Alumni Association – PASSED • 2017-18 Dues: $10 Annual and $200 Life, that was amended to $150. • Ron Lynch (IL), President-elect from last year was elected President. As a Texas FFA Alumni member, if you ever find yourself looking for a unique, fun-filled activity during National FFA Convention then you must find your way to the National FFA Alumni Convention. We would love to have you represent Texas as an official Texas FFA Alumni delegate. You will not regret your decision. 8
FFA ALUMNI DUES Pay National Dues Now For Fiscal Year Sept 1 to Aug 31 & Texas dues deadline is February 15th
Pay at FFA.org
Would members of your Alumni chapter like to receive a copy of the VATAT News? If so, please send their first and last name along with their mailing address to email@example.com.
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UPDATE Notes From the Executive Secretary Don Beene, Texas Young Farmers Executive Secretary It is that time of year again, our dues deadline is upon us. Please email your roster (found at www. txyoungfarmers.org) to me and send the dues money and officer page through USPS. I ask that you provide correct mailing and email addresses that are legible. Email is how you will receive updates from the National Young Farmers Association. Through this process you also receive your NYFEA associate membership. I mention this now because as you read further through this letter you will notice other things about the National Association. I sincerely hope that as you look through this newsletter you are making plans to attend the 2017 Texas Young Farmer Convention in Gonzales, January 5-8. There is a copy of the registration form on the opposite page of the newsletter. The board has worked very hard to make this a memorable convention. They have planned some very interesting tours, excellent meals and entertainment. I also encourage each chapter to send two delegates to represent your membership.
All Texas Young Farmer contest information can be found on our website. We will be hosting a new event this year called Young Ag Leaders Education (YALE). This contest is open to graduating high school seniors or college freshman and sophomores. The winner of this contest will have the opportunity to compete at the National Young Farmer contest in Savannah, George, December 2017. In turn, that winner received an allexpense paid trip to Washington D.C. As a reminder, we need to raise at least $7,500 at this yearâ€™s Scholarship Auction. We have been coming up a little short the last two years, if this continues we will have to reduce the number of scholarships awarded each year. We still have the Basket Contest and hope that each chapter will bring an entry. This contest has a twofold purpose as it is a chance for your chapter to win some money, plus it will be sold in the auction to benefit our scholarships. Hotel accommodations are still available at two hotels. The Holiday Inn at $85 per night and Sleep Inn at $65 per night.
Thank You to Our Texas Young Farmers Sponsors
2017 Texas Young Farmer Convention January 5th – 8th, 2017 Gonzales, Texas Registration Form
Hotels: Sleep Inn & Suites; 2138 Water St., Gonzales, TX 78629; Phone 830-672-1888 Holiday Inn Express & Suites; 126 Middle Buster Rd., Gonzales, TX 78629; Phone 830-672-2777 Use Group Code: TYF17 or State Association of Young Farmers. Room Rate: Hotel “Convention Block” less than $100. NOTE: The Hotels do not have On-Line Registration, you must call and reserve your room. (Deadline is Dec. 21st.) Schedule: Complete Details at: http://www.txyoungfarmers.org/default.aspx?ID=4415 Thurs., Jan. 5th – 3pm – 5pm State Board Meeting. 7pm – 9pm Icebreaker and Mixer for everyone Fri., Jan. 6th – Breakfast at Hotel, Morning Tours, Lunch, Afternoon Tours. Dinner at Hotel (provided by TYF), Ag Olympics with additional activities. Sat. Jan. 7th – Breakfast at Hotel, Delegate Meeting, Business Meeting, Sponsor Appreciation Lunch, Scholarship Auction, Workshops, Awards Banquet and After Banquet Entertainment Registration Costs:
Early Bird Registration Deadline is December 1st.
Early Bird Registration is $125 Late Registration is $150 Registration includes: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner for Friday and Saturday; Thursday Mixer; Tours; Ag Olympics and After Banquet Entertainment. Friday Night (Does NOT include the Friday Meal but does include Ag Olympics) and Saturday Only is $75 before December 1st and $100 after December 1st . Friday Night Meal if arriving before Ag Olympics for Friday and Saturday Only Attendees - $14 each “YALE” Contest Participants - Early Bird Registration - $75 and $100 after December 1st Kids are $50 Painting with a Twist Workshop – participants will keep their projects - $10 (Registration required to get needed supplies) Register On Line at TYF website www.txyoungfarmers.org If a computer is not available, You can mail Registration Form and Registration Fees (payable to Texas Young Farmers to: Texas Young Farmers; 1694 LCR 256, Mexia, TX 76667 Early Bird Registration Deadline: December 1, 2016 Name(s): ____________________________________________ TYF Area: ______ TYF Chapter: ______________ Address: ___________________________________ City, State and Zip: __________________________________ Email Address: ____________________________________________ ____ Phone: (_____)______-_________ Early Bird Registration for January 5th - 8th $125 before Dec. 1st Late Registration for January 5th – 8th $150 after Dec. 1st Friday Night Meal (Fri/Sat Only Attendees) $14 each Friday Night - Ag Olympics & Saturday Only $75 before Dec. 1st Friday Night - Ag Olympics & Saturday Only $100 after Dec. 1st “YALE” Contest Participants $75 before Dec. 1st “YALE” Contest Participants $100 after Dec. 1st Child Registration (12 & Under) $50 Painting with a Twist – (Participant keeps project) $10
# _______ @ $ 125 = # _______ @ $150 = # _______ @ $14 = # _______ @ $75 = # ________ @ $100 = # ________ @ $75 = # ________ @ $100 = # _______ @ $50 = # ________ @ $10 = TOTAL DUE:
__________ __________ __________ __________ __________ ___________ ___________ ___________ ___________ ____________
Registration using a Credit Card can only be done using the On-Line Registration. For Help call Debi @ 940-389-4052. Paper Registration only accepts Check payments. (Must be included with Registration) 11
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Upcoming Events November
1st FFA Dues Deadline
1st Junior FFA Dues Deadline
1st Tarleton Invitational LDE Contest
2nd - 3rd State LDEâ€™s at Sam Houston State University
5th Aggiefest LDE Contest
11th - 12th VATAT Board Meeting, Austin
7th Late Priority Swine Tag Order Deadline 30th Last Day to Validate Swine
24th - Jan. 1st Team Ag Ed Offices Closed
5th - 8th Texas Young Farmers Convention, Bryan 9th Texas FFA Board Meeting, Austin 10th Texas FFA Foundation Board Meeting, Austin
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Officers Shane Crafton, President
Michael Meadows, Vice President
Tammy Christian, Secretary/Treasurer
Staff Barney McClure, Executive Director
Ashley Dunkerley, Communications
Karen Jones, Membership Services