NEWS A Texas Team Ag Ed Publication
Terry Baize, Hamilton
Just when you think you cannot possibly get any busier, it happens. I am sure you are as busy as I am training LDE teams, supervising SAEs, and getting your sheep and goats validated. Add the new responsibilities of getting gilts registered by December 1 and uploading registration papers, and it has made for a very busy month of October! Oh, and donâ€™t forget the responsibility of teaching class. The life of an ag teacher is a demanding one. This month's mentor I am going to write about is Ronnie Partain. Ronnie was a long-time teacher in Hico and finished his career working with aspiring agricultural science teachers at Tarleton State University. Ronnie was the mentor who taught me ALL students matter. He was so good at working with the kids no one else really wanted to bother with. Ronnie taught to me purposely include them. Ronnie passed away in 2007, but I will forever be grateful for what he taught me. It is so easy to put all of our efforts into the top group of kids; the ones who are our top judging or leadership team members; the ones who want to go to all of the conventions and meetings; the
kinds of students who are going to be our scholarship applicants at the conclusion of their high school tenure. It is natural to want to spend all our efforts with this group. There is another group of students who desperately need, and quite honestly deserve, our attention as well. This is the group of students Ronnie taught me to appreciate and to value. They are not our top students. They are never going to be scholarship applicants, but they make up the majority of the students in your classes. I remember talking to Ronnie on several occasions and he would be telling me about all the things he was doing with these students. He always had the best ideas of how to involve these students, and most importantly, how to make them feel valued. I resolved to be like him. One of the ways I have tried to do this is to have a wellrounded program that does not specialize in any one event. Our program, in Hamilton, has always strived to provide a wide variety of activities in which our students can participate in. Not every student is going to exhibit an animal, be on an LDE or CDE team, or attend the
meetings and conventions the FFA has to offer, but many will find something they like to do, if we only invite them. One of my greatest pleasures as an ag teacher is to watch the results as these students start to find their niche and thus their success. Success is a great motivator and once a student gets a taste of it, they want more. Some of the most successful students we have had in Hamilton were from this group. I often have other Hamilton teachers ask me how I was able to get a student to be so successful when they could never get anything out Continue on page 2
Notes From the Executive Director Ray Pieniazek, VATAT Executive Director
“Look, that's why there's rules, understand? So that you think before you break 'em.” - Terry Pratchett, Thief of Time This quote relates to the countless rules we must follow daily as ag teachers. I have received several calls over the past couple of months regarding school policy. Unfortunately, many teachers I spoke with were not aware of the policies in question. How do you find out what policies exist, or what policies do not exist? One quick way is to ask the right administrator or secretary. Sometimes, the best way may be to ask a seasoned teacher in your school who completes similar tasks as you. Another option is to go to your school website and search for district policies. You must find a way that works for you and your school district. Early in my teaching career, I found a policy that gave our students two days for extracurricular activities at the state level. It surprised our district attendance clerk since she did not know the policy. It pays to know policy so you can use it to your advantage. Unfortunately, you can’t always trust your administrator to know what your district policies are. It is necessary to look them up for yourself or ask someone at the district level. Here are some policies to look up to ensure you are following correctly: • Travel (Local, In-State, Out of State) • Social Media • Lesson plans • Contact Outside of School with Students • Family Education Rights and Privacy Act • Your Absences from School • Financial (Budgets, Fundraisers, Money) • Contacting School Board Members • SAE Supervision Expectations • FFA Policies and Rules For example, have you ever had your students peer grade papers? Or have them call out their scores after they are done grading? Both actions have the potential to violate the FERPA. It can also be a violation to leave your grade book out or open on your computer where others can see. I urge you to think each time you get ready to do 2
something. If you make a mistake, how will you defend your actions? If you do have an incident where you unintentionally break policy, in some cases it may be safe to admit you broke the rule because you were not aware of the policy. Sometimes you may only get a slap on the wrist and be told not to do it again; but in other cases, it you may have to call the VATAT for guidance. The good news is we are always here to do our best to help. Agricultural science teachers have many rules to follow since we deal with students in so many different situations. We are with them 24 hours a day in so many cases. Always have the student’s best interests in mind when making any decision. Keep up the great work in influencing the young minds that you are developing.
of them. My answer is I gave them a chance; a chance to be successful; a chance to feel valued; a chance to be a part of something. I am not claiming to have the magic bullet for student success, because I can assure you, I have had my share of disappointments. I still believe most kids want to be successful and to be a part of something. I will forever be in debt to Ronnie Partain for teaching me this. If you need a mentor, I implore you to find one. One thing I know is ag teachers are a family and families help each other. You are not alone. All of us have been where you are. I will close with a quote Hamilton superintendent Clay Tarpley says to us every year at the end of our first day of school inservice, “Do your job, act right, and have fun.” See you next month from the range.
INSIDE THIS ISSUE VATAT.......................................1 - 3 Texas FFA...............................6 - 7 Young Farmers......................10- 11
Ecology Conservation & Management Certification
Certification Lessons Lesson 1: Ecological Principles Lesson 2: Wildlife Management Lesson 3: The North American Model of Wildlife Conservation Lesson 4: Wildlife Population Ecology Lesson 5: Wildlife ID Series Lesson 6: Principles of Habitat Conservation & Management Lesson 7: Forests: Conservation & Management Lesson 8: Grasslands: Conservation & Management Lesson 9: Wetlands: Conservation & Management Lesson 10: Wetlands: Ecosystem Goods & Services Lesson 11: Waterfowl Ecology Lesson 12: Waterfowl: Conservation & Management
Related Courses Forestry & Woodland Ecosystem Wildlife, Fisheries & Ecology Management
The Ecology Conservation & Management Certification, developed in collaboration with Ducks Unlimited, verifies that students have obtained exceptional knowledge and skills in the areas of ecological principles and wildlife management, as well as habitat, forest, grasslands wetlands and waterfowl conservation management. The certification consists of 12 modules and a 100-question final certification exam.
• Identify ecological systems, and evaluate methods of monitoring and sustaining ecosystems. • Discuss the benefits of wildlife management, define habitat and habitat components, and identify wildlife management techniques. • Understand The North American Model of Wildlife Conservation, analyze the importance of wildlife conservation, and identify various agencies and laws pertaining to wildlife conservation. • Explore characteristics of wildlife populations, and analyze the factors affecting them. • Identify various wildlife species, including game and upland birds, waterfowl, predators and furbearers, as well as non-game animals. • Learn common terms and habitats for game and upland birds, waterfowl, predators and furbearers, as well as non-game animals. • Compare and contrast different habitats, and apply different management techniques to habitats.
Define the different forest, grasslands and wetlands components, discuss the benefits they provide, and identify different techniques for conservation.
Learn the general biology of waterfowl species, understand how waterfowl interacts with and responds to the environment, and define the energy requirements of waterfowl.
Identify the different techniques of waterfowl conservation, and discuss the benefits that waterfowl provide.
Certification vouchers may be purchased for $30 each. “It’s important that students understand not only the conservation and ecology of wildlife and wildlife habitat, but also their personal roles as future stewards.” Mark Horobetz Manager of Youth and Education Programs Ducks Unlimited
Learn more at:
www.icevonline.com/ecology Agricultural Science 3
THIS LEADERSHIP DEVELOPMENT EXPERIENCE FOR SENIORS WILL HELP GRADUATING FFA MEMBERS LEARN HOW TO APPLY WHAT THEY HAVE LEARNED IN THE FFA JACKET TO THEIR POST-SECONDARY EDUCATION OR THE WORKFORCE. EXECUTING WITH EXCELLENCE WILL BE A ONE-DAY EXPERIENCE HELD IN CONJUNCTION WITH THE MADE FOR EXCELLENCE AND BUILDING EXCELLENCE CONFERENCES. IT'S OPEN TO ALL TEXAS FFA SENIORS.
TEXAS A&M UNIVERSITY-KINGSVILLE - 12/2/19
STEPHEN F. AUSTIN UNIVERSITY - 01/13/20 ANGELO STATE UNIVERSITY - 11/04/19
TEXAS A&M UNIVERSITY-COMMERCE - 11/11/19
A POST-FFA SPRINGBOARD FOR SENIORS
WEST TEXAS A&M UNIVERSITY - 10/21/19
THIS CONFERENCE IS FACILITATED BY ZIGLAR YOUTH CERTIFIED SPEAKERS AND FOCUSES ON SELF-IMAGE, RELATIONSHIP BUILDING, AND GOAL-SETTING. BUILDING EXCELLENCE IS A ONE-DAY EXPERIENCE OPEN TO ALL TEXAS FFA MEMBERS IN THEIR JUNIOR YEAR OF HIGH SCHOOL AND WILL BE HELD IN CONJUNCTION WITH THE MADE FOR EXCELLENCE AND EXECUTING WITH EXCELLENCE CONFERENCES.
A GENERATION ZIGLAR EXPERIENCE FOR JUNIORS
MIDWESTERN STATE UNIVERSITY - 11/18/19
LEADERSHIP STARTS WITH THE INDIVIDUAL. THIS PROGRAM FOCUSES ON PERSONAL GROWTH AND CAPITALIZES ON THE WISDOM, COURAGE, AND STRENGTH STUDENTS NEED TO BE SUCCESSFUL AS INDIVIDUAL LEADERS. MADE FOR EXCELLENCE IS A ONE-DAY EXPERIENCE OPEN TO ALL SOPHOMORE TEXAS FFA MEMBERS AND WILL BE HELD IN CONJUNCTION WITH THE BUILDING EXCELLENCE AND EXECUTING WITH EXCELLENCE CONFERENCES.
PRAIRIE VIEW A&M UNIVERSITY - 10/07/19
A PERSONAL GROWTH EXPERIENCE FOR SOPHOMORES
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What ag education classes do you teach? Principles of Agriculture, Food, and Natural Resources, Agricultural Mechanics and Metal Technologies, and Food Processing.
What advice would you give a first-year teacher? Hang in there, it gets easier. Also, try to pace yourself. There is only one you, and you can only do so much.
Why do you teach ag? I teach ag because I grew up with a strong agriculture background and I believe that it is important to teach our youth to be advocates for agriculture.
Whatâ€™S your favorite classroom memory? My favorite classroom memory is when one of my students told me that "forcing" the class to do public speaking ended up being the reason he was able to get a job. He said he was shy, and it helped him to get over his fear of talking in front of people.
What is your favorite FFA memory? My favorite FFA memory was the first time I had a team make it to the state milk quality contest. The students had worked so hard and we all were so excited that it paid off.
Why do you believe that ag education is so important? I feel that since fewer people are directly involved with production agriculture, it has caused several generations to not really understanding what agriculture is. Ag education is a way we can teach students about this important subject and prepare them to be supporters and advocates for agriculture.
Do you have advice on balancing work/home life? Pick a time that you want to be home and tell yourself you must walk away from work when the time comes. This is especially important when you have children of your own.
UPDATE Former Member Finds Opportunities Lani Pieper, Texas FFA News Staff
Former Waxahachie FFA member, James Mismash, is pursuing his passion for politics with a proactive ambition for change. “Policy can have such a unique, yet grand impact on such a large amount of people,” said Mismash. “Since that realization, I have focused my studies, work, and extracurriculars on how politics of the past and present affect the people of the world.”
“I worked with the Texas House of Representative’s top policy experts during the [this past session] interim and was able to work on a few unique research projects,” said Mismash.
As a Government and History double major, Mismash hopes improvements can be made for the future of Texas policy. Since graduating from high school in 2017, Mismash has interned with the Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation and Institute, Texas Legislative Budget Board, the Office of the Texas Speaker of the House and is currently a Budget Fellow with the Office of the Governor of Texas.
“If Democrats and Republicans alike continue to be more and more willing to converse and debate, then ideally our policy will improve,” Mismash said. “My hope for the Texas government is that the citizens feel stronger senses of responsibility and that civic engagement rises. The more that vote and let their voices be heard, the more likely it is that policy will reflect the people's wishes.” 7
YOUR PRINT CAN WIN THE COMPETITION, TOO.
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Proud Supporters of Texas FFA
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 dish.com/FFA
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 DISHâ€™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.
UPDATE Notes From
Sandra Choate, Texas Young Farmers Executive Secretary
Greetings Ag Ed Family! I would like to first take a minute to introduce myself as the new Texas Young Farmer Executive Secretary. I have been actively involved with the Young Famer organization my entire life. My father had a Young Farmer Chapter when I was growing up. When I started teaching agriculture science my teaching partner and I started a Young Farmer Chapter to support our FFA chapter’s growth and participation. When I went to work in industry, I had the privilege of working for one of our major sponsors. I am now back in the classroom – a science classroom, so when this position came open, I felt a strong pull to apply. When Mr. Pieniazek called and offered me the job I was elated! By now many of you may have realized my identity. I am Don Beene’s daughter, Barry Choate’s wife, Hunter Choate and Tanner Kiker’s mom and, as of Halloween, Jordin Choate’s Mumzi. I am Sandra Choate, and I am more than excited to serve as the Texas Young Farmer Executive Secretary. When I applied for this position, I knew there needed to be a purpose for my leadership. That purpose is Agriculture Advocacy. Advocacy for the full-time producer working for the big name companies to produce the bulk of our food and fiber, advocacy for the part-time producer working to hold on to the family heritage and remain rooted in agriculture, advocacy for our FFA members to secure the future of agriculture, and advocacy for all aspects of agriculture to educate adults about who we are and why we are important! We must start our advocacy on the chapter level by getting involved, active, and vocal in our communities. On the area level we can spread our message to those who perhaps do not live and work in the trenches of agriculture. Finally, we 10
must work together on the state level. A huge shout out to the Area IX Young Farmer Organization officers pictured below, who plan and execute an area banquet to bring our members together to grow and learn from each other.
I would like to take this opportunity to invite you to join us in Denton January 8-10, 2020 for the TxYFA State Convention. You will have the opportunity to... • See the agriculture of in the Denton County area during our industry tours. • Gather information about various agriculture industries during our workshops on Saturday. • Learn about the goods and services offered by our sponsors • Fellowship with others in our industries, both full time and part time • Support the FFA members of Texas by supporting our scholarship auction! For more information visit our website www. txyoungfarmers.org or email me txyfaes@gmail. com.
Thank You to Our Texas Young Farmers Sponsors THERE CAN’T BE A GAME WON WITHOUT A GAME PLAN See what Texas FFA students have to say at mytexasffa.org
KOOPMANN CATERING SCHULENBURG, TX 979-561-6272 firstname.lastname@example.org
GET TO KNOW TODAY’S TEXAS FFA
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The Texas FFA Supporters Easily stay save 10% or more off BAR* at over 9,000 locations across 20 iconic brands connected and share the Texas FFA1000028580 story Book today at wyndhamhotels.com and use Corporate Code or call 800-407-9832 and ask for the Texas FFA Supporters discounted rate online VISIT MYTEXASFFA.ORG TO DOWNLOAD IT TODAY 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.
614 E. 12th Street Austin, Texas 78701
Upcoming Events November
1 Fall Texas FFA Roster Deadline
1 Texas FFA Junior Roster Deadline
9th - 12th Texas Young Farmers Convention, Denton
1 - 7 Late Priority Swine Tag Orders (Major Shows)
8 - 9 VATAT Board Meeting
6th Texas FFA Board Meeting, Austin
30 Last Day to Validate Swine
7 Swine Validation Materials Deadline (Major Shows) 13 - 14 State LDEs
7th Texas FFA Foundation Board Meeting, Austin
Officers Terry Baize, President
Ryan Pieniazek, Vice President
Traylor Lenz, Secretary/Treasurer
Ray Pieniazek, Executive Director Ashley Dunkerley, Communications Karen Jones, Membership Services Tori Rosser, Special Projects