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NEWS A Texas Team Ag Ed Publication

From

the

October 2019

Range

Terry Baize, Hamilton

In last month’s article I mentioned a mentor, Rick Cunnigham, who was very helpful to me in my career. Over the next few months you will see mentorship as one of the focuses of my articles. Each month I am going to pay homage to a teacher who acted as a mentor to me. For those of you who teach hunter education and the stages of development that a hunter goes through as they mature, you know that the last stage is giving back. I believe teachers, as we mature in our careers, also reach this stage. Mentorship is so important. As I think back over my career, there is no way that I could have had the longevity in teaching that I have had without the teachers that mentored me. Not everyone mentored me in the same way, and I learned something different from each one of them. Most of these teachers probably never really considered themselves to be a mentor to me but their instruction and encouragement have proven to be of tremendous value. As an association, we are also addressing this issue of mentorship with the VATAT Professional Mentor Program.

The program is now in its third year and has been a rousing success. This year 22 mentors are mentoring 40 new teachers as they navigate through their first year of teaching. I wish I could have had this program available to me as I went through my first year of teaching. However, there are still many teachers who are new to the career who also need our help. I believe it is our duty to step-up and help to fill this need. I looked up the definition of a mentor and this is what I found, “An experienced and trusted advisor.” We can all fulfill this role to someone in need. If we are going to solve the problem of teacher retention in our program, then we need to be part of the solution. The mentor program is great, but 22 mentors can nowhere near reach everyone who needs an experienced and trusted advisor. I would encourage you to seek out those in need and make yourself available to them. Mentoring does not have to be programmatic. Sometimes just listening to someone’s problems, offering a friendly handshake, or an encouraging word are all some need. Also, I encourage teachers

who are early in their careers to seek out mentors. I firmly believe that if you just ask, you will receive. This week I was saddened to hear of the passing of Danny Prater. Danny taught in Dublin for many years, and immediately befriended me when I first came to Hamilton. Danny was one of the many great mentors that I have had over the years. Danny taught me that ag teaching, though hard work, could be a fun and enjoyable career. Danny was always smiling, and he had a quick wit about him. He was just enjoyable to be around, and his students adored him. Continue on page 2


Notes From the Executive Director Ray Pieniazek, VATAT Executive Director

Passionate teachers do not view their work as just a job. As stated by entrepreneur Chip Gaines in his book Capital Gaines, “Your life’s work is done for a bigger purpose, to fulfill a calling or a dream.” Teaching should be this in your life. I remember during an interview for a Houston scholarship back in 1983, they asked me why I was going into agricultural education. I know part of my answer had to do with the three student teachers I had as a student. I believed that if they could do it, so could I. The bigger part was the role models I had who gave so much of themselves to see students succeed. “When you manage to find that work, that’s when it starts feeling like play,” said Gaines. Teaching became this for me over the years. We might not always understand the language today’s students speak. So, I suggest occasionally using the Urban Dictionary. Here is how that particular online dictionary defines passion: “Passion is when you put more energy into something than is required to do it. It is more than just enthusiasm or excitement, passion is ambition that is materialized into action to put as much heart, mind, body and soul into something as is possible.” I think this truly defines how we might see ourselves as an ag teacher. We put in way more time than a typical teacher. We pour our hearts, minds and bodies into making every experience an enjoyable one, and something students might remember for a lifetime. If your students can’t see your passion, then it’s time to step up and be the one who makes a difference in their lives. “If you can get to a place where you at least feel passionate about some of the work, the job will become at least more bearable,” said Gains. Those of you who know me, know I was passionate about CDEs. I also have a passion for helping those who want to be successful in them and I would share with those who asked for help. What are you passionate about? Whatever it is, let it be known to all those around you. Thanks for all you do to inspire and educate the youth in agriculture. Keep up the good work. 2

From

the

Range

Continued

The room always got a little brighter when he walked into it. I will always be grateful to him for his guidance and model he set for me. He will be greatly missed by the many people whose lives he touched. I know many of you, like myself, have been gathering up animal projects for students to exhibit. Hopefully, you have been preparing for your district leadership events as well. I would encourage each of you to keep in mind the real lessons to be learned by these events. All of us would like to win, but our students can learn so much by simply participating in these events. Responsibility, leadership and communication are skills that all our students need to succeed in life. I must remind myself that there is so much more to be gained than a tangible prize. Don’t get me wrong, I like to win as much as anyone, but I get great satisfaction from watching my students grow as they learn the life lessons and skills that our various events instill in them. I would encourage each of you to involve as many students as you can in these events. One of these days, these students may be the civic leaders in your community, including members of the school board. By offering them positive experiences in FFA and Agricultural Science Education, your students, as adults, will become the ag science and FFA program’s greatest champions in your community. As I draw to a close once again, I would like to remind everyone to do your job, act right, and have fun. See you next month from the range.

INSIDE THIS ISSUE VATAT.......................................1 - 3 Foundation...............................6 - 7 Alumni...................................10 - 11 Young Farmers......................14- 15


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

Certification Overview

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.

Learning Objectives

• 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.

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TEXAS FFA

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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.

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UPDATE The FFA Jacket

Aaron Alejandro, Texas FFA Foundation Executive Director

The FFA Jacket holds incredible opportunity. It harnesses the prospects for the day and potential for the future. The jacket has always got it right. The jacket does not ask our ethnicity, religion, sexuality, geography or provide any judgement. It has open arms that welcomes the student inside and opens a world of incredible opportunity ‌ and it has done so for 86-years. The FFA jacket is an incredible tool because it levels the playing field. When a student puts the jacket on, they are wearing the brand of an established youth leadership organization, at the same time establishing their own brand for their future. When it is on and zipped up, no one knows the story that is contained inside. They can tell their story. For some, they may come from a broken home, have a family in financial distress, are dealing with health issues, or even insecurities;

6

but the jacket provides hope. Others may wear the jacket coming from ideal circumstances and families with stature and resources. One thing for sure, the jacket levels the field and gives everyone the same opportunity. I recently read an article from October 1962 which provided some history on the FFA Jacket. Here is what Oran Nunemaker wrote: “How did your jacket come into being? A depression, a new chapter band, an enterprising chapter advisor and an interested jacket manufacturer all had their part in the creation of the jacket which is now worn by thousands and recognized as an official symbol of a Future Farmer of America. In l933, general lack of money during the depression and the expense to both the state and national convention influenced V. A. Ross


(National FFA Executive Secretary) to accept the offer of J. H. Lintner (advisor of Fredericktown, Ohio) for his chapter band of 30 members to play at the National Convention. Previously only state bands had been invited to perform at the Convention. The boys were excited, of course but they had no uniforms except summer ones consisting of trousers, shirt and cap of blue cotton material with a yellow silk necktie. This was hardly appropriate for the nippy October weather of Kansas City, and the chapter advisor set about to right the situation. Corduroy jackets were currently "the rage" for high school students, and letters were sent by the chapter to Universal Uniform Company in Van Wert, Ohio who might manufacture some distinctive jackets for an honored band which was to play at the National Convention. Conferences began on whether the emblem might not be embroidered on the back for identification, since the only one available for a pattern was the one engraved on the chapter charter. It was used as a model, however, and a pilot jacket made in the spring of 1933 pleased the members of the chapter. The eagle was not added to the official emblem until a year later, so the original jacket appeared with only the cross section of the ear

of corn, the owl, and the plow. National blue was not available from the manufacturer, and navy blue was used. The popularity of the new jacket caused the chapter members to order them both for general wear and for FFA gatherings. An inquiry to Mr. Ross as to whether the jacket might be added to the official uniform led to the manufacturer's sending a representative to the Convention. After official action was taken, a contract was made which justified ordering the cloth of the national blue. By the time this action had been taken, the eagle had been added to the emblem, which not only increased the cost but presented the problem as to where the lettering which designates the chapter and state should be placed. Several experimental jackets were made with emblem in back and front with the name under the emblem and the eagle included as part of the insignia with the emblem too low and with the emblem too high. When the jacket was finally adopted, the name of the state appeared over the emblem, the chapter below and as a result of the performance at the National Convention by a local chapter band during depression years a jacket was born!�

7


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

The following is a reprint from an article published a few years ago titled “It’s a Changing World for Adult Support Groups Too” by Tom Maynard, Former Executive Director of the Texas FFA Association. I believe these words pertain to all support groups. This includes an Alumni and Supporters Affiliate/Chapter, Young Farmers, or Booster Club. My hope is that you choose an Alumni and Supporters Affiliate as your chapters support group! Remember that alumni chapters must submit a roster on FFA.org, as well as send in affiliation fees in order to be in good standing and remain active. A minimum of 10 members are required per chapter.

GASB & YOUR SUPPORT ORGANIZATION Adult support groups will need to establish their own tax-exempt status as independent organizations and may be subject to auditing as a part of the school district’s annual audit – all due to tougher audit standards and additional guidelines to determine whether organizations qualify as component organizations. The Governmental Accounting Standards Board establishes standards for auditing governmental entities – including school districts. In the wake of recent corporate scandals –Enron and others – GASB handed down guidelines which further define what is a component unit of the school district and consequently must be included as part of the district’s annual audit and which must be cut loose and operated as an independent organization with its own tax exempt status. WHAT DOES THIS MEAN? Your school district will likely contact you or your support group leadership requesting information 10

concerning revenues, assets and the amount of money spent on behalf of your schools students or employees to determine if the organization’s expenditures are “significant and material” to the district. If deemed so, your organization will have additional reporting requirements to comply with the district’s audit requirements to avoid audit problems which could potentially lower the school district’s bond rating or TEA financial rating. It also means that it can no longer use the school district’s tax exempt status, Employee Identification Number (EIN) or bank accounts.

WHAT DO WE DO? Tax Exempt Status: If your local FFA support group does not have its own 501(c)(3) tax exempt status, your school district will likely require you to establish this with the IRS by filing articles of incorporation and bylaws with the state secretary of state’s office and applying for tax exempt status and a EIN from the IRS. Unfortunately, this is an expensive, time consuming process and will be a daunting task for many campus support groups. The good news is that as an FFA support group, your organization can use the FFA’s tax exempt group number by completing a short one-page document that can be downloaded at the bottom of this page. Please complete the form and fax it to the Texas FFA office at 512-617-8219. This is necessary as the state and national organizations must know who is using this group number. Employee Identification Number (Federal Tax ID): Getting a federal number by filing an SS-4 is relatively easy and can be done online, over the phone or the old-fashion way – on paper. The online version can be accessed via the IRS website: www.irs.gov. On the sidebar to the left is a search box. Enter “apply online, EIN” and


in the search results you will find the link to the online employer ID number. Follow that link and scroll down to the “Apply ONLINE NOW” link. This brings up the application. Note that the application does not accept any punctuation except hyphens and ampersands. You will not need to complete all blanks – just the applicable ones: 1,3, 4a, 4b, 6, 8a (other) 10, 14 (other) and the name, title and phone and fax numbers. Under 8a, you will need the Group Exemption Number (GEN). Please call or e-mail the Texas FFA office to get that number. You will get your EIN within 15 to 20 seconds after submission. Record this number on paper immediately, before printing or saving the page. If you lose that page, it will be four to five days before the IRS can access it. This process can be accomplished via telephone at 800-829-4933, option 1 or by downloading and mailing form SS-4 available for download at: http://www.irs.gov/pub/ irs-fill/fss4.pdf.

BANKING PROCEDURES Most booster clubs have bank accounts already. As a local FFA advisor, you need to keep

in mind that as the local advisor, in accordance to national policy, you have an oversight responsibility for any support group that operates under the name and trademarks of the FFA. An advisor should always be present when the support organization meets. In many districts, two-signature checks are required as a matter of policy, and if this is not the case in your district, it is highly recommended. In addition, having and following very clear written policies and procedures concerning disbursements of monies and conflicts of interest are critical to avoiding some of the common pitfalls of volunteer organizations. Your organization should have a clear audit trail to ensure accountability for funds raised and spent in the name of an FFA-affiliated group. The local school district has policies related to organizations associated with school activities and your school district’s auditor can be an excellent resource in setting up systems with the proper financial controls to ensure complete accountability.

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13


UPDATE Notes From

the

Executive Secretary

Bob Young, Texas Young Farmers Executive Secretary

As I write this, the last of my VATAT newsletter articles, I would like to reflect some on “agriculture” in general. What does it mean to you, your neighbor, your urban acquaintance, to me? Of course, everyone will have a different perspective, depending a great deal on each one’s association with the term. For sure, we have a good idea of what “agriculture” really is because we are right in amongst it, as they say. But even allowing for that to be said, consider how many different aspects of “agriculture” that we as a general segment of our society represent. If you teach it, you have opportunities to participate in it from perhaps one to maybe several various activities. If you are in an agricultural business, you approach it from even another angle. Regardless of our association with “agriculture,” we all strive for ultimate goals: to learn, to share our knowledge, to be productive in being a part of feeding and clothing the world and showing appreciation of our past generations by exceeding production goals in the future. The basis of all that is the agricultural education system that provides the opportunities for individual and group successes. Success stories can all be tied to “taking advantage of the opportunities presented.” Here in my old age, I have been able to look at the overall picture of “agriculture” a little better than in decades past. I often think now about the term “agricultural fundamentalism” and the impact that this principle has on every single person on the earth. The problem is that few people outside the workings of “agriculture” have even heard the term. it is one that I remember stressing in every Agriculture Economics class that I taught in community college. Basically, it describes “agriculture” as the only necessary profession or industry in the world. We can do without, if need be, all other industries. In fact, “agriculture” is the fundamental basis for all other industries. Without 14

it, there is nothing else. Gosh, doesn’t it feel great to be a part of something so dynamic and important?! And just consider all the hardships and obstacles that agriculturists face each day. Take the food/ fiber producer for example. This, in my opinion, is the prime example of difficulty in providing for the world while attempting to make a living for the family. My point is that someone said, “Production agriculture is the only business in the world where the producer buys all inputs at retail price and sells his/her products at wholesale price.” Something wrong with that picture, right? We would be hardpressed to name another industry that has to do that. It is something like this that makes me even more appreciative of the American farmer. On another note, I just want to express my appreciation for having the opportunity to serve as Executive Secretary of the State Association of Young Farmers of Texas. I have had a tremendous love and respect for this great organization since my first association with it as an advisor in 1977. I admire all the Young Farmers who give of their time and other valuable resources to help their communities, FFA, and other groups as well. Our State Association is strong, active, productive, and dedicated to making it even stronger. If you are an ag teacher and reading this article, and you do not have a Young Farmer chapter, please seriously consider starting a chapter. The benefits are enormous. A young Farmer chapter can make your job much easier by allowing you to serve your students more efficiently and effectively. It is something that you will never regret. When I was hired in this position, I had a goal to serve many more years than what it has been, but several personal and family circumstances have arisen since I was hired that require me to step down. I will miss more than I can ever express in words the active association with ag teachers, FFA members, and all other agriculturists that Texas


Young Farmers has provided to me. I had the opportunity to participate in so many activities and witness the success of so many Young Farmers and FFA members. I will miss the opportunity that I had to serve a few cups of coffee at Texas FFA Conventions and Ag Teachers Conferences. I will not disappear though. I will continue to support Young Farmers and FFA in any capacity that I can. Please contact me if I can be of any service in the future. Texas Young Farmers will be in great hands going forward as Sandra Choate, Former State FFA Officer, Former ag teacher, and long- time Young Farmer will now serve as Executive Secretary. She brings a wealth of knowledge, the dedication and determination to succeed, and a tremendous work ethic that will propel Texas Young Farmers to the next level of accomplishments. I am proud for her and for Texas Young Farmers. Just remember what Zig Ziglar had to say about learning: “If you are not willing to learn, no one can help you. If you are determined to learn, no one can stop you.”

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VATAT

614 E. 12th Street Austin, Texas 78701

Upcoming Events October

November

December

1 - 31 Sheep and Goat Validation

1 Fall Texas FFA Roster Deadline

1 Texas FFA Junior Roster Deadline

1 - 31 Late Swine Tag Orders (Major Shows)

1 - 7 Late Priority Swine Tag Orders (Major Shows)

8 - 9 VATAT Board Meeting

8 State Fair of Texas Agriculture Awareness Day

30 Last Day to Validate Swine

13 - 14 State LDEs

30 National FFA Convention Begins

www.vatat.org

7 Swine Validation Materials Deadline (Major Shows)

Contact

(512) 472-3128

vatat@vatat.org

Officers Terry Baize, President

Ryan Pieniazek, Vice President

Staff

Traylor Lenz, Secretary/Treasurer

Ray Pieniazek, Executive Director Ashley Dunkerley, Communications Karen Jones, Membership Services Tori Rosser, Special Projects

16

Profile for Texas Ag Ed

October 2019  

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