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Archive for February, 2012

Why Agriculture Matters!

Thursday, February 9th, 2012

Agriculture is the art or science of cultivating the ground, including the harvesting of crops, and the raising and management of livestock. Or, as Bob Stallman—president of the American Farm Bureau Federation—puts it, America’s farm and ranch families harvesting crops and managing livestock is what puts food on the table for our citizens and for many other people around the world. . .America’s farmers and ranchers provide food security for this nation and much of the rest of the world.

However, some groups/people today feel that a career in Agriculture is “useless.” NOT true! Ag Students, take heart. Your degrees aren’t useless. Today’s agriculture industry is far more diverse and offers more opportunities than most people realize. And, people who choose agriculture careers know that they are doing work that matters. They are feeding and clothing the world, creating jobs and protecting our planet’s natural resources. What’s useless about that?

Agriculture careers are everywhere. There are 2.2 million farms in the U.S. and the agriculture and related industries that support those farms employ 21 million Americans, which are 15 percent of the U.S. workforce.

MYTH: Agriculture is not important to Utah’s economy.
FACT: Utah agriculture was a $1,329,421,000 industry in 2010.

MYTH: Family farms are a thing of the past.
FACT: Today, 98 percent of all U.S. farms are owned by individuals, family partnerships or family corporations.

MYTH: Farmers destroy the environment.
FACT: Farmers and ranchers have installed 1.54 million miles of conservation buffers on their farms and enrolled 33.6 million acres of their own farm land in programs designed to protect the environment and provide habitat for wildlife.

MYTH: Food prices are high; the farmer must be getting rich!
FACT: Farmers and ranchers receive only 19 cents of every retail dollar spent on food. In 1980, farmers received 31 cents out of every retail dollar spent on food.

Remember that Agriculture is much more than just food. America’s farmers and ranchers also produce fiber, fuel and shelter. . . Agriculture reaches far beyond the farm and is important to everyone. Agriculture includes farmers as well as the urban and suburban residents who process, package and transport our food to America’s consumers.

How can you get involved in agriculture? Over 1 million students (540,379 FFA members) in 7,500 high schools across the nation are involved in their high school agricultural education programs and FFA chapters. They are engaged in developing their potential for premier leadership, personal growth and career success through hands-on education and personal and leadership development.

George Washington made numerous contributions to agriculture throughout his life and stressed its importance by stating, I know of no pursuit in life in which more real and important services can be rendered to any country than by improving its agriculture. FFA students honor his words every day as they plan, prepare, and become ready for college and career. What students are learning in high schools and colleges throughout the country benefits each one of us, now and in the future.

Join the Facebook and Twitter communities of FFA, both nationally and locally, and learn how these students are making a difference.

  • Nationally there are over 540,000 FFA members in 7,500 chapters. Like national FFA members on Facebook. Follow national FFA members on Twitter.
  • Utah has approximately 6,000 FFA members in 77 chapters. Like Utah FFA members on Facebook.

Meet a Design Technology Teacher: Thomas Paskett

Thursday, February 9th, 2012


Introducing… Thomas J. Paskett, Ph.D.

A graduate of … Burley High School (Idaho)

Now working as … A Design Technology (AKA “Drafting”) Instructor

For … Weber School District

Introduction to Engineering was his favorite high school class because … he won free flying lessons for his design of a 3-foot wide paper airplane!

Dr. Paskett’s first job – was working on a factory assembly line.

The worst job?  “I have never had a ‘worst job,’ because I always learn from my experiences. Attitude is everything!”

Advice to students … ”Never give up, never stop trying, never stop believing, and … remember to play!”


Meet a Fire Dept. Captain: Matthew Boulden

Wednesday, February 8th, 2012


Introducing… Matthew J. Boulden

A graduate of … Brighton High School

Now working as … An Fire Department Captain and Paramedic

For … Murray City.

American National Government was his favorite high school class because … he had a great teacher (thank you, Coach Chavis) who held students accountable for everything they did.

Mathew’s first job – was a Ranch Hand.

The worst job?  Runner for a law firm. What made it unpleasant was working with people who had high opinion of themselves for reasons not apparent to anyone else!

Advice to students … ”Be accountable for your actions, learn how to get along with others, and be willing to put in a hard day’s work without complaint … and – never settle for average!”

And more …

  • What Matthew finds most fulfilling about his job is that he has the chance of “working with dedicated people, willing to put their lives on the line in order to save a complete stranger.”

Meet a TV News Producer: Shelby Dobson

Tuesday, February 7th, 2012


Introducing… Shelby Dobson

A graduate of … Mountain Crest High School

Now working as … A TV News Producer

For … KSTU, Fox13, Salt Lake City, Utah.

Journalism was her favorite high school class because … it was like on-the-job training since – as editor in chief of the high school newspaper – she wrote news, entertainment, sports and opinion pieces.

Shelby’s first job – was an After School Student Aide at an elementary school.

The worst job? Even though Shelby had her share of low paid, entry jobs, she says the actual work she’s been assigned has never been all that bad.  (She understands some of this is luck, but it is also good to be able to choose jobs that you can do happily most of the time!)  

Advice to students … “take every opportunity you can to advance in your chosen field. For example, I completed a job shadow and an internship. Both were good experiences that helped me understand my field better.”

 And more

  • As the producer of the 5:00 p.m. newscast … “I select local, national and world stories for the newscast. I write several of those stories and I have an associate producer that also helps write for the show. I put the stories in the order they will air. During the show, I talk with reporters in the field, and communicate with anchors about any changes. I also time the show.”
  • Being involved in high school publications –newspaper, yearbook, etc. is “a good way to get started in any field in journalism.”
  • First, get a degree. Whether it’s a high school diploma, training certificate, or Associates or Bachelors, it will help you get a job in the future. Many students start a degree, but don’t finish it. It’s an investment, but it’s an investment worth making!



Social Media Marketing

Tuesday, February 7th, 2012

By Jeff McCauley, Marketing Teacher, Davis High School

Seth Godin, a thought leader and business guru once commented, “If you graduate with a 4.0 from high school, what are you good at?” His answer; “high school.”

Sadly, in many ways he is right. However, in CTE we continually work to remain relevant, to be on the cutting edge.

This past fall the Davis Marketing Group at Davis High School piloted the first high school Social Media Marketing class in Utah, and possibly in the entire country. The reason for the class—simply to help students remain current and secure a competitive edge with relevant skills and knowledge.

The course was designed to cover the technology and application sides of social media in business. For each platform or medium, including Facebook, Twitter, mobile marketing, blogging, YouTube, etc., students studied three specific areas:

  • How to use the platform/medium (the technology and “how to” aspect)
  • How to use the platform/medium in the business world (application)
  • How companies have used these platforms/media (case studies)

Through the course students developed reveal pages for Facebook pages, QR codes to direct scanners to websites, phone calls or videos, and iPhone/Android mobile apps. They created a list of influential business leaders to follow on Twitter and learned to personalize their YouTube page.

Kate Simpson commented, “I felt that the approach of learning by doing, rather than simply reading a textbook, [gave me] the skills that I can apply right now.” She also feels her use of social media has changed as she approached it from a professional perspective since future employers will no doubt look at her digital life in the interview process.

Lauren Underwood said, “The class opened new doors in the world of marketing that I will use the rest of my life.”

To a great degree, Breanna Barton is correct when she says, “Social media is the future of marketing.” While traditional marketing is critical, there will always be a role for social media marketing.

In a recent article in the Standard-Examiner, Darin Bernston of SEO.com said, “From an employer like us, we think it’s great that it’s being taught in high school to help get the students more prepared before college, since social media is becoming a big strategy for many companies.” It’s what is happening now and is something you definitely have to embrace, since social media is basically word of mouth on steroids.”

While social media marketing in secondary education is in its infant stages there is certain to be growth of such program offerings. In the fall there are plans by as many as six additional high schools to offer the course.

The big concern, of course, is that there will always be skeptics who contend social media is a trend, a fringe topic. I wonder if those who thought the Internet was a fad want to reconsider?

The Growth of Social Media

UtahCTE.org note:  Jeff McCauley and Breanna Barton were quoted in the January edition of Utah Business Magazine, “Schools Offer Social Media Classes to the Next Generation of Marketers.” Mr. McCauley’s class was then featured in an article in the Standard-Examiner on January 20, “Schooled in Social Media.” On February 1, a local TV news station visited Mr. McCauley’s Social Media Marketing class. Read their report online at KUTV 2.


Meet a Chief Financial Officer: Kevin Hadlock

Monday, February 6th, 2012


Introducing… Kevin W. Hadlock

A graduate of … Madison High School (Rexburg, ID)

Now working as … Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer.

For … Questar Corporation, where he is a member of the Management Committee, with responsibility for the accounting, treasury, investor relations, tax, and corporate financial planning and strategy functions.

Check out the website … http://www.questar.com

Debate was his favorite high school class because … “It taught me how to listen to others more intently, to think about the issues more critically and to articulate my thoughts more convincingly.”

Kevin says that his first job – that is, the first “real job” he landed after graduating from Brigham Young University – was as an analyst at a Wall Street Firm.

The worst job?  As a teen, Kevin worked moving irrigation pipe on a farm, where it occurred to him as he watched the sun rise over the field, that “I did not want to move sprinkler pipe the rest of my life!”

A career highlight?  “Leading a team of 15 people to acquire a South African automobile manufacturer for $150 million.”

Advice to students … “The most important characteristics in determining future job success are integrity, intellectual curiosity and hard work.”

And more …

  • Warren Buffet, CEO of Berkshire Hathaway said, “In looking for people to hire, you look for three qualities: integrity, intelligence, and energy. And if they don’t have the first, the other two will kill you.” 
  • “Dream big!”
  • “Study a subject in college that you enjoy and that can lead to employment. There are plenty of tools to help you identify careers that you will enjoy and for which you would have a proficiency, but couple that with the knowledge of which fields are growing and which have the greatest needs for new employees.

Meet a Biologist: Monaca Noble

Sunday, February 5th, 2012


Introducing… Monaca Noble

A graduate of … Park City High School

Now working as … A Biologist and the Public Relations Coordinator for the Marine Invasions Research Lab

For the … Smithsonian Environmental Research Center in Edgewater, MD.

Check out the website … http://www.serc.si.edu/labs/marine_invasions/index.aspx

U.S. and World History were her favorite high school classes because … of a great teacher – Mr. Krinkle – who made history interesting and relevant.

Monaca’s first job – obtained through the Job Training Partnership Act (JTPA) at age 14 – was at the Kamas Fish Hatchery (Utah Division of Wildlife Resources).

The worst job? Mold Cutter! Monaca had a temporary job cutting the mold off cheese in a factory; once the mold was removed, the cheese was turned into processed cheese products.

Advice to studentsStart working early and try to find jobs in your field as early as possible. Don’t wait until you have your degree to start getting experience. Look for opportunities and internships that allow you get experience and meet people as soon as you’ve selected your major. Don’t be afraid to leave home for the summer if that opportunity isn’t local.

And more …

about early work experiences:

  • My most significant job was probably the summer job I had at the Kamas Fish Hatchery. I worked there every summer from the time I was 14 though the end of high school. This job got me interested in natural resources and going to college. During college I had several great jobs that helped me towards a career in science.
  • The JTPA program was a program to help children in low income families get jobs and develop job skills.
  • During college I did several temporary jobs in order to earn money to live and continue with school. Many of these jobs were in local factories and were easy but monotonous. Working in the factories was an eye opening experience and gave me a new perspective about food and brands.

and other highlights:

  • Over the 6 years that I have been with the Marine Invasions Lab, I’ve been involved in a range of projects including conducting extensive port surveys along the US west coast, Canada, Asia, and New Zealand. Some of this research is described on the website: http://www.serc.si.edu/labs/marine_invasions/vector_ecology/bw_verification.aspx
  • Over the last year my focus has shifted from conducting research to writing about it and helping people understand the importance of introduced marine species and the transport mechanisms that result in new introductions. I also work to promote and grow our citizen science projects which help us collect information from a wider area and also help citizens get involved and learn about scientific research.
  • I always wanted to travel, and I have been so lucky to have been able to take so many jobs that allowed me to visit new places and really experience those places. Don’t be afraid to leave home!

Photos @work: (Taiwan, New Zealand, Korea)

Meet a Marketing Director: Sarah Buttars

Saturday, February 4th, 2012


Introducing… Sarah Buttars

A graduate ofSky View High School

Now working as … A Marketing Director, where she has oversight of marketing budgets and plans, and community relations activities, including ad design and placement, quarterly newsletter writing and design, and administration of the scholarship program. She also represents Western Ag Credit at various industry-related events.

For … Western Ag Credit

Check out the website … http://www.westernagcredit.com

Yearbook was her favorite high school class because … this helped Sarah develop interview and writing skills

Sarah’s first jobmilking cows.

Sarah listed milking cows as her worst job as well – though she recognizes the role that early job played in motivating her to get additional education, and the agriculture background continues to be an advantage in her current job. In her words, “I enjoy the opportunity my current job gives me to work in agriculture without the 4:00 a.m. milkings.”

Advice to studentsMake sure you choose something that you love doing. Take pride in your work and do it to the best of your ability for your own sense of accomplishment and to ensure you are giving your employer your best work.

And more …

  • “Getting up at 4:00 a.m. to go to the milk barn where a plethora of un-pleasantries were possible (getting kicked, crapped on-literally, and freezing in the winter) oftentimes made it [milking cows] something to be endured from my perspective.” 
  • My first job after college was “Communications and Special Projects for a company that installed commercial stone exteriors.”
  • “Get advanced education! You are limiting your future potential by not receiving additional training/education.”

Virtual Healthcare Interactive: Artificial Heart

Friday, February 3rd, 2012

On Monday, February 13, 2012 Utah Career and Technical Education (CTE) high school students across the state will participate in a Virtual Healthcare Interactive (VHI) live broadcast, in partnership with the Utah State Office of Education (USOE) and Intermountain Healthcare.

The two-hour event begins with students watching a pre-recorded Artificial Heart/LVAD surgery followed by a live chat with physicians using real time technology. There will be 11 broadcast sites across the state, including those within technology centers.

Three-hundred high school students from 11 school districts and 32 high schools and physicians from Intermountain Healthcare will participate in this event. The participating school districts are: Cache, Canyons, Granite, Iron, Jordan, Kane, Nebo, Park City, Sevier, Tooele, and Wasatch. The participating high schools/technology centers are: Brighton, Canyons Technical Center, Granite Technical Institute, Jordan Applied Technology Center, Lake Powell, North Sevier, Park City, Payson, Sky View, Southwest Applied Technology Center, Tooele Community Learning Center, and Wasatch.

This is an annual event that engages students through technology and allows hospitals to bring students into their environment with limited liability exposure and minimal interruption to the hospital.

USOE Health Science Education Specialist Tara Bell says, “Because of HIPAA and other hospital regulations, it is very hard for students to do job shadows and internships in a hospital setting. With Virtual Healthcare Interactive, students not only learn about the different careers involved in patient care, they get to virtually step into an operating room. VHI allows for opportunities that students would not normally have through the pre-event activities, the pre-event site visit, and the live event.”

“[This event] helped me see how intense and real
working in the healthcare field is, but I also saw the amazing benefits
that both professionals had. It got me really excited.”
Sidney Maxey, high school student

According to the Utah Department of Workforce Services, healthcare support occupations will see the fastest annual average growth rate in Utah through 2018. Healthcare and Social Assistance employs 12.5 of every 100 non-government workers (or workers in private industry) in Utah.

Healthcare: Careers That Make a Difference

Meet an Account Manager: Dallas Stewart

Friday, February 3rd, 2012


Introducing… Dallas Stewart

A graduate of … Bingham High School

Now working as … An Account Manager, for corporate clients.

For … Christopherson Travel, managing the relationships between CBT and the current clients once sold. We assist with reporting, vendor relationships and discounts, travel policy adherence and day to day needs.

Check out the website … http://www.cbtravel.com

Careers class was her favorite high school class because … she explored various careers and was given the opportunity to choose an occupation to write about.

Dallas’ first job – was a Counter Worker at a fast food restaurant. She also worked as a Bagger at a grocery store.

The worst job?  Fast Food Worker, partly because she didn’t feel she was good at it.

Dallas was recently elected for the Society of Government Travel Professionals Board of Directors of a Travel Management Company; definitely a career highlight.

Advice to students …Don’t feel like you have to know exactly what you want to be before going to college. I had no idea and felt very overwhelmed. Don’t let work or money deter you from your goal. Find a way and make it happen.”

And more …

  • “I earned my BA at the University of Utah in Parks, Recreation and Tourism with an emphasis in Leisure Services Management.
  • “Looking back, it [working as a fast food worker] helped me with my next job and learning faster.”