← Utah CTE Blog Home

Archive for the ‘Agricultural Education’ Category

New Livestock Facility Opens in Nebo School District

Tuesday, February 14th, 2012

This month a new livestock facility opened in Nebo School District that will support three high schools and their Agricultural Education programs. The new facility is called the “Nebo Agricultural Station” and will house numerous FFA student projects. Buddy Deimler, Agricultural Education Specialist at the Utah State Office of Education, tells UtahCTE.org about the project.

Question: Why was the facility built in Nebo?
Answer: As that part of Utah County becomes less rural students in agricultural education have less opportunity to house livestock projects at their homes. Many students live in suburban housing which does not provide housing opportunities for livestock.

Question: Does this facility replace an older building or it is new to the district?
Answer: Several of the older high school programs have had livestock facilities in place for many years. These facilities have received upgrades in the past few years to facilitate program growth. Maple Mountain High School, Salem Hills High School and Spanish Fork High School will use the new facility.

Question: How many schools will this new facility serve?
Answer:
This facility will serve three high schools that don’t currently have livestock facilities. In addition, there is land area available for summer plant programs, research and elementary school field trip demonstrations by the associated FFA chapter.

Question: What kinds of student projects are taking place at the facility?
Answer: The facility will house mostly sheep and swine projects. Most of these projects will be market animals for livestock shows; the Spanish Fork Junior Livestock Show, Utah County Fair Junior Livestock Show, and The Utah State Fair Junior Livestock Show. A few of the students may travel to other livestock shows in the state.

Question: What was the involvement of CTE/FFA students in building this facility?
Answer: The project was designed and directed by J. Merrill Hallam who is a Nebo School District science teacher and CTE Coordinator for Agriculture and Welding. Appropriate personnel were used for electrical and water installation, but a majority of the work was done by J. Merrill, high school FFA students, and community volunteers.

Question: Who else contributed to the building of this facility?
Answer: The concrete was subcontracted, but all other construction including electrical, plumbing, framing, sheeting, and installation of all feeders, waterers and fencing was done by J. Merrill, his son Riley, high school students and other community volunteers.

Question: Where did you obtain the equipment for the facility?
Answer: Previously used feeding, watering and fencing material was purchased out of Iowa for about 20 cents on the dollar.

Question: Will this livestock facility be expanded in the future?
Answer: The livestock facility is phase one of hopefully a continuing expansion of agricultural opportunities and experiences for all interested students.

Question: How will this facility be supervised?
Answer: Each school agricultural education teacher is assigned to one night a week, after school, to supervise students from all area schools in Nebo School District. Each teacher also takes one weekend a month for supervision of students. Additional time is spent by each advisor and student as the projects move toward completion.

Meet the Director of Ag in the Classroom: Debra Spielmaker

Monday, February 13th, 2012

PERSONAL CAREER BRIEF

Introducing… Debra Spielmaker

A graduate of … Bingham High School

Now working as … Director of Utah Agriculture in the Classroom, providing professional development for K-12 and pre-service teachers, regarding the integration of agricultural concepts into science, social studies, and nutrition.

Employer … Utah State University

Check out this website … http://utah.agclassroom.org

Debate was her favorite high school class because … “This course/activity prepared me with the real-world skills of organization, gathering evidence to support my thoughts/opinions, how to do research, how to think on my feet, how to speak and communicate effectively, how to take initiative, work as a team, and be a leader. These are characteristics that employers desire.”

Debra’s first job … was as working at a turf farm.

The worst job?  Shelf Stocker … on the night shift … during the holidays.  (Enough said?)

A Career Highlight … In 2004, Debra earned the E. G. Peterson Extension Award. This award is a high honor; Utah State University lights the ‘A’ on Old Main as a part of this recognition.

Advice to students: Practice, practice, practice, in the area of writing is very important. Writing is a skill you can always use in both technical and academic fields!

And more …

  • Debra describes her most significant education/work experience beyond high school: “I participated in an internship/work-experience job every summer in my area of interest, agriculture. I worked for the forest service, in a nursery, on a dairy farm, and horse breeding farm.
  • About developing core skills: “I wish I had done more to improve my math skills. My parents weren’t great at algebra and gave up helping me with math in 8th grade. I took college algebra and trig in high school and was a B student, but I really question my comprehension of the subject. I didn’t pursue this frustrating subject as a senior and in college I avoided more math…wish I had sought out a tutor in high school it would have really helped in so many university courses. I also wish I had done more writing and had more constructive feedback from teachers. Practice, practice, practice, in the area of writing is very important. I learned this after five years in my profession. High School debate helped with writing but I am amazed how much writing I have to do now.”

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 Biologist: Monaca Noble

Sunday, February 5th, 2012

PERSONAL CAREER BRIEF

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 an Agriculture Teacher: Vay Jensen

Thursday, February 2nd, 2012

PERSONAL CAREER BRIEF

Introducing… Vay Jensen

A graduate of … Bear River High School

Now working as … An Agricultural Educator, teaching Agricultural Systems and Technology, Animal Science, Ag. Biology, and Natural Resources.

For … Altamont Jr./Sr. High School in Altamont, Utah.

Building Trades was his favorite high school class because … he learned how to build a house!

Vay’s first job – was a Groundskeeper at Crystal Hot Springs in Honeyville, Utah.

The worst job? Customer Support worker at a call center. What made it the worst for Vay was a combination of rude customers and sitting in a closed space for 8-10 hours a day.

Advice to studentsRegardless of what you do after high school, you need some kind of post-high school education, whether it be a trade school or college. They both have their pluses and minuses.  

And more …

After high school I spent the next 8 or 9 years working on ranches from Montana to Texas. It was a great time and I loved and still love the work. However, it taught me the importance of a post-high school education.”

  • “While I was working on my Bachelor’s degree, I worked answering phones for cell phone customers. I did not like sitting on the phone for 8 to 10 hours a day. The customers were generally rude, and I felt like I was a dog on a leash. I like to be able to move around, and work. It gave me incentive to keep working on my degree.”
  • I graduated with my Bachelor’s degree at 33 years old. It took several years due to being married, going to school full time, working a full time job 40+ hours a week, and shoeing horses everywhere in between. As of Dec 2011 I completed my master’s degree.

 

Utah FFA: We BELIEVE!

Monday, October 31st, 2011

BY: MORGAN PETERSON, FFA STATE REPORTER

During October 17-23, 2011, nearly 54,000 FFA members flooded the streets of Indianapolis, Indiana for the 84th National FFA Convention. Three-hundred and fifty Utah FFA Association members, advisors, and guests attended the convention to compete and enjoy what the convention had to offer. This year our association was pleased to send another delegate bringing our total to six.

The Utah FFA Association was very well represented this year by all of our members competing in Career Development Events at the national level. The results are as follows:

Additional Utah FFA winners and awards included:

Chapter National Stars
Lehi

3

Mt Nebo FFA

2

Spanish Fork FFA

2

Wasatch FFA

2

Wayne FFA

2

Westlake FFA

2

Davis FFA

1

Congratulations to all of our contest participants!

This year we also had the privilege to have a national officer candidate, Amberley Snyder, of Spanish Fork FFA, make it past the first cut. Amberely is the first Utah candidate to make it past the cut in several years. We are very proud of her accomplishment.

Overall, the Utah FFA Association had great success at the 84th National FFA Convention. Congratulations to each one of our members! We appreciate all that you do. We have a great state association!

Like Utah FFA members on Facebook.

Utah FFA Association 2011-2012 State Officer Team

Monday, August 8th, 2011

UtahCTE.org congratulates the newly appointed Utah FFA Association State Officer Team: Kaid Panek, State Vice President, Westlake High School; Sawyer Peacock, State Sentinel, Pleasant Grove High School; Logan Jones, State Secretary, Springville High School; Josh Ovard, State Treasurer, North Summit High School; Morgan Peterson, State Reporter, Juab High School; and McKena Woolstenhulme, State President, South Summit High School.

The officers were elected in March at the State FFA Convention. They were selected from a pool of 21 candidates by a nominating committee of their peers. Selection criteria included FFA and agriculture knowledge, presentation skills, and communication skills. High school grades were also important in the selection process as well as a Supervised Agricultural Experience Program, which is an agriculture based occupational experience or work-based or community-based experience.

The summer started with a National FFA training activity with five other western states hosted in Bryce Canyon, Utah. The FFA State Officers then passed that training on to the local chapter officers through three Chapter Officers Leadership Training (COLT) Camps. The first training was the Northern COLT held at the Fair Grounds in Morgan. The second training was the One-Day COLT held in Willow Park in Lehi. The third training was the Southern COLT held in Cedar City at the SUU Mountain Center. The Chapter Officer training included how to work together, how to set an agenda and conduct a meeting, and how to develop an effective Program of Activities for the year.

The theme for this year is “Make a Ripple”. The State Officers believe members can create a positive effect in their homes, schools and communities that will create a ripple across the state. We can all be a part of making a difference.

FFA is dedicated to making a positive difference in the lives of young people by developing their potential for premier leadership, personal growth, and career success through agriculture education. Nationally there are half a million members in 7,487 chapters. In Utah there are approximately 6,000 members in 77 chapters, where 38 percent of the membership is female.

Like Utah FFA on Facebook to follow FFA events throughout the year.

Learn about the CTE Agriculture Pathways and get started on a pathway to success.

State FFA Officers

Friday, February 25th, 2011
National FFA Week brings with it a variety of traditional activities. One activity that the State FFA Officers always look forward to is the Legislative Ice Cream Social, held this year on February 23. Each year the State FFA Officers and one or two FFA Chapters gather at the Capitol Building to serve Aggie Ice Cream. Each year they are introduced in the House Chamber and in the Senate. Representative Ronda Menlove and Senator Ralph Okerlund sponsored the State FFA Officers this year and helped them arrange the Ice Cream Social. This activity provides a great opportunity for our FFA members to rub shoulders with Utah’s legislative leaders.

FFA members have “Infinite Potential,” they envision, discover, and achieve. The year of activities and service for the Utah State FFA Officers will culminate at the State FFA Convention held March 10-12 at Utah State University in Logan. The convention will be 2½ days of workshops, leadership training, career development event, public speaking, awards presentations and LOTS and LOTS of fun. For the State FFA Officers it has been a year full of travel, workshops, and chapter visits. Here are some of the FFA events that transpired:

Beginning in the summer the officers traveled to:

In September, the school year started with 10 days at the Utah State Fair where the officers managed the Little Hands on the Farm exhibit providing agricultural literacy for the thousands of children, their parents, and grandparents who went through the exhibit.

The officers were then back on the road to:

  • Indianapolis to attend the National FFA Convention.
  • Richfield and Provo to attend two Utah Leadership Conferences.
  • Visit 77 high schools and FFA Chapters around Utah. They visited with thousands of agricultural education students and FFA members, sharing insights on the many opportunities available in the FFA.

Utah’s 2010-2011 State FFA Officer Team, Chaleesa Warren, Matt Brocious, Katharine Nye, Sierra Cheyenne, Dalton Beck, and Kyle Niesporek, would like to say thank you to the Utah Legislature for a wonderful experience on Capitol Hill. And a special thank you to all the FFA members and Agricultural Education Teachers that made this year possible.

Learn more about Utah FFA and the CTE Agriculture Pathways and get started on a pathway to success.

FFA Student Highlight

Thursday, February 24th, 2011

Edgar Gonzalez

Edgar Gonzalez, a senior at the Granite Technical Institute in Salt Lake City, has been a member of the Granite Mountain FFA Chapter for the past three years. Edgar is a non-traditional student; he lives in an urban setting and he is visually impaired, but he has taken to the FFA like a duck to water. Edgar has shown market lambs and market hogs at the Salt Lake County Junior Livestock Show. He has also participated in the FFA Prepared Public Speaking Career Development Event (CDE), the Utah Farm Bureau/FFA Discussion Meet, and the FFA Job Interview CDE. He currently serves as the FFA Chapter Vice President. Edgar reports, “I would like to be a State FFA Officer because I love the FFA and I would love to be more involved. I also would like to be a better example for others and a strong leader.” We think Edgar’s leadership in the FFA has provided a great example. He personifies the FFA Week theme of “Infinite Potential – Envision, Discover, and Achieve.”

Join Edgar in the FFA and get started in a CTE Agriculture Pathway.

Edgar at the Salt Lake County Junior Livestock Show

CTE and Agricultural Education

Wednesday, February 23rd, 2011

Whether you’re looking to contribute to Utah’s economy, or more interested in self-sufficiency, CTE Career Pathways in Agriculture can help you get started! 

McKenzie Bright

 

McKenzi Bright is a student in the Agriculture Area of Study who is doing her part to shatter the common stereotype of the average farmer as a “guy with overalls and with dirty boots.” 

Six CTE Career Pathways in Agriculture help prepare students for future employment in such fields (pun intended) as Animal Science, Horticulture, and Natural Resources. The “Supervised Agricultural Experience Program (SAEP)” exposes students to the real-life challenges facing Agriculture today. Membership in FFA, the student leadership organization, builds on the foundation of classroom learning and gives students opportunities to demonstrate agricultural content skills as well as employability skills (e.g., communication, teamwork, time management). 

According to a report presented by the Utah State University Economic Research Institute, production and processing of agricultural products in Utah accounted for 13.9 percent of Utah’s Gross State Product in 2008, and directly employs 22,522 workers in our state. If Agriculture appeals to you, check out the opportunities to learn more by visiting http://utahcte.org/career/agriculture.php

You might also be interested to hear what attracted these successful Utah farmers, ranchers, and other workers to careers in Agriculture. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7Hx2_TELaPM.