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NAAE Region II Updates

41 posts
Hals Beard

Region II conference

Posted by Hals Beard Apr 26, 2017

Wow, this year has really moved by quick.  Before we know it, summer will be here.  I know that the Oklahoma Ag Teachers have planned a tremendous Region II conference for us in Oklahoma City, OK for June 19-22.  The time is NOW to go to Regions | National Association of Agricultural Educators and register for the conference and make your hotel reservations while rooms are still available.  I have attached some conference information including a tentative agenda, hotel information, and registration information.  Feel free to contact me if you should have any questions.  Looking forward to seeing you all in OKC this June.  HB

Wow how time flies!! It seems like only a few years ago I attended my first National FFA Convention in Kansas City, MO as President of my high school FFA chapter. From that excitement, I could not resist continuing to attend every opportunity I was given as a representative of our Louisiana State University Collegiate FFA Chapter, to this year as a FFA advisor and NAAE Region II Vice President. I try to make sure that my students not only "experience" FFA convention, but also life. As I tell parents about our planned activities for the week of National FFA Convention, they always respond, "that sounds like it will be very educational."  Isn't that what it is all about? 


As we travel to and from convention, I always plan tours that provide that "educational" experiences for my students to bring back and share with their fellow students, teachers, parents, and community. Somehow, National FFA Convention never gets old. I have to remind myself, as well as other experienced teachers, that those students you bring this year have never experienced the excitement of National FFA Convention, the expanse of the National FFA Career Show, and most of the time, the travel out of the state to new locations.


We, as FFA advisors, must not only prepare our students for FFA experiences, competitions and careers, but also for all of life's experiences -- like meeting new people, traveling and rooming with strangers, time and money management, and how about just going to a "nice" restaurant where they must order from menus, provide tips, and of course demonstrate proper etiquette.  Well, here we are again, only days away from the 2016 National FFA Convention in Indianapolis, IN. Do not miss this opportunity to provide your students with what will become a once in a lifetime experience for most of them. I look forward to seeing all of you there and be sure to come by our NAAE Booth and say hi!!

Wow, what a great Region II conference!! Our sincerest thanks and gratitude go out to Texas Ag Teachers' Association (VATAT) for hosting a great regional conference in Bryan/College Station. Not only did we have a large attendance, but we also experienced tremendous networking and fellowship with our friends and coworkers in ag education. During the conference, many off-site professional development activities were planned for teachers to gain knowledge and first-hand experience which we were able to bring back to our classrooms. All participants were treated to a tour along with educational presentations at the following:


  • Producers Cooperative - a diversified agricultural supply cooperative providing livestock feeds, seed, fertilizer, fuel and lubricants, agricultural equipment and a whole array of farm and ranch supplies to more than 10,000 farmers and ranchers throughout southeast and south central Texas.
  • Messina Hof Vineyard and Winery - a family owned business based on the three cornerstones of family, tradition, and romance, and dedicated to producing a gold medal-winning wine in every variety and maximizing opportunities developed from the wines in a tourism destination, and providing the best in hospitality, food and customer service.
  • Texas A&M University (TAMU) College of Agriculture - one of the United States' largest colleges of agriculture and life sciences. Regarded as leaders in dozens of disciplines, the members of this academic family work to feed our world, protect our environment, improve public health, grow the economy, and enrich our youth.
  • TAMU Vet Emergency Team - the largest and most sophisticated veterinary medical disaster response team in the country, providing cutting edge emergency management education, and developing new knowledge in emergency preparedness education and response.
  • TAMU Beef Cattle Center - a tradition of excellence that began more than 50 years ago and has continued for generations of aggie beef students, teachers, and industry professionals. Their goal is to meet needs of other students and aid in teaching, research, and extension activities.
  • Royalty Pecan Farms - a family-owned and operated working pecan farm consisting of 500 acres and known for sustainable farming practices used to grow, nurture and harvest quality pecans.
  • George Bush Presidential Library - dedicated to preserving and making available records and artifacts of George H. W. Bush, 41st President of the United States.


Of course we had a wonderful business conference as well. Thanks to all of our teachers for your hard work and dedication to Region II, by serving on committees, sharing knowledge and ideas, and encouraging your fellow teachers that were unable to attend to continue their professionalism in our organization. This is exactly what makes NAAE as strong as it is.  We congratulate, once again, all of our award winners and wish this year's state winners the best of luck. I encourage all of you to consider applying for one of the NAAE awards or nominate another teacher and help them complete the award process.


Finally, a couple of reminders for all of our Region II teachers:

  1. The deadline to complete your Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) for regional secretary is September 15th.
  2. Go to CoP and complete your application to serve as Region II representative for NAAE committees.


Well, I am not sure how summer can pass so fast, but school is just around the corner. I wish you all the most enjoyable days of summer vacation which remain, and hope that you all have another blessed school year.

Hals Beard

Summer Time!!

Posted by Hals Beard May 26, 2016

Wow, another year has come and gone.  Summer is here and activities never cease with state conventions, camps, leadership training workshops, livestock shows, vacation, etc.  Most of all, I look forward to the Annual Region II conferences and have done so for 33 years. As a young teacher, my mentor and ag teacher encouraged me to attend a Region II conference and said you will not only have an educational experience, but it will be fun. Bring your family, he said, because there are activities for all. Sure enough, he was exactly right. My wife and family have looked forward to attending the conference every year. We not only have made great, lifelong friends, but have learned so much about the agriculture culture in each state; and not only in each state but also different regions of each state. I cannot tell you how many times I have shared pictures or stories from these conferences in my classes.

I would be the first to tell you that for your ag ed teaching experience to be successful and fruitful, you must put and keep family first. I know this can be hard with all of the time away from home, long afternoons at school, busy summers, and your little spare time for yourself – like hunting or fishing. However, the first question I usually get asked as I show up to register for our Region II conference is, “did your family come with you?”  These short 3-4 days can be a great time for family, friends, networking, professional development, and of course the wonderful cultural experience across the region.


If you have not registered to attend this year’s Region II conference, which will be held at College Station in Bryan, TX – home of Texas A&M – it is NOT too late. Just go to our website at: and click the link to register. You will also find a tentative itinerary of activities, hotel information, and other links to activities in and around town. During the conference, you will experience:

  • exciting off-site professional development from the local agriculture experts
  • wonderful time for networking with other teachers
  • great business meetings where our state/regional/national award winners are recognized
  • committee work sessions
  • presentation of the Ideas Unlimited state winners as they are being judged for the selection of our regional winner

Summer time is here and so is our Region II conference! I look forward to seeing y’all there.

Hals Beard

And the Winner Is...

Posted by Hals Beard Mar 22, 2016

Well, spring is surely here with very little winter ever showing up. Our school year is just about over and the summer calendar is already full. Hopefully many of you have made plans to attend our Region II conference in College Station, TX on June 19-22, 2016. Registration and hotel information can be found on the Region II section of the NAAE website at


As we plan for Region II and the selection of our 2016 award winners, I am reminded of a saying from my uncle, "It takes a poor dog that cannot wag its own tail." I know it is difficult to complete an award application because you are thinking that there are other teachers much more deserving than you. I have felt the same way. However, you deserve recognition for the tremendous work done that causes your students to excel. We encourage, and at times demand, our students complete their state degree, proficiency award, and/or American degree. We too should complete these awards of recognition because they not only recognize us for our hard work, but our schools, communities and students for their part in the success of our programs and careers.


Many of the awards are set up for you to nominate another teacher for an award, especially the Teacher Mentor, Lifetime Achievement, and/or Outstanding Service awards. I would encourage you to consider outstanding young members, outstanding teachers and outstanding programs in your state and nominate them as an award winner for your area, district or region, then assist them in completing the application. I too have been guilty of not applying for some of these awards, only to find out there were no applicants in the state. Please do not let this happen with you. Earn the recognition you deserve. I am sure there are many individuals in your life that feel YOU are the BEST teacher in the world.


As a young teacher, I remember receiving the Outstanding Young Member award from my state and remember what a motivating, rewarding time that was. As young members, you now have opportunities such as the Teacher Turn the Key award program and XLR8 program. These small tokens of recognition can surely make a difference in your teaching career. As my experience grew, I applied for and received the Teacher Mentor award, not only for Louisiana but also for Region II. Man, what an exciting time -- all because of what I was just naturally doing as an agriscience teacher, nothing special; supervising student teachers, assisting new teachers, and assisting with new teacher workshops. In many ways, I am like many of you and did not feel I was good enough for the Outstanding Teacher award, or my program was not good enough for the Outstanding Middle/Secondary Program award, but the real reason is that I just did not make the time or commitment for completing the award application.


Therefore, let this be the time and let this be the year that you reward yourself for your commitment to ag education, NAAE, your school, your community, and most of all your students. You deserve it!!  Also, nominate your former ag teacher or mentor for one of these awards and help them earn the recognition they deserve. May the blessings of spring be upon you all and the fruits of summer fill your lives. 

And the winner is......YOU!! I will see you in College Station at Region II.

Merci beaucoup, laissez le bon temps rouler!!

Happy new year from the Bayou State of Louisiana!  As we experienced in New Orleans, if you don't like the weather just hang around a day or two.  Although we complain about temperatures in the 70's one afternoon then in the 30's the next morning, our hearts and prayers go out to all of our friends and families across this great country being devastated by blizzards, floods and earthquakes.


In this first blog as your Region II Vice President, I would like to take time to thank you for all of your support and encouragement and tell you just a little about myself.  I am currently teaching agriculture at North Central High School, located in the northern portion of St. Landry Parish.  I graduated from LSU in 1983 with a degree in Vocational Agriculture and began my teaching career soon after.  After teaching for 22 ½ years, I took a position with the Louisiana State Department of Education as the Agriculture Programs Consultant for 1 year.  I then had an opportunity to work as one of the state's Agriculture Education Program managers through the LSU AgCenter for 2 ½ years.  Due to coming budget cuts and layoffs, I returned to teaching and have been back in the classroom for 7 years now.  This should all add up to nearly 33 years in education by the time this year ends.


I am married to Dr. Tracy Andries Beard who is currently the principal at Washington Career and Technical Education Center.  We have been blessed with 5 daughters, three of whom are agriculture teachers, one cosmetologist, and one currently enrolled at La Tech University majoring in Pre-Veterinary Medicine.  I am most proud that I was able to teach and be the FFA advisor to all my daughters.  They all served as state FFA officers and all received the acclaimed American FFA Degree.  We have 5 grandchildren - 4 granddaughters and 1 grandson.   My advice to young teachers has always been to put and keep family first.  I know that our life as an advisor/teacher gets hectic, but the best father-daughter times ever had were on FFA activities, livestock shows, and educational field trips.  Do not let these great opportunities pass you by - man, how time flies.


This year, I encourage all of our members to consider the many leadership opportunities that await you in our professional organization. Leadership - a word we all hear quite often. We are taught about many great leaders whom we look up to and strive to be like. We encourage our students to be leaders.  The truth is we are all leaders! Each and every one of us has someone that looks up to us. While you are thinking of all the people you may be a leader for, think of those who are leaders in your eyes. Think of what they do that makes them stand out among everyone else. Our organization depends upon all of its members, working together, to be the best it can be.  I am reminded of Paul's words to the Corinthians when he said, "For as the body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of the body being many, are one body; so also is Christ." (I Corinthians 12:12)  As agriculture teachers, we may compare ourselves to that old toolbox we all have in the back of our truck or under the seat.  It is full of a large variety of tools which each meet a specific need we may encounter.  All serve different purposes but cannot all serve the same purpose.  Therefore, until next time, consider the tool box - which leadership "tool" can you be for the NAAE and your local professional association?  May your days be blessed and spring not linger.

Hello from Arkansas! It is a pleasure to be writing to you again. I know as it is here in Arkansas that you are just sitting around your school just wondering what you are going to do today. Well since you have stopped laughing, I know you are wondering how am I going to get everything done that is on our plate for the day. We, as ag teachers, are busy from the moment that we get up till we go to bed because of the interest that we have in our programs and our students.

Here in Arkansas, we are in the middle of our fair season, so we are trying to figure out how we are going to get our show animals from the county fair to the district fair and then on to state fair in the next few weeks. If you live close to the borders in our state, you are also involved in the fairs in Texas, Louisiana, Oklahoma, and Tennessee. On top of that, we are working on leadership events and Career Development Events that will be here before we turn around. Let us not forget that we also have students that are not involved in these activities, so we have to have lessons planned for them in the classrooms, while we are gone. I try and make sure that the assignments I leave are educational and not just busy work. If you are like me, I have a greenhouse and we are working hard to prepare for  our fall plant sale of mums and poinsettias. As a one-teacher department, it can get to be a little much. Thanks to the parents and students that I have involved in my program, everything is handled perfectly and on time. If it wasn't for a network of parents, former students, present students, and a supporting administration, these things could not be accomplished.

Let's also not forget that the National FFA Convention is coming up and if you are planning on attending, then just put that on the plate too. Due to some conflicts with activities, I will not be able to attend the convention this year, but I hope to see all of you that make it to our NAAE Convention in New Orleans, in November. The national staff has been working hard to provide all of us with a great convention full of many worthwhile workshops and sessions. It is going to be a exciting time in Louisiana this year. Please make plans to attend the NAAE convention.


Now I would like to share a few thoughts with you that were shared with me from Dr. Kevin Elko.


"Your wounds can heal."

How have you been wounded in the past? Can you remember a hurt you experienced? Of course, you can. How about something that you went through that was painful? Does that experience or loss ever really leave you? If you live long enough, you can answer "yes" to all of the above. What good can ever come from being hurt? After someone experiences a loss, he or she will ask, "How will I get through this?" This is a question that is hard to answer, however, I have watched people heal from awful circumstances. Here is the process that Dr. Kevin shared.


You take your wound and heal someone else; that is the only way.

One day a man fell down in a hole. As a doctor walked by, the man screamed up, "Hey, doctor! I fell in this hole. Can you help me?" The doctor wrote him a prescription and threw it down in the hole. Just then, a priest walked by. The man yelled up, "Hey father! I fell in this hole. Can you help me?" The priest wrote out a prayer and threw it down into the hole. Then, his friend walked by. The man yelled, "Hey Joe! I fell in this hole. Can you help me?" His friend jumped down in the hole. The man said, "Nice going, Joe. Now there are two of us here." Joe said, "Yes, but I've been in this hole before. I know the way out."


Your wounds will heal. Sometimes it takes a long time and they will always be there in your mind, but we can move forward and help someone else that needs some of the same help. To share a thought from my life, I have lost two people close to me in the last year. One was my sister and the other was a man that I thought a lot of -- my father-in-law -- and to make it a little more interesting, they both died on September the 7th, one year apart. Of course being a preacher, I understand these things happen. Both are much better off because of health concerns. I miss them, but will always have the memories of our times together.

That is how I feel about each and everyone of you that I have met and visited with through ag activities and serving you as your national officer. Well that is enough on a sad note. I hope to see and visit with you in the near future at our national convention or somewhere else down the road.


May God Bless and Keep you Safe till we meet again,


James H. Cannon

Your Region II VP

Hello from Arkansas! I hope and pray that you have had a great summer to this point, and that the time left will give you the time to refresh before we start another fast-paced year of activities that will make a difference in the lives of students in our programs. It will also make a lot of difference in our lives if we will be open to the opportunities that await us.

I would like to say a BIG thank you to all who attended our Region II conference in Rogers, Arkansas, in June. It was a great conference with many informative tours and a lot of great food to eat. Our meetings at the conference were well attended and we accomplished a lot of business that will make our profession much better. We were happy to have had over 200 people in attendance, including spouses and children. I am sorry if you were not able to attend this meeting, but maybe we will see you at the National FFA Convention or our National NAAE Conference, that will be held in New Orleans this year. For most in our region, that will not be too long of a trip, and I know we will have a great time and learn many things. The NAAE board, along with our national staff, have been working hard to make our conference something that will be beneficial to you and your students, after you return home.

In discussion about our NAAE convention, this will be the year that we will need to elect a new Regional Vice-President and a new Regional Secretary. There are many of you in our region that can fill these positions. Please think about what part you can take on to make our profession better. Please remember, if you are going to run for a position on the board, you need to get a MOU filled out and turned in by September 15th. The MOU is to show that your school and community are behind you and will support you, if elected to a position. I will also be running for NAAE President-elect this year, and would love to have your support in this endeavor. It is a BIG step for me and my school, in that I come from a single department program, but they are behind me totally.


Thank you for support the last five years, as I have served you as regional secretary, and also as your regional vice-president. Without your support, I would not have been able to make the sacrifices that I have made to serve you. I have loved every moment of my time serving. Whatever the future holds, I know it will make me a better person for having had the opportunity to serve. Have a safe and relaxed rest of the summer, and a great start to the new school year. Remember, it is about the students and the future of our profession. We can all find new things to change the direction of our students. I have been teaching ag for 34 years, and I still find new ways to inspire my students each and every year. Students today are different than when I starting teaching years ago, so we can't always use our old ways of teaching. Well enough on that, it is time to get to working on some more lessons plans for the coming year. Again, I look forward to seeing you soon, wherever it may be. May God Bless you and help you in all your activities as the next year begins.



Serving you,

James H. Cannon

Region II VP

Hello from Arkansas and the end of another school year. It sure has been a fast and furious year. I hope that all of you have had a very successful year and accomplished the goals that you set out to accomplish. Our chapter completed many activities and are looking forward to a exciting summer of refreshing activities and planning for another productive year. I am very proud of the accomplishments of my students and how these accomplishments will help them as they continue in their high school, college, or daily careers. I know we all have many success stories of our students and are proud of them as they leave our classrooms and move into the next phase of their life.

I know that all of you have many activities planned for the summer, just like me. We will be spending time with some of our students at FFA state conventions, leadership camps, officer camps, officer retreats, livestock camps, etc. Many of us will also spend our EXTRA time away from students at inservices, training sessions, conferences, vacations with family, and of course straightening up our ag buildings and preparing for a new year of bright beginnings with the students when they come back to school. One of those conferences that I would like to invite you to is our Region II Conference that will be held in Rogers, Arkansas this year, from June 21-24. Arkansas teachers have been working hard to put together a great event that everyone will enjoy. In our region, as you know if you have attended in the past, we set it as a family event. There are activities for all families and time to just get away. So please, if at all possible, plan some of your vacation time around a visit to north Arkansas and enjoy what is available there. All the information on this conference is on our Region II page on the NAAE website. Make plans today to be in attendance and don't miss out on a great time.

Before I close, I would like to leave you with some thoughts that I read this past week that can help make a difference in your life or someone close to you.  How can I make myself a better person? Here are a few thoughts on that subject:

  1. Hang out with people who can lift you up, not hold you down. The story stated that a young man watched another man who was jogging by his house each day and thought to himself that he wanted to be in better shape, so he we out and started jogging with the man and visited with him each day. The man was pursuing a Ph.D and would talk about his research each day. Soon the young man was telling his family that he wanted to pursue a Ph.D.
  2. Be around people who are extreme optimists! Find someone who is excited about what they do and see why they are that way. Let us get excited about our profession and see what we can accomplish for the betterment of ourselves, students, school, community, state and nation. I know ALL of us are excited about something, so make it blossom around the people you associate with.
  3. Be around creative thinkers. Someone has to house the homeless, somebody has to cure cancer, somebody has to be the next President, so make some friends who think you are that person and are willing to help you succeed.
  4. Be around people who never say never. What better group of people than ag teachers? We are willing to do about anything to help a student succeed. We will take them to contests, livestock shows, fairs, conventions, leadership camps, and who knows what else. A lot of the times, it is on our own time, in our own vehicle, and with our own money. We take time away from family to do these things for ourselves and our students. Why? Because we love what we do and want our students to see the benefits of these activities to make them better citizens.


I hope that these thoughts can help you out. I wish all of you a great summer of rest and activities and look forward to being recharged for another great year at school, when summer is over. Hope to see a lot of you at Region II in June.


May God Bless and Keep You Safe,

James H.Cannon

Region II VP

Springtime is Blooming

Posted by James H. Cannon Mar 25, 2015

Hello from Arkansas and Region II. I hope that all is well in your area and with all of your family and love ones. To say that it has been a wild winter and early spring here in Arkansas would be an understatement. Here in south Arkansas, we have received over 10 inches of snow this winter, with six and one-half inches that came at one time. Then the rain decided to set in, and we have been water-logged for about two weeks now. The week of March 23-27 will be my spring break, along with the whole state of Arkansas. Today, March 25th, the sun is shining and it is supposed to reach 80 degrees. The Lord sure has given us a great spring break so far.


Well, just like the rest of you, I have been busy with FFA activities, school activities, and anything else that can come along. I hope that most of you are considering to apply for one of our NAAE awards, this year. There are many of you who deserve to be recognized for your contributions to your school, community, and state for the activities of your FFA chapter and ag ed programs. I know you think that the award recognizes you, but it also recognizes your program and the students in it. They deserve the honor of being recognized for their contributions to their community. I was very against applying until I was shown how it was about my program, more than about me. Yes, ag teachers are the instrument that directs the program, but all the accomplishments are for the students and their futures. So please, if you have not yet applied, consider doing it for your students, community, and your program. You will be amazed at how much support it will generate for your program in your community. It turned my program completely around when I won the Region II program award. Remember, applications are due by May 15th. The application is on the NAAE website and must be filled out there. Please consider it, and best of luck to those who apply.


Now for a few announcements:

1. Our Region II Conference will be in Rogers, AR. on June 21-24. All registration information is on the Region II section of the NAAE website. Please register for this because it will be a great meeting.

2. We are looking for volunteers to help with judging award applications again this year. All awards will be judged online through the NAAE. Exceptions will be our individual awards that we give at our region. Please get these together and bring to the conference in June. These applications are also on the NAAE website.

3. We are still needing a few people on our NAAE standing committees. If you are interested in serving, just let me know and I will see where we can get you placed.

4. At this point, I am considering running for the NAAE President-Elect position. Whether or not I decided to run, we will need to elect a new Region II Vice-President and Secretary at our national meeting in November, when we are in New Orleans. Please consider what your part in this could be. We have some great people in our region that can fill these positions and maybe we just need to ask. Sometimes we are just waiting for someone to say something to motivate us in this direction of leadership.


I am sure there is more that I need to add, but I better close for now, and get back to the activities at hand. Have a great rest of the year and best of luck to you and your students in all the activities that you will be involved in this spring. I hope to see many of you at our regional conference in June. May God bless and keep you safe until we meet again.


James H. Cannon

Region II VP

Hello from Arkansas and Region II. It has been a very busy time here in southern Arkansas. We are in full swing with leadership development events, career development events, state leadership camps, and all types of practice meets for our career development events. I enjoy this time of year because I get to work closer with groups of students, to help them increase their knowledge in some of the FFA contest areas. It is a joy to see the excitement in their eyes when they learn a new concept that makes them a better competitor and person. Speaking of contests and working with students I hope that we are all concerned more with the student learning than with winning of an event. I want to win just as much as the next person, but it is better for the students to learn something, compete with others, and be a better sport than to win. Enough on that. I do wish all of you the best in all your competitions and activities.


The NAAE national conference was great. I hope that you were there to experience it. Congratulations to all the award recipients and their accomplishments this past year. Thank you for taking time to fill out the applications for these awards. By doing this, it will help you in your school and community. I hope that more people will fill out applications for their state and national awards, so we can recognize you and your community. There are great things going on in ALL our programs, that we need to showcase. Thank you again for allowing me to serve as your vice president for our region. This will be my last year in this position, and I am not sure at this time if I will be running for NAAE president-elect position. Please remember me as I try to make the decision that needs to be made.


Please, if there is anything I can do for you, just let me know and I will do my best to represent you or find out the answer that you need. Also, please remember that our Region II summer conference will be in Arkansas this summer. It will be held in Rogers, Arkansas in June. The information is on the NAAE website under the Region II tab. Arkansas delegation does ask you to please reserve your rooms as soon as possible at the conference hotel. As we mentioned at NAAE convention, there is going to be a LPGA golf tournament the same week as our conference, and they are wanting as many rooms as possible for it also. No problem, we have 80-85 rooms reserved. I hope you are planning on being there. We have lots of activities planned for you and your families. Our Region II conference are great with activities for all. Well it is now time for me to get back to the task at hand, and allow my Animal Science II students to give their reports on beef cattle diseases. May God Bless and keep you safe till we visit again.



James H. Cannon

Region II VP

Welcome from Arkansas and Region II. I know most of you have been just as busy as we have been here in Arkansas and Prescott. We have just finished the county fair, 4-States Fair, Southwest District Fair, and in a week and a half, we will be at the State Fair to finish out the fall show season. Of course on top of that, school started back and all of those activities have really stretched us out.  I received this in a e-mail from a friend this past week. I thought this was right where most of us are on the first part. 


A recent movie has reminded me to what extent we are absent in our own lives. In "It's About Time," a young man travels back in time and relives his life. His father, who had cancer, also has this ability. One particular scene shows the young man running through his day without margins, like a foot race that he was barely losing. Sound familiar? He starts his day riding on a train and a man beside him is listening to music on his headphones, singing out loud, and that behavior annoys him. Then, he runs through a train station, running to court, putting on his robe -- he is an attorney -- and is late for his trial, and he is agitated. Next, he goes to court, wins the verdict he wanted, briefly glances at the man he was defending, and runs out of court to arrive at the next station. Then, he runs into a shop, buys a sandwich, not even looking at the woman he is purchasing the sandwich from, throws money on the counter, grabs his change and runs out. Finally, when he is lying in bed, his wife asks him how his day was, he says, "Awful, all I did was get annoyed, agitated and run all day!" His father advises him on how to relive the day; he says: "Notice." That's all. So the son goes back to do the day again. When he is riding on the train and hears the man playing his music out loud, this time he sings along and plays his air guitar; when he runs through the train station, he stops for a brief second to notice the architecture of the magnificent building; when he wins his court case, he takes a minute to observe the relief on his client's face; and when he buys the sandwich, he looks into the beautiful eyes of the woman who has sold it to him and says, "Thank you." Now, as he is lying in bed, when his wife asks him, "How was your day?" he says, "Incredible, I heard a cool new song, saw an incredible building, felt the joy of my client and saw the most amazing eyes: it was a great day." Which of these two scenes do you usually play out?


I hope that all of us will take time to look at what is around us and enjoy what we have. We have the opportunity to accomplish so much and make a difference in the lives of the many people, that we cross paths with each day. You never know when it will be your last chance to say something or to talk to someone before their time is up. This happened to me the first weekend of September, when my mother called to inform me that my sister, who is a year younger then me, had passed away. I know, as everyone does, that we only have a short time on this earth and we need to make the best of it. So if there is someone you need to say something to, please do it today before it is too late.

I hope to see a lot of you at our National NAAE Conference this November, in Nashville, TN. There will be some discussions that I hope will make our organization much stronger and that we will be able to represent all levels of our profession. If at all possible, please make plans to attend. Well, back to the classroom for a little more work before it is time to hit the road to another fair or show. May God Bless and Keep you Safe til we talk or see each other again.


James H. Cannon

Region II VP

Greetings Region II from Arkansas. What a different type of summer this has been so far. I don't know about your part of the region, but in Arkansas we

have been having a wetter and cooler summer than we have had in years. I hope that you have been having  a great summer also. This has been a fast and busy summer starting out with Arkansas State FFA Convention, followed by our Region II meeting in Manhattan, Kansas. We had around 70 ag teachers with their families in attendance. Thank you to Kansas for a very successful conference and wonderful time. We look forward to being in Arkansas, next summer, for our next Region II conference.

Next came our NAAE summer board meeting in Lexington, Kentucky, where we took care of our association's work. Thank you to all the regions and to all the ones who took part in the committee work. Your input will help make our organization much better for ALL members. Thanks to all who looked over the two major proposals about changing committee structure and board restructure.

More information from our regional meetings will be coming forward in the next few weeks from the national office. Then it's off to leadership camp, for me, for a week with my officers to train them for a successful year in the activities that we will plan. The final week of July and I will be attending our State ACTE conference and our state Ag-Ed Inservice. Guess what happens on the next Monday? You are right I will return to school for pre-school workshops. It's been a very fast summer, but a very productive and exciting one, as well. I hope that you all have had a restful summer and are looking forward to a great year of accomplishments in your school, community, state, and nation. Best of luck in all your activities!


Now for a few thoughts on the purpose of this blog. Are you a leader? Yes you are! All of us are leaders in the activities of our local community. I ask that you consider moving forward from your community and becoming involved in your state and national activities. We lead our programs and FFA chapters to accomplish things and we need you at the regional and national level to help the whole organization. If you have not already become part of a committee or taken a leadership position, I ask you to please consider doing it. You all have something to contribute that may help someone else. If you are on, or plan to be on any of our national committees, or are thinking about running for regional secretary or vice-president you must have a MOU turned in to the NAAE office by September 15th. Please search your heart and see what your part can be in our organization.


I hope to see many of you at our national conference this year which will be held in Nashville, Tennessee in November. Have a great start to the year and best of luck in all your activities. Please remember if there is anything I can do to help you, just let me know. I better get back to work on cleaning this shop and preparing for next week's conference. May God Bless and Keep You Safe till we meet again.

Thanks for allowing me to serve you,


James H. Cannon

Region II VP

Hello from Arkansas and the end of another successful school year. I hope that you all have had a GREAT year and accomplished the many goals that you set out to accomplish. Now is the time for us as the ag teacher/FFA advisor to reflect on the past year and to look forward to next year and the things that we would like to see our programs achieve. What types of reflections do you have from the past year? Did you succeed in your program of activities that were set forth for your chapter? Are you pleased with where your program is and also your students? How about the activities of your FFA chapter? Lots of questions to be answered as we prepare for the next year of activities, but first we need a time of rest so we can refresh our minds and bodies.

I am sure that all of you have many activities planned for the summer that will not give you much time to rest, just like me. It is refreshing, though, that we will not be confined to the classroom with 20 to 30 students each day. We will have the freedom to visit and communicate with our students and other ag teachers throughout our states and region. I would like to invite all of you to attend our Region II conference this summer which will be held in Manhattan, Kansas June 15-18. The ag teachers of Kansas have put together a great program of activities for us with opportunities to visit different companies and businesses in the state of Kansas. Also, let's not forget about the great meals that they have planned. Most of you know, but for those who don't, I would like to tell you a few more things about our Region II conference. Our conference is planned as a family type of meeting where each state that hosts the meeting has made plans for family activities. Please take time out of your summer and come to Kansas this June and visit with other teachers from our seven-state region and see what is going on in their states that you may be able to use in your program this coming year.

I wish all of you a great summer of reflecting and a lot of refreshing to make sure we can make our programs greater than they ever have been in the past. Hope to see a lot of you in Kansas in June. Well, now it is time to put those final grades in and close the grade book for another year. If I can help you in any way please just let me know. May God Bless and Keep All You Safe through the activities you have planned this summer.

Your VP

James H. Cannon

Hello again from Arkansas and Region II. Well, in the past week the weather has been very unpredictable. Saturday the temperature was 70 degrees, Sunday 45 degrees, Monday, on St. Patrick's Day, we woke up to an inch of snow on the ground, and then Tuesday it was back up to 70 degrees. They always said that if you did not like the weather in Arkansas just wait 'till tomorrow and it will be different. That has been the weather this year all over the country. Well enough on the weather and on with this blog. I hope everything is going great in your area and that your students are accomplishing many goals that you and they have set out to achieve.


Just a little information on our Region II conference that will be here before we know it. It will be held in Manhattan, Kansas on June 15-18, 2014. I have been visiting with the teachers there and they have a great conference planned for us with many informative tours and activities for us to be involved in. I hope that you are planning on attending this great conference to have the opportunity to visit with your fellow ag teachers from all over our region and pick up some new ideas that you can use in your program. The information on the conference will be put on our website very soon, so please keep checking and get registered.


This issue I am to talk a little about is advocacy and why is it important. Webster states that an advocate is: "one that defends or maintains a cause or proposal." Well fellow ag teachers, we have a very important cause and that is our programs and the future of agriculture in our nation. If we do not present our programs and talk about our programs to those in charge of the money or support of our programs then we will not have a program very long. It is not hard to be a advocate for your program. Just put the kids in their Blue jackets in front of the school, community, state, or National leaders and they will be asking about you and your program. Post their accomplishments in the daily bulletins at school, in the local newspaper, have them present programs at the local civic clubs, have them do spots on the local radio stations, and many more different things in your community. I know that all of us are passionate about our programs, but if we do not tell and show how important it is then we will lose the battle. I ask that you please invite your school boards, other teachers in your school, local government leaders, state leaders, and national leaders into your program and show them how important our programs are to our local community and the state. All these people that I have listed are just waiting for you to ask them because they want to be of service to all in their communities and in their state. So let's start defending our programs and advocate for them. There are many different advocacy tools that we have available for you to use on our website. They are in detail to where even a "dumb" ag teacher in southwest Arkansas can understand and be able to use.


Thank you for your time and best of luck in all you do from here forward. May God Bless and Keep you safe till we visit or meet again.

Serving You,

James H. Cannon

Region II VP