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NAAE Region III Updates

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Hey Iowa! Hey Minnesota! Hey Nebraska!  Hey North Dakota!  Hey South Dakota!  Hey Wisconsin!  NAAE Region III Conference is coming up June 19-21 and it would be great if you could be there; there as in Wahpeton, ND! That's right, we are meeting in Wahpeton and the North Dakota team has great plans for those of you that choose to show up! There is golf for our Iowa friends, a casino for our Wisconsin friends, and a zoo for everyone else! Tours are set up to see sugar beet processing, sunflower seed production and the processing of corn syrup, plus more!

 

See the flyer attached below or on NAAE Region III CoP page. Registration is online and also available on the Region III Facebook page or you can contact your State Leader for more information. The Region III Conference is a great opportunity to see old friends, make new friends and to collaborate with people who really understand what you do every day. We will be conducting important NAAE business, selecting our Region III Ideas Unlimited Winner, and doing important committee work. This conference helps create a better vision about the purpose of NAAE at the grassroots level, this is where you have an impact and your voice is heard. Take the time to make sure your voice is heard and the NAAE is representing you and your profession to the best of its ability.

 

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As I prepare to take my first National FFA Convention trip with my new students in my new school, I reflect on the highlights from past trips. There have been many great tours, sessions, keynote speakers, and award ceremonies that I have attended over my 21 years of teaching. The trips I remember the most though, are the ones that brought out the best in my students. This trip gives FFA advisors an opportunity not many other teachers experience, they take students out of their school and community to a new state for a whole week! The advisors plan many experiences for their students, including educational tours, sessions with exceptional speakers, and workshops that develop their leadership and personal growth. This is all part of the overall experience. However, there are those other creative plans that help students get to know each other on the bus and to show what they have learned at the convention. The advisors I travel with have a lot of fun planning those additional activities that get the students out of their shy personal space and put them in situations where they have to talk to new people, maybe do some acting, dancing or singing, and just have a lot of fun.

 

Each year, a number of activities are planned to help our students grow. One activity is the "Most Unique Item" contest. The students are challenged to find a unique item to share with the bus on the ride home. A set of rules has been established to keep the game fair and fun. There have been some interesting items over the years, including a chunk of cement, an exhibit plant, autographs, band drum sticks, etc. The advisors vote for the "Most Unique Item" to determine the winner. The prizes vary each year and the competition is fierce. In addition to this contest, the students also have to prepare a presentation of the items they discover or collect at the career expo. The students work in groups or alone and prepare songs, skits, or demonstrations to share what they had picked up at the expo.

 

One year, we had a demonstration of 101 ways to wear a head band. The presentation was so funny we were all in tears! The students' presentations are evaluated by a panel of guest judges (aka: FFA advisors dressed in disguise, see photo below). The students love to see their advisors transform their personalities to become these guest judges. A third activity is a seat rotation on the bus. The aisle seats have to move three seats forward to sit with a new person and get to know them. Each round, they have to find out new information such as, what is your favorite flavor of ice cream, what are you dressing up as for Halloween, what is your SAE project, etc. After three of four rounds, the students have met quite a few new people on the bus. Each of these experiences helps build the students' confidence, while at the same time providing them with the opportunity to share what they have learned at National FFA Convention. These are the types of activities the students will never forget and make the best National FFA Convention trips!

 

Safe travels!

 

 

I can hear it already...  Yes, I am super busy! Yes, I have a huge work load!  And Yes, I don't need one more thing to do! ......

 

BUT, one of the greatest aspects of a career in agricultural education is giving back. Giving back to the students, the school and the community. Serving as a NAAE officer also allows me to give back to the people I appreciate most -- my ag ed colleagues. As a NAAE officer, I have learned more about how the organization helps ag teachers across the country. I have learned about so many ag educators, ag programs, and ag stories that I would not have known about if I had not pursued this leadership position.

 

 

I know any of you would fight to the end for your students and your program, I apply that same feeling to my position as an officer, I fight for ag teachers and what is important to them and their career. Serving as an officer is a rewarding experience, similar to the rewards we gain as teachers -- you feel good about helping others and seeing them succeed. 

 

I highly recommend that you consider serving as an officer for NAAE, so you too can learn about the organization, learn about ag programs across the country, and fight and give back to the most amazing people -- your colleagues. So no excuses, put your name in the hat and run for a NAAE officer position.  All you need to do is have your school sign the MOU found in the Leadership Handbook, found at naae.org, and turn it in by September 15, 2016. Take yourself to the next level of agricultural education and serve as a national officer; you won't regret the experience!

         Region III Conference               July 21-23, St. Cloud, MN             

 

Hello Region III!

As school is still winding down for some of us (I have 2-1/2 days left yet), I hope everyone is finding some time to spend with family and friends before your summer activities start. While you are making your summer plans, I hope you find time to join us at the Region III Conference in St. Cloud, MN. The Minnesota committee has arranged a number of tours for us and they have been working hard to put this conference together so I'm sure they would appreciate it if we had great attendance.

 

Some of you may be asking, "Why should I go to Region III Conference?" To quote some of your colleagues:

"Region III Conference is a great time to take an adventurous trip across country with your ag teacher friends and collaborate ideas." 

"Region III conference provides an opportunity to get to know other ag teachers in different states and to make connections, adding to your list of resources." 

"Region III Conference establishes comradery among ag teachers."  


These are just a few of the things I have heard said by Region III Conference participants.


Another good reason to attend Region III Conference is that you are traveling without students and you get to spend some quality time with adults that share your same profession. It is the one time you can enjoy the company of your conference companions and talk shop and everyone knows exactly what you are talking about and how you feel. You can't ask for a better conference! 


I know as I travel with the Wisconsin gang we will find our own adventures on the way to Minnesota, even though the drive will be quite a bit shorter than when we went to Scottsbluff, NE last year. When you make your travel plans, don't forget to put someone in charge of snacks, drinks, music, sightseeing, and of course driving! Everyone gets a job on our trip! I challenge you to find adventure and create your own stories to share. 


I hope I have given you enough reasons as to why you should attend Region III and that you are considering joining us at the conference. See you in St. Cloud!


I hope everyone has a great summer! I will be moving from Lodi to Columbus July 1, 2016, so I know I will be busy making the transition. If anyone likes moving please stop by!

  Your Region III Vice President,  Glenda Crook           


Glenda Crook

And the Winner Is....!

Posted by Glenda Crook Mar 24, 2016


"And the winner is....!"  I'm sure all of you have heard that phrase before and in some cases you were the winner and other times it was someone else. I know that as agricultural educators, we do not focus on being personally recognized for our teaching, programs, or service to our students. We do, however, promote our students and FFA members to ensure they are recognized for their success in their SAE programs, speaking skills, career knowledge, and their leadership. Most of us succeed through our students; if they are being acknowledged that is all we need to feel fulfilled. I know my proudest moments have been standing on stage next to one of my national proficiency winners, a state officer candidate or a creed speaker at a sectional speaking contest. I can hear it now, "I don't need an award plaque or trophy to put on my shelf to tell me I am doing my job and doing it well." And here it comes...."BUT" being nominated for an award or competing in an award area provides an opportunity for you to take stock of what you have accomplished with your students and in your program. Taking part in the NAAE award areas makes your success and your program public to your peers. It promotes agricultural education beyond your classroom to a wider audience other than your hometown. Sharing your success, your innovation, and your educational philosophy exposes a number of other teachers to ideas and motivates them to try and achieve the level of success you have accomplished. The first time I was nominated for an award, I completed the application and submitted it thinking there was no way I could compete with the other teachers that I was up against, but the tough competition and the achievements those other teachers had listed in their accolades only made me want to become an even better teacher.  I dug deeper and worked harder to provide an even better experience for the students in my program.

 

I was named Wisconsin's Agricultural Education Teacher of the Year in 2005.  It was one award I was truly proud of, as my colleagues recognized me as a worthy teacher to apply for the award, and then selected me to represent Wisconsin as their top agricultural educator. Once it was announced, I had several of my peers approach me to congratulate me, but also to learn from me. I was asked to share my curriculum and lessons. I have presented many workshops since then, sharing activities and some of the innovative lessons I use in my classroom. It was an honor to be recognized, but even more important for me, to be able to help my fellow ag teachers by sharing my ideas. I have continued to share ideas and present workshops and I am currently putting together an online resource for new ag teachers, to help them get a head start in developing their lessons and curriculum. The best part of being a member of the agricultural education family is that we share. So when you are nominated for an award, look beyond the personal recognition and the lack of time you have to complete the application, and look toward the opportunity you have to help your ag ed family. I would compare it to having a birthday, you aren't too happy about getting another year older, but everyone wants to help you celebrate anyway. The same is true for our NAAE awards everyone wants to help you celebrate the success you have brought to your program and your students, so take the time to fill out the award online and let us celebrate agricultural education!

 

Congratulations to each of our state winners. I am encouraging each of you to complete the online application process, so that we can celebrate your success. I know Region III will have a number of members present in Las Vegas to help recognize your accomplishments. The online awards can be found at: http://www.naae.org/resources/awards/index.cfm

 

Make sure you check out the NAAE website for updates and new videos Julie has released!

 

Mark your calendars for the Region III conference to be held in St. Cloud, MN, June 21-23!

Glenda Crook

We're Halfway There!

Posted by Glenda Crook Feb 1, 2016

Hello Region III!

 

I am anticipating a day or two of no school this week as a big storm is preparing to hit tomorrow.  Since Fabulous February has just started this would not help in Wisconsin as State Degrees are due and speaking contests are under way.  I know some of you have probably been struggling with the National FFA website and trying to get your students' scholarships completed.  Things are under repair as I write and it sounds like there has already been a major improvement today.  Amazing to think how many FFA members must be applying for scholarships and degrees to bog down the internet!

 

I don't know about you, but January felt like a very long month for me.  Second semester is underway and I keep thinking how we are already finished with half of the school year.  This has me looking forward to my summer schedule and where I will be traveling to as the Region III VP.  I am hoping many of you are considering attending the Region III Conference in St. Cloud, MN this summer, June 21-23.  I know they are planning some great tours and activities.  Mark your calendars and watch for future announcements about the conference!

 

At the end of this month I'll be traveling to Washington D.C. to attend the NAAE board meeting.  If you have any items you would like to request I bring to the attention of the board please email or call me and let me know. I will not be able to stay for NPS, but I hope some of you have the opportunity to attend.  It is a great time to inform your state representatives about agricultural education.  Other NAAE updates I have are mainly focused on finding Region III people to serve on committees.  We are short people from our Region on several committees.  I know the state leaders have been promoting this to their state, if you have any interest at all in serving on a committee please submit your MOU, resume and letter of intent to NAAE.  Additional committee news; I am in charge of the Public Policy committee and we have a goal to have all states submit a profile to be posted on NAAE's website.  You will be hearing from the Public Policy Committee each month until your state has their profile submitted. 

 

As I finish up my thoughts for the middle of the year I just want to send out some words of encouragement and support to each of you.  Teaching ag ed is a great profession and sometimes it feels like we are the only ones who know that, so take a moment to pat yourself on the back for all of your successes the first half of the school year.  Take it easy on yourself if things don't go exactly as planned and you know you did your best.  Make small changes at a time and don't try to tackle everything at once to save your sanity and to allow the freedom to spend some time with your family.  You have a great job and you are probably working with some of the best students your school and community has to offer so relish in that and remember tomorrow is another day!  Earlier this year I was watching the news and they were talking about the 5-3-1 strategy to assess your day and to be more positive.  For 5 minutes you meditate at your desk to clear your mind and give yourself a break, next you write down 3 good things that happened to you during the day and finally you do 1 random act of kindness.  Give it a try and see if it doesn't change your perspective on how your day went and how you feel about yourself!

 

I've included a couple of pictures with Wisconsin's Governor and my National Proficiency Finalist for Equine Placement, Molly Schwister.  We were invited to a reception at the Governor's mansion by Governor Walker and his wife as guests of our Secretary of Agriculture, Ben Brancel.  It was a unique opportunity to get to meet the Governor and to see the mansion decorated for the holidays.  Governor Walker was even a good sport and let us take a picture of him with the Lodi FFA sunglasses we brought him as a gift from the chapter.  As NPS approaches this is just another example of how we can positively promote FFA and the good things our FFA members and chapters are doing in our states.


My door is always open so feel free to contact me anytime with questions, information I should know or just to have a talk and catch up!

 

Glenda Crook

Region III Vice President

 

Molly Crook and Walker.jpgGovernor Walker with Lodi FFA sunglasses.jpg

In a couple of weeks, most of us will be loading vans, buses, or planes with FFA members in tow, on our way to National FFA Convention in Louisville, Kentucky.  This will be my 19th trip and it is still exciting for me because National FFA Convention is like the CMA's for country music or the Oscars for movies! The reason I am excited each year is because every trip has its moments that create memories that last a lifetime. The National FFA Convention encourages members to follow their dreams, set goals and to grow as individuals. 


I remember my first National FFA Convention. My chapter assisted behind the main stage moving props and lining up award winners. I set my own goal that year, to one day move my members from behind stage to the award winning members on the stage. One of my proudest moments was supporting a National Proficiency finalist and winner on the stage! I have had the honor of being the advisor for a number of special FFA members and award winners over the years. 


No National FFA Convention trip would be complete without a tour or two.  One of my favorite stories is the year we took the members to a four-plex movie theatre just before the rodeo. I don't remember why, but the advisors had to fill a couple of hours of time before the rodeo. Using the resources we had available on the bus, I suggested we tell the students we were taking them to a four-plex movie theatre. We made the announcement on the bus as we pulled into the very empty parking lot for the rodeo. The students were so excited and wanted to know what movie they were going to see. As the bus pulled to a stop and some students actually looked out the window to see this amazing movie theatre, they began to wonder. As I was being bombarded with questions, I pointed out that they were at the four-plex and to please direct their attention to the nearest screen on the bus. I'm sure many of you have had to get creative on your National FFA Convention trips too.


I don't know that one convention is better than any other because each has a special moment with a special group of students. Over the years, I have had the honor of traveling with an outstanding group of advisors and my members have had the opportunity to get to know the members of a couple of chapters, as we travel with the same group each year. Our travel buddies have created a long-lasting bond between our chapters and members and this is what I would have to say is the best of the best part of National FFA Convention. Safe travels to everyone as you make lasting memories on your way to National FFA Convention! I hope we bump into each other!

The Region III Conference was another success, as well as a great reunion of ag teachers from all six states. Scottsbluff and the Nebraska association did a fine job of making all of the arrangements for our conference, including accommodations, meals and tours.  A big thank you to Alan Held, Jon Lechtenberg, and their team for all of their hard work!


The NAAE award winners have been released, so I want to congratulate all of the Region III winners!


Agriscience Teacher Of The Year - Candice Franks, Badger High School Wisconsin

Ideas Unlimited- Melissa Bonifas, Blue Hill High School, Nebraska

Outstanding Middle School/ secondary Ag. Ed. Program- Thomas "TJ" Brown, Springfield High School, Minnesota

Outstanding Post secondary/ Adult Ag. Ed. Program- Brydon Kaster, Indian Hills Community College

Outstanding Teacher- Paul Larson, Freedom High School, Wisconsin

Outstanding Young Member- Jake Cramer, Beaver Dam High School, Wisconsin

Teacher Mentor- Michael Retallick, Iowa State University, Iowa

Lifetime Achievement -Keith Gundlach, Randolph High School, Wisconsin

Outstanding Cooperation- Pam Jahnke, Wisconsin Farm Report, Wisconsin

Outstanding Service- Dr. Rick Bockhop, Wisconsin

Teacher Turn the Key-Daniel May, IA; Nikki Beucler, MN; Sarah Knutson, NE; Nicole Fideldy, ND; Cayla Christiansen, SD; Walter Taylor, WI

 

Congratulations to all of our regional winners!

 

REMINDER: If you are interested in running for regional secretary, your MOU is due on September 15!

Only a few days left of school (who's counting?) and I am looking forward to my summer travels.  I have a lot of trips scheduled, but the one that promises to be the most adventurous will be my trip to Region III Conference.  I have signed up to take the journey to Scottsbluff, NE with a few of my Wisconsin friends, in none other than an RV.  Yes!  This can only mean one thing, we are bound to have an exciting trip!.  I have already been informed that there will be tour stops on the way (I already heard mention of the John Wayne Museum), and an overnight somewhere in between Wisconsin and Nebraska (not sure where yet). 


If you check out the NAAE Region III Facebook page, you may see other states are also planning adventurous trips using various modes of transportation.  If you haven't signed up to join one of these convoys, you are missing out.  I have been traveling to the Region III Conference for about 12 years and each year I gain a new adventure and many stories to share.  If I started to share all them here, you would have to read my blog for hours. 


The best part of the Region III Conference is traveling throughout the states in our region and visiting places you never would have gone to if it weren't for your ag teacher friends and companions.  Each association does a fabulous job of planning tours and activities to help expand the site seeing and learning that takes place on this trip.  Nebraska has three tours planned for us this year -- Brown's Sheep Mill, Pathfinder Irrigation District, and Western Sugar Company. 


Not to put all of the fun aside, but we will have business meetings in the morning on Tuesday, June 29 and Wednesday, June 30 to make important contributions to the NAAE. Soooo if you haven't registered for Region III yet, today is the day!  The hotel is taking reservations through today, June 1, so don't delay! A flyer is attached.  Registration can be done at this link:  NAAE Region III Conference.  Hurry and make your travel arrangements so you too can join in the adventures of Region III!

 

The chariot that will be taking me to Region III Conference in Scottsbluff, NE!  See you there!

 

 

Yes, while most teachers are winding down the school year and trying to finish up all school connections for their summer break, we ag teachers are in what I would call transition mode.  We just want to put away our final lab supplies, finish grading those final exams, get those last greenhouse plants in the ground, and sort of clean up our rooms before we head off to a convention, a professional development conference, or a fair.  I enjoy this time of year mainly because it brings a fresh and renewed sense of energy to the classroom. My students are excited to get outside to go fishing, plant gardens, and start those landscaping projects.  It is the best time of year to really incorporate hands-on learning into your curriculum.

 

I also start to look ahead to my summer schedule and try to find time to fit in my officer retreat.   As other teachers look forward to down time, we look forward to spending time watching our students show that fair project, connecting with our ag ed family at professional development conferences, and visiting our neighbors at a regional conference.  Some of my best memories are the road trips I have taken with my Wisconsin ag teacher friends to our Region III Conference.  We have the best time and have quite a few stories to share.  Even though we spend time away from our families, we know that the time we spend together will reap many benefits the next year in our classroom.  We do a lot of brainstorming on these trips and come up with some great ideas... well most of the time they are pretty great!   These trips to the Region III conference have established new friends across our state border, which has also proven to be beneficial in our classrooms.  If you haven't taken an adventure to Region III Conference yet, find a group of your ag teacher friends and plan a trip to Scotts Bluff, NE and see what benefits you can gain.

 

I once thought,  "How great would it be to have a whole week of vacation and to just sit and do nothing!"  I tried that once just for a day and didn't like it one bit.  I actually got all twitchy and jittery wondering  "What am I forgetting to do?"  Then I wandered around the house and looked for things to clean, move or reorganize and still couldn't shake the feeling that I needed to be doing something.  I thought I must be crazy, most people would be happy to have some free time to just sit and do nothing.  I discussed this with some of my closest ag teacher friends and learned that they are the same way.  We are like the energizer bunny, we just can't wind down or turn ourselves off.  So if you are beginning to think there is something wrong with you, because you can't sit still or because your summer calendar is even more full than your school year calendar, I am confirming that you are just a normal ag teacher.

 

As spring approaches and we prepare to finish up the school year to transition into our summer, keep your head up, bask in the sun, and enjoy the buzz!

 

 

Glenda Crook

Who's New and Who Knew?

Posted by Glenda Crook Feb 6, 2015

Hello Region III,


I would like to introduce myself to those of you I have not yet met. I am Glenda Crook, your new Region III Vice President.  I am from Wisconsin and teach in a rural town that has more dairy cows than people, called Lodi. I have been teaching for 21 years, of which 19 of them have been in the Lodi School District.  I offer 13 different courses, as I am sure most of you also have a wide variety of class offerings.  I actually have a degree in Meat and Animal Science from UW-Madison, but went back to get my certification to teach agricultural education, after taking most of my electives in the school of education. Both of my parents were teachers, so I guess they had an influence on me. 


My FFA chapter has around 200 members, and I generally have around that many students enrolled in my courses.  In my spare time, I enjoy spending time with my family, especially my two grand-daughters Zoe and Leah. I have a son, Andrew, and a daughter, Jamie, who is married and has the two girls.  My husband owns his own construction company in the city of Madison.  I look forward to my travels over the next three years in the great midwest, and hope to run into many of you on my journey.  As your Regional Vice President, I am interested in hearing your ideas, suggestions and comments about agricultural education, so please feel free to contact me. My email address is crookgl@lodischooslwi.org.  Here's to a great year in the most rewarding profession!


I would also like to introduce you to our new regional secretary, Christa Williamson, from Minnesota. 


For our new members and teachers, I would like to recommend the News and Views, for your reading pleasure.  This online periodical provides articles and teaching suggestions specific to agricultural educators.  You may find it is worth your time to take a look and see what other teachers like you are doing in their state and classroom.  Ag teachers are the most selfless group of individuals, willing to help each other out and to give each other useful information to put to work in their programs right away.  If you have a question or need assistance, do not hesitate to ask your colleagues in the NAAE, or your local professional organization. I bet you will get more than one response.

Are you ready for Nashville?  Fall has officially arrived and in just a couple of days we will begin the month of October, and soon end the first quarter of school.  In a few short weeks, I will see many of you as we attend the National FFA Convention and members compete or participate in numerous activities. A couple of weeks after that, we will travel to Nashville to attend and participate in our NAAE convention -- your time to step up and shine.


This year will provide many opportunities to network with fellow teachers while we learn and share with our peers in numerous professional development workshops. Being under the same roof with ACTE should allow you to have more choices in planning your daily activities. I remember my first NAAE convention and how I was able to meet and talk to so many teachers who had the same interests and questions as I did. I knew after the first one I would attend many more and try to get others from our state to attend with me. With each conference that I have attended, I have always come home with something new that I learned to share with others, or to use in my classroom.


I want to take the time to congratulate all the Region III award winners and to tell each of you to savor the moment. Your hard work is truly appreciated and to be selected as a regional winner is quite an honor. I would also like to thank all of you for allowing me to serve as your Region III Vice-President the past 3 years. The friendships I have made and memories from this time will be something I will cherish forever.


While in Nashville, take some time to not only participate in as many professional activities as you can, but also for personal enjoyment as well. Re-charge your batteries and move forward and challenge your students to be the best they can be.

Greetings Region III.  As a father of five and now with our 12th grandchild, I have on occasion read a Dr. Seuss book!  I love the message each story tells, and each one has some amazing quotes that can be applied to our lives in so many ways. The book Did I Ever Tell You How Lucky You Are? is one of my favorites, not only for the message of being grateful for what you do have, but also for what you don't have.


As I relate to this, I am so LUCKY for having had the opportunity to serve Region III as your Vice-President these last few years. I have really enjoyed my role on the NAAE board and would highly recommend it to anyone. With this comes the fact that I will soon be ending my term as your Vice-President, so a new one will need to be elected while we are in Nashville. I am hoping that some of you will be more active in the association on the national level and submit your MOU by September 15th. We will also need members to run for our Regional Secretary and they also need to submit an MOU by September 15th. These can be found at the following link http://www.naae.org/resources/leadershiphandbook/docs/OfficerMOU--2011-11-08.pdf, or you can learn more through the leadership handbook.


If you can't run for either of these offices, then become active in committees, or on the state level as an officer in your state association. It is just so important for all of us to have a voice in dealing with all the issues or items of importance that come up. We always encourage our students to be active and willing  and I feel we need to do the same, so please consider becoming a more active leader and being more involved in the NAAE.


As summer comes to a close and we prepare for the new school year, remember the excitement and impact that you can have on each of your students from middle school, high school, technical or university levels. Each of you greatly influence their futures and this is a task that should never be taken lightly.


Thank you Wisconsin for hosting our Region III conference, and providing us with so many great workshops and tours. I had a great time on the tours and at the baseball game, of course the pork chop dinner was amazing again, as well. For the rest of you, make plans to attend another Region conference in Scottsbluff, Nebraska next year, which I could use to relate to another of Dr. Seuss' books "Oh the Places You Will Go."

  

Have a great end of the summer as we wrap up with county, regional and state fairs, and then head into the beginning of another chapter in our lives. So I will end on a quote from my favorite author:

 

Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It's not.

Another one bites the dust, or so they say. It seems just like a few weeks ago that we had just started school and we were ready for our first 3-day weekend with Labor Day. Now I have been working on my camper and preparing to take off for a bit of R & R with family over Memorial Day. As each school year ends, it has become our family tradition to take a long weekend to relax and celebrate another school year gone by. When my children were younger this was always exciting to them, and now it is for their children as well. From a few campsites with family at first to over a dozen in the group this year we will find time to reflect and socialize with everyone there.


Then in a few short weeks it is time for another family to gather and reflect, socialize and interact. I am talking about our Region III family, which will be in Wisconsin this year, beginning on June 16th. If you have not registered, it is never too late until after the fact. Take time to check out the website for Region III. There are so many Professional Development workshops and opportunities to share with others in our region this year, and you can check it all out here at the Wisconsin Association of Agricultural Educators or www.waae.com/events/ to review the schedule and choice of workshops to you.


Over the years, the Region III conference has become one of my favorite activities in the summer, and I look forward to seeing many of you there again. There will also be many items to discuss with the possible changes to our NAAE Board and with Committee Structure and work. Each state should also bring with them those candidates for NAAE Outstanding Service, NAAE Outstanding Cooperation, NAAE Lifetime Achievement and, of course, your state winner to present for Ideas Unlimited at Wednesday's luncheon.


With other news I hope you also find time to do those things as required by our profession to have a successful program with your SAE visits, fair work, and making those contacts with businesses and leaders in your communities, to advocate for your programs. If you have any questions feel free to always contact me, or contact your state officers for information you are seeking. Have a great summer! For those of you not quite there, I hope your last days or weeks are filled with great experiences.

Hello Region III, I hear spring is almost here. Really!! It is also almost the end of the school year, and we are all busy preparing teams for various CDE's, wrapping up projects in the shop or classroom, and wondering will we ever have time to just relax. The day will come, but as an agriculture teacher you know the work is never done.

   

As I write this, I am wondering what is in our future? Are we prepared for what lies ahead? We hear about advocacy all the time, but are we doing it and ourselves justice? I see all types of success stories with FFA members. That is the easy part, but I wonder what about our profession? Do we do a good job advocating for agricultural education?  I think it is hard and makes us a little uncomfortable to promote ourselves, as it is much easier to promote and advocate for our students. This being said, though, we need to promote ourselves and profession as we complete training for CASE curriculum, or re-write our curriculum to common core standards and to be more rigorous.  I challenge each of you during the next few months that each time you complete a professional development event, class or attend a professional workshop to promote it in your local paper, and to let others know as well. Don't just be the FFA Advisor be the Ag Teacher. Blow your horn, and let it be heard!

   

I also hope you can find time this summer to attend our Region III conference June 16th to the 18th in Wisconsin. This is always a great time to get in quality professional development and collaborate with peers from across the area. They are hosting this in conjunction with their summer PDC, so there will be lots of great workshop opportunities. Be on the look out for registration information and the block of rooms for the motel so that you do not miss out on this great opportunity.

    

See you soon.