I really enjoyed the Region 4 Conference in Hannibal during the last week of June; the business sessions, tours and the dinner cruise on the Mark Twain Riverboat was tremendous. I have always enjoyed the time spent with teachers at Regional conferences because it gives us a chance to renew friendships and make new ones in a causal setting. During our conference, teachers and guests toured Continental Cement and Heartland Dairy. Looking back at those tours I see the dedication of so many people that built a foundation of success and had a vision to help so many people. I know that our NAAE members have the same kind of commitment to our students and our profession, and we will go the ends of the world for both.
Have you read or heard the statement, "Professionals providing agricultural education for the global community through visionary leadership, advocacy and service.?"...hopefully you have - it is the NAAE statement. As we get ready to start another year, we need to ask ourselves "What is my mission this year?" Are we ready to change things up and incorporate something new in our classrooms and in our FFA programs? I think most of us will but are you ready to try something new? In the mission statement, the three key words are leadership, advocacy and service. Can you think of ways to go the next level in all three areas? As for myself, I plan to contact legislators each month at both the state and national level to advocate for Ag Ed and CTE so that they hopefully know my name when it is time to advocate for key items throughout the year.
How about service and leadership? Are you ready to step up to level in those areas too? MOUs are due by September 15th and I hope you can see yourself in a position of Regional Secretary or Regional Vice President of your respective region. Even if NAAE leadership is not in your plans, I hope you can get more involved in committee work to help make our organization better. Please plan to help build the foundations of our great organization and milk the legislative contacts at the state and national level.