Amid the excitement of planning the 85th Texas FFA State Convention and attending the second quarter meeting of the Texas FFA Association Board of Directors, the 2012-2013 state FFA officers had the opportunity to put a positive face on career and technical education (CTE) in Texas. With January 2013 marking the beginning of the 83rd Session of the Texas State Legislature, the officers were able to interact with several legislators and government officials who have the potential to impact CTE and agricultural education in Texas.
On Friday, Jan. 4, Blaine Brunson, chief of staff for Lt. Governor David Dewhurst, met with the officers to discuss the powers of the Lt. Governor and the workings of the Texas Senate. The officers also traveled to the Texas Education Agency where they met with Michael Williams, newly appointed commissioner of education. During this meeting, the officers shared their perspectives of Texas public education, and the importance of CTE and agricultural education to students. Vangie Stice-Israel, state director for career and technical education, was also in attendance. Friday’s activities culminated with the officers and FFA staff touring the Capitol dome and vault, an experience not many individuals get to have.
The week concluded with a legislative social hosted by the Texas FFA. Many legislative officials were in attendance, including Texas Commissioner of Agriculture Todd Staples, Representative Ryan Guuillan (District 31) and former Representative Aaron Peña. The officers had the opportunity to speak with the Commissioner about pressing agricultural issues in the state. Lastly, the state FFA officers attended the opening of the 83rd Legislative Session. During the opening, the 150 Representatives in the House were sworn into their positions, and the Speaker of the House was elected.
The week was filled with learning and the opportunity to showcase what agricultural education has to offer.