Texas Agriculture March 18, 2016 : Page 16

Train to teach By Ed Wolff and Julie Tomascik A major city and 20 days of agri-culture. It’s the Houston Livestock Show & Rodeo (HLSR)—the cross-roads of urban and rural life. For many, it’s their one chance throughout the year to see and ex-plore agriculture. And that’s why county Farm Bureau leaders took action to help explain just what farmers and ranchers do by investing in HLSR volunteers on the Tours Commit-tee. Knowing the impact they’ll have on the folks who visit the fair and rodeo. “These committee members, plus the rookie committee mem-bers, they’re coming here for a day-long training. They’re learning the basics of agriculture,” said Allen Kaminski, Austin CFB president and a member of HLSR Tours Com-mittee. “So they can take what they learn here and share it with the general public during the rodeo.” The course used to be taught at Texas A&M University, but stopped due to budget con-straints. But 20 county Farm Bureaus and Texas Farm Bureau State Directors Bob Reed and Larry Joiner took the reins, stepping up their agricultural advocacy ef-forts. Weeks before the fair-grounds open, members of the Tours Committee gather at NRG Center to learn from farmers and ranchers. Sessions cover a wide range of topics—farming, various kinds of livestock and even a course on mis-conceptions in agriculture. “The presentations I have Agventurous experience from farm to Houston County Farm Bureaus that donated to the training included: Angelina, Austin, Brazoria, Brazos, Cherokee, Fayette, Fort Bend, Grimes, Hardin, Harris, Matagorda, Montgomery, Nacogdoches, Polk, Shelby, Walker, Waller, Washington and Wharton. Presenters included: Larry Braham, Timothy Gertson, Mary and Bradley Rinn, Michael Vader, Dusty Tittle, Bill Treptow and Mona Oney. Their efforts to help train the Tours Committee reached more than 311,000 visitors last year during the Houston Livestock Show & Rodeo. seen have been excellent. They have been so informative,” said Dianna Kirk, VIP Tour Committee member. “The people are extremely knowledgeable. They’ve been re-ally, really helpful.” Committee members develop a deeper understanding of agricul-ture and the ability to provide fac-tual information. Embracing and sharing the voice of Texas farmers and ranchers. “We’ve got 175 people here today participating. You take that 175 and multiply it over that three-week run of them giving those tours. That’s thousands of people we’re spreading this word to,” Ka-minski said. The committee gave tours to more than 311,000 visitors last year alone. The Tours Committee takes school-aged children and families on tours around the fairgrounds and answers questions—both easy and tough. It’s a look at agriculture away from the midway and bull riding. It’s AGventure, an interactive agricultural experience. HLSR vis-itors see chickens, cattle, pigs and a host of other agricultural-related displays. Local farmers and ranchers want to make sure every tour guide has the knowledge to shed an accu-rate light on Texas agriculture. “When you see these school bus-es pull in and a lot of these kids never even leave their neighbor-hood and they get off a school bus and their eyes get as big as dol-lars,” said Amy Miller, HLSR Tours Committee volunteer. “And they’re so excited and they really just want to absorb the knowledge.” And in this case, knowledge re-ally is power. A powerful reminder that Texas farmers and ranchers not only raise crops and livestock. But ultimately grow Texas. 16 M ARCH 18, 2016

Train to Teach

Ed Wolff and Julie Tomascik

Agventurous experience from farm to Houston

A major city and 20 days of agriculture. It’s the Houston Livestock Show & Rodeo (HLSR)—the crossroads of urban and rural life.

For many, it’s their one chance throughout the year to see and explore agriculture.

And that’s why county Farm Bureau leaders took action to help explain just what farmers and ranchers do by investing in HLSR volunteers on the Tours Committee. Knowing the impact they’ll have on the folks who visit the fair and rodeo.

“These committee members, plus the rookie committee members, they’re coming here for a daylong training. They’re learning the basics of agriculture,” said Allen Kaminski, Austin CFB president and a member of HLSR Tours Committee. “So they can take what they learn here and share it with the general public during the rodeo.”

The course used to be taught at Texas A&M University, but stopped due to budget constraints. But 20 county Farm Bureaus and Texas Farm Bureau State Directors Bob Reed and Larry Joiner took the reins, stepping up their agricultural advocacy efforts.

Weeks before the fairgrounds open, members of the Tours Committee gather at NRG Center to learn from farmers and ranchers.

Sessions cover a wide range of topics—farming, various kinds of livestock and even a course on misconceptions in agriculture.

“The presentations I have seen have been excellent. They have been so informative,” said Dianna Kirk, VIP Tour Committee member. “The people are extremely knowledgeable. They’ve been really, really helpful.”

Committee members develop a deeper understanding of agriculture and the ability to provide factual information. Embracing and sharing the voice of Texas farmers and ranchers.

“We’ve got 175 people here today participating. You take that 175 and multiply it over that three-week run of them giving those tours. That’s thousands of people we’re spreading this word to,” Kaminski said.

The committee gave tours to more than 311,000 visitors last year alone.

The Tours Committee takes school-aged children and families on tours around the fairgrounds and answers questions—both easy and tough.

It’s a look at agriculture away from the midway and bull riding.

It’s AGventure, an interactive agricultural experience. HLSR visitors see chickens, cattle, pigs and a host of other agricultural-related displays.

Local farmers and ranchers want to make sure every tour guide has the knowledge to shed an accurate light on Texas agriculture.

“When you see these school buses pull in and a lot of these kids never even leave their neighborhood and they get off a school bus and their eyes get as big as dollars,” said Amy Miller, HLSR Tours Committee volunteer. “And they’re so excited and they really just want to absorb the knowledge.”

And in this case, knowledge really is power. A powerful reminder that Texas farmers and ranchers not only raise crops and livestock. But ultimately grow Texas.

Read the full article at http://texasagriculture.texasfarmbureau.org/article/Train+to+Teach/2425595/294126/article.html.

Previous Page  Next Page


Publication List
Using a screen reader? Click Here