Agricultural teacher attends conference

Local ag education instructor Amanda Ramos attended the Colorado Vocational Agriculture Teachers Association (CVATA) Summer Conference June 24–27. More than 80 agricultural educators from across Colorado attended the annual professional development conference, held this year at Fort Morgan High School.

During the conference, instructors were given the chance to participate in a variety of professional development trainings that included training in the area of agriculture mechanics, parliamentary procedure, animal science/reproduction and the annual trailer variance certification course. Roger Hanagriff of AET, Colorado Ag Education’s Internet-based record-keeping system, introduced upgrades to the system and helped answer questions that instructors had about the relatively new system. Attendees were also given updates by state and national Team Ag Ed representatives, including state and national Future Farmers of America, Colorado Community College System, Colorado FFA Foundation and the CSU Ag Education department.

Conference attendees were given numerous opportunities to tour producers involved in various segments of the ag industry around Fort Morgan. These tours included Cargill Meat Solutions beef processing plant, MMI International, manufacturer of feedlot mixers and manure spreaders and a food preparation and food safety seminar presented by Mark Kokes.

Teachers also took part in meal functions sponsored by DJ’s Fundraising, Edwards Right Price Market, and Riverstar Farms. Attendees were also treated to a dinner on Wednesday night prepared by the Colorado Young Farmers Educational Association hosted at Kokes’ residence in Fort Morgan. CVATA members were also involved in conducting the business of the organization by participating in business meetings, standing committee work and electing representatives to fill open positions in the CVATA leadership continuum.

The Colorado Retired Vocational Agriculture Teachers Association also held their annual meeting. This year, the CVATA was honored to have in attendance at its awards banquet over a dozen members and spouses of the CRVATA.

To conclude the conference, CVATA officers conducted an awards dinner and officer installation at the Clarion Hotel in Fort Morgan.

New CVATA officers for the 2014-2015 year were installed as follows: secretary John Stahley, Platte Valley; president-elect Matt Sinclair, Sangre De Cristo; and president Todd Thomas of Caliche. Retiring CVATA president Cory Wedel of Stratton was presented with his retiring officer gavel and received thanks for his years of service as a CVATA officer.