It is always exciting to attend a state FFA convention. The Wisconsin FFA Convention was no exception. They really did a bang up job. I enjoyed making a surprise visit as the Honorable Dudley Hughes, a member of the U.S. House of Representatives from 1908 to 1917. He co-sponsored the Smith-Hughes Act of 1917 which provided federal funds to support the teaching of agriculture in the public schools. I discussed why the act was needed and the consequences if it had not been enacted. As I posed with students for photos after the presentation, one wanted to know if I was the real Dudley Hughes. This student might be knowledgeable of agriculture but could use some help with math as the real Dudley Hughes would be over 150 years old.
It was interesting being at Andrews Air Force Base (that is what most people still call it even though it is now Joint Base Andrews because several branches of the military are stationed there) this past Wednesday. The Air Force is moving to implementing a Performance Improvement Process that involves collaborative teams. So a colleague and I did a workshop on how to get that process started. We enjoyed interacting with the Air Force personnel and civilians who will be involved in this process.
It was nice being in California recently at the annual meeting of the American Association for Agricultural Education. I was pleased that the GALA presentation received a 3rd place honor. I also enjoyed touring California agriculture and learning more about such crops as avocados and lettuce. Touring the coast was fun and seeing elephant seals packed tightly on the beach was interesting. Spending a day in Sequoia National Park was also enjoyable. Speaking at Andrews Air Force Base next week will be a real contrast to California.
I was at at the beach yesterday. I had the opportunity to speak about “Live Like You Were Dying” to the Carteret County government employees. It was a double-header. I spoke to the employess in Beaufort in the morning and to the ones in Morehead City in the afternoon.
What was a shame was being at the beach and having such cold weather!!! I typically take a walk along the beach in this part of the world but it was just too cold and windy. But on the way home I did stop at a Piggly Wiggly grocery store in the town of Maysville. You don’t see many Piggly Wiggle stores these days unless you get in the rural areas of the state.
Have you heard of the Women’s Land Army? Since 2017 is the 100th anniversary of the USA entering WWI, it might be good to learn more about the Women’s Land Army. I will be making a presentation at Chautauqua this summer about the Women’s Land Army. The Women proved they could do farm work and deserved to be on equal footing with men – including the right to vote. This forthcoming article in the Tar Heel Junior Historian Magazine previews what that presentation will be about – THJHmagazine_GaryMoore.
It was a real fun night with a group from the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Raleigh last Saturday night. I spoke on “From Paddles to Pots to Privies: The History of the Outhouse.” The host for the night, Linda Bestimt, did a bang up job of decorating. The toilet paper (including corn cobs) were hillarious and the bathrooms had door overlays complete with crescent moons. The audience used electronic responders to answer such questions as to why outhouses have crescent moons on the door, the reason for the two holer outhouses and other thought provoking questions.
It was a honor to speak to the Kirk of Kildaire Presbyterian Church in Cary to help them celebrate Black History Month. The presentation focused on how Booker T. Washington (President of Tuskegee Institute) and Julius Rosenwald (the President of Sears-Roebuck) teamed up to build elementary schools in the south for black children. North Carolina had more Ronsenwald schools than any other state. These schools were a major improvement over the deplorable buildings where black children previously went to school. Agriculture and home economics were taught in these schools.
I enjoyed the opportunity to work with the Kentucky ACTE Leadership cohort recently. There are some really sharp future leaders in this group. They asked some great questions and were engaged.
I also enjoyed the opportunity to make a side trip to the Shaker Village at Pleasant Hill. This was a unique religious group in our American history. They lived a very simple lifestyle. But they no longer exist since celibacy was one of their tenets. It is hard to sustain a community that way.
It was a pleasure to talk with the farm manager about their sustainable agriculture efforts. Most of the food they grow goes to the restaurant at the Village.