Texas FFA News  
Rudder Member Educates Next Generation About Ag    
Sunday, January 15, 2017 | Author: Rachel Knight, Texas FFA News Staff

Rudder FFA member, Katherine Fazzino, was inspired to educate elementary students about agriculture by writing and illustrating a children’s book titled Reenie’s Ranch Adventure. The story was founded from her real-life experiences with her show heifer. 

“This storybook gives students an opportunity to witness agriculture come to life,” said Fazzino. “They also learn about the hard work, dedication, love, and the passion that exists in the agriculture community and the FFA.”

Fazzino brought her book to life by visiting local schools and dressing as one of the characters, with her show heifer by her side. In addition, she prepared lesson plans that encompassed visual and tactile learning and aligned with classroom TEKS [Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills]

“This project was meant to bridge the gap in the educational areas of language arts/reading, math and writing through the foundation of agriculture,” said Fazzino.

To aid in the challenging process, Dr. Heather Caldwell of Texas A&M University acted as Fazzino’s mentor through the Texas FFA Ford Leadership Scholars program. 

“She has been a continuous encouragement throughout the ups and downs of this project and has pushed me to follow my dreams,” said Fazzino. 

Through Ford Leadership Scholars training, Fazzino established a mission statement that applies to her project. 

Her mission statement reads, “My purpose is to make a lasting impact on my community and those I encounter by taking time to inform, engage, and inspire elementary students in agricultural and livestock areas, familiarizing them with the industry’s terminology, environment, and lifestyle.”

To ensure that her book’s impact was long-lasting, she donated a copy of her book to the schools she visited.

The Ford Leadership Scholars program provides an intense hands-on leadership development experience through apprentice-type scenarios, interaction with nationally-recognized leaders and projects to be completed by student in their respective communities. The program is a result of the Texas FFA Foundation, Ford Division, and Texas Ford Dealers partnership to enhance the leadership opportunities of Texas FFA members.

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