AUSTIN – The Vocational Agriculture Teachers Association of Texas (VATAT) presented an award to the Nueces County Record Star for their dedication for recognizing FFA programs.

More than 200 deserving teachers and supporters of agricultural education during the VATAT Professional Development Conference for Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources Cluster held July 29 – Aug. 2, were also acknowledged.

The VATAT Outstanding Newspaper Award can only be awarded by the VATAT to 10 deserving newspapers in Texas and is based on a nomination from a VATAT member. This award was created to acknowledge appreciation for newspapers that publicize agricultural science and FFA programs in Texas.

“The VATAT is proud to recognize the achievements of our members and the dedication of our supporters,” said Barney McClure, executive director of the VATAT.

Agricultural science teachers spent the week attending professional development workshops, training classes and motivational general sessions to enhance their current teaching methods and keep up with the latest curriculum developments in agricultural education and technology.

Teachers who attend the VATAT Professional Development Conference earn Continuing Professional Education (CPE) hours towards their teaching certificate. Texas teachers are required to earn 150 CPE clock hours every five years in order to keep their teaching certificate current.

More than 1,600 agricultural science teachers in Texas are impacting more than 125,000 students enrolled in agricultural education classes at the secondary level. The VATAT is a professional organization for agricultural science teachers and supporters of agricultural science. The Association informs agriculture teachers about the latest agricultural education practices, encourages higher standards of teaching agriculture and provides agriculture education a unified voice in the state legislature. Celebrating 73 years, the VATAT is headquartered in Austin, and its mission is preparing educators to develop 21st Century leaders in agriculture through excellence in education, citizenship and cooperation. For more information about the VATAT, visit