Academic journal article NACTA Journal

NACTA Reprint

Academic journal article NACTA Journal

NACTA Reprint

Article excerpt

NACTA 19721

J. Wayland Bennett

NACTA Journal September 1972

Today ushers in the last few moments of the brief time span in which I will have the privilege of serving as your President. It has been a busy year, an eventful year, and a year that re-emphasized to me the tremendous responsibilities facing higher education in agriculture and the awesome task facing NACTA as it plans for the future. There is so much to do that it is often hard to determine where to begin. But there is one overriding conclusion that 1 have reached at the end of my year of service - that is, that the membership of NACTA is composed of innovative, ingenuous, and dedicated professional educators willing to take on any task; the odds are favorable that they will wonderfully succeed. NACTA 1972 is reaching maturity; its growth, and its future can be what its membership wants it to be.

Let me assure you at this time that I have neither an extremely long address nor an address that would be classified as one of strict educational philosophy. Instead I want to visit with you about the current status of NACTA. We started this year with an outstanding convention on "Teaching Agriculture in an Ecology -Conscious World", hosted by Northeastern Junior College in Sterling. Colorado. The Journal continues to improve in quantity and quality, we enjoyed another year of having the treasury in the black, a slight increase in memberships, and a considerable amount of hard work on the part of the standing committees and officers of NACTA.

Recently in preparation for this occasion. I reviewed the entire collection of NACTA Journals, giving special attention to the speeches of the retiring Presidents, searching for some clues relative to their thinking as they concluded their terms of office. I must in all candor relate to you that I could not compete with the former Presidents in selecting a speech title that would be, in a Madison Avenue context, both "catchy" and at the same time set the tone of my address. Thus, the decision to simply visit with you about NACTA 1972.

Franklin Eldridge, in his address as outgoing President in 1969, stated that his review of the speeches of former Presidents. as they came into office and as they left, indicated "high aspirations as the person took over the reins of the office, but by the end of the year a note of frustration was there." Certainly during the past year 1 have been both encouraged and discouraged with certain aspects of progress made by NACTA. But the very fact that NACTA has now concluded its seventeenth year indicates that there is a need for this organization and that the scope and breadth of its responsibilities to higher education in agriculture will increase in the future.

In my opinion, the future development of NACTA is a challenging one. The development programs needed in the 1970'swill be different from those of the i960 's and must be approached differently. No longer is the fight one only of educational acceptance coupled with the struggles of youth, our energies must be channeled into the increased diversification of membership. Increased members must be secured from the Land-Grant Universities, from the other four year degree granting institutions, and especially from the increasing number of two-year community and technical schools.

The "old guard" that labored long and hard in the vineyards of NACTA has reached or in many instances is approaching retirement. The future development of NACTA depends on how well we can recruit from among the younger groups of "super-stars" that are replacing the departing established stars. These people have a desire to achieve and they have ability but many are not fully aware of previous battles fought and won, nor, of the progress made by NACTA in seventeen short years. They inherit a solid foundation on which to build and it should be a challenge to I hem and to the older members of NACTA to see that the new guard builds realistically and with a dedication of purpose that will increase NACTA's educational responsibilities and acceptability. …

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