John Boyette named Agricultural Educator of the Year
Posted 03 - 27 - 2009
Years of teaching an appreciation for agriculture resources as well as the facts of the industry has spotlighted John Boyette among the leaders of the county’s ag educators. Boyette will receive the Agriculture Educator of the Year award at the eighth annual Nacogdoches County Agriculture Appreciation and Awareness Banquet Monday, April 6 at the Fredonia.
Boyette is the Nacogdoches District Forester for the Texas Forest Service, and he has been active in conservation education throughout his career.
John has touched countless lives with his involvement in educational programs,” said Education Coordinator Elyce Rodewald, SFASU Pineywoods Native Plant Center. “He truly understands the importance of educating all ages about the value of agricultural resources and about using those resources wisely. He shares his expertise as effectively with a five-year-old inner-city child as with a 95-year-old farmer.”
John is a graduate of Stephen F. Austin State University with a B.S.F. in forest management in 1977 and an M.S.F. in wood science and technology in 1980. He worked 13 years for the Texas Forest Service as a wood technologist at the Forest Products Laboratory before a transfer to his current position in Nacogdoches in 1993.
During his time at the Forest Products Laboratory, he conducted an annual series of lectures on basic wood properties and design characteristics to the architectural and civil engineering classes at most of the colleges and universities in Texas.
As district forester, he routinely presents educational programs to all schools in Nacogdoches County and some of those in surrounding communities, reaching about 3,500 students on average every year. The programs include Forest Awareness Tours, Nature Realized, Wild About Science, Nacogdoches Naturally and Bugs, Bees, Butterflies and Blossoms.
Most recently, John has been seen promoting an eco-tourism event at the Pineywoods Native Plant Center dressed as Long John Silver, a true pirate of the piney woods,” said Rodewald. “If you haven’t heard it yet, ask him to do his ‘Arghh, ye buccaneers, Long John is the best mate ever’ for you.”
Each year Boyette conducts a workshop on Project Learning Tree, a nation-wide environmental science curriculum, at the Elementary Education Department of SFASU to approximately 100 future classroom teachers.
Additionally, at the Teachers Conservation Institute I and II sponsored by the Texas Forestry Association, Boyette teaches classroom teachers about the forest industry and forest ecology, “dispelling commonly-held misconceptions and promoting best management practices in intense, outdoor, week-long, action-packed workshops,” said Rodewald.
Other adult educational programs include programs with the Angelina/Nacogdoches Forest Landowners Association, the Texas Forestry Museum and the Texas Forestry Association.
According to Rodewald, Boyette was instrumental in securing the Texas Forest Service Urban Forestry Partnership grant that made possible an Education Coordinator position at SFASU Mast Arboretum and Pineywoods Native Plant Center. “The addition of that position has allowed more than 10,000 children and adults each year to hear agricultural, environmental and outdoor educational messages,” Rodewald said.
John’s involvement with the trail network helped make the vision a reality,” said David Creech, SFASU regents professor and Agriculture Educator of the Year award recipient in 2008. “I turn to him when I can’t see the solution to a problem. I am very proud and happy he has received this award. He continues to educate in any activity he’s involved. He and Cheryl are now big boosters of the ‘go green in Nacogdoches’ campaign.”
Boyette is currently the chairman of Keep Nacogdoches Beautiful and has served on the KNB board longer than any other board member.
Boyette is a Certified Forester through the Society of American Foresters and a Certified Arborist through the International Society of Arboriculture. He is the recipient of the Director’s Award for Technical Forestry from Texas Forest Service, the Outstanding Tree Farm Inspector from Texas Forestry Association and the Canopy Award for outstanding service as a Project Learning Tree facilitator.
The Agriculture Appreciation and Awareness Banquet is Monday, April 6, at the Fredonia, with exhibits ready to view at 6 p.m. The program starts with dinner at 7 p.m. Agriculture Commissioner Todd Staples will be the keynote speaker.
Up to five $500 scholarships will be awarded to students studying or intending to study agriculture, forestry or environmental science at SFA. Businesses and individuals are encouraged to help provide funds for these scholarships.
The banquet is a cooperative effort of local agencies interested in promoting and honoring agriculture in Nacogdoches County. Local agencies include Nacogdoches County Farm Bureau, Nacogdoches County Chamber of Commerce, Texas AgriLife Extension Service, Texas Forest Service, Stephen F. Austin State University - Agriculture Department and Nacogdoches Economic Development Corporation (NEDCO).
At the banquet, the Eddie Melasky Family will receive the Farm Family of the Year Award, sponsored by Tipton Ford. Red Suspenders Timber Frames will receive the Pete Smith Agricultural Pioneer Award, sponsored by Heritage Land Bank. Nacogdoches Livestock Exchange will receive the Agribusiness of the Year award, sponsored by First Bank & Trust East Texas. John Boyette will receive the Agriculture Educator of the Year Award, sponsored by Citizens 1st Bank.
Banquet tickets are $22 each or $200 per table of eight and are available now at the Nacogdoches County Chamber of Commerce, 2516 North Street. Businesses are welcome to sponsor tables to provide complimentary admission for youth ag groups. Call the Nacogdoches County Chamber of Commerce, 560-5533, regarding ticket and table reservations, or download a reservation form from www.nacogdoches.org.
In conjunction with the promoting agriculture, an Ag Tour is scheduled for Friday, Apr. 3. The tour runs from 8 a.m. until 2 p.m. Complimentary breakfast and transportation will be provided for the tour attendees and lunch is provided by AgriLand Farm Credit Services and Lone Star Equipment. Contact Texas AgriLife Extension Service, 560-7711, for more information.