Spotlight Series: Ty Chumbley

May 9, 2019

Public Relations

Many people are not aware of the everyday need for agriculture. With populations growing, there is an increasing need for people to understand that agriculture is vital to life.

"From the second you wake up to when you go to sleep, you're always using agriculture," said Ty Chumbley, lead instructor for Palo Alto College's agriculture program. "Whether you got dressed, or ate breakfast lunch or dinner, or even used your car, agriculture is always a part of what we do."

Being the only college in Bexar County with an agriculture program, the students at Palo Alto College are determined to work with community members to educate them about the importance of agriculture. This gives the students the opportunity to invest in the community, grow together as a program, and develop skills for their individual lives.

"We're very involved in the community. We've been working together so much and learning to bond as a team," said Chumbley. "Sharing knowledge and time with the community sets my students up for success in the program, but more importantly in their everyday lives. That's what makes me happy."

Engaging his students to educate the community supports Chumbley's overarching goal of building a solid foundation for his students, preparing them to graduate, and helping them transfer to a university to continue their agriculture education. Students also participate in various agriculture events and competitions across the state to hone their skills and knowledge.

"I want our students to experience working with people in the ag industry... whether it's the San Antonio Stock Show and Rodeo, or one of the big FFA [Future Farmers of America] chapters," said Chumbley. "I want them to receive that solid base here. Then I want them to go on to a bigger university where they can really show off what they've learned."

This spring, students in the agriculture program had the opportunity to travel to Texas A&M University Kingsville where they attended the Ag Olympics, a social event where student organizations come together to host different agriculture activities promoting teamwork, leadership, and overall knowledge in the field. With hard work and practice, Palo Alto College was able to bring home the gold for the first time in Ag Olympic history.

"I was proud; very proud! We were very, very happy that we were able to win that this year and bring the trophy home to Palo Alto College," said Chumbley. "There's no award that I can receive that can top seeing my students be successful and achieving their goals."

Though winning the gold for Palo Alto College was a special achievement for the agriculture program, the best part for Chumbley is seeing his students succeed in every capacity.

"I'm very proud. My reward, and the thing that makes me happy, is just seeing these students be successful here at PAC. Then my biggest reward is seeing them graduate," said Chumbley. "It's very heartwarming to see these students succeed and it means a lot to me. Things like this make me really proud."