Today is National Teach Ag Day. This is a day to celebrate school-based agricultural education and to encourage agricultural education advocates to share with others the great career opportunities in agricultural education. Classrooms across the country are celebrating by engaging in activities to promote careers as agricultural educators.
Today, I’ve asked two ag educators to share their thoughts on why they teach ag.
Kurt VanDeWalle – Fillmore Central High School:
“I chose to become an agriculture education teacher so that I could have an impact on the lives of students. My goal in the classroom is to expose students to the vast array of careers available in the agriculture industry and to teach them the skills and provide them the knowledge that is needed in an agriculture related career. It gives me great satisfaction when a student decides to go to college and major in agriculture or enter the work force in an agriculture field. That satisfaction is even greater when they change their minds and pursue agriculture because of what they experiences in the agriculture education classroom or in FFA. As an FFA advisor, my goal is to help the member realize their potential in life and give them the opportunities to use their potential and reach success, not only in FFA, but also in life.
It is important to support ag teachers. Ag teachers can’t reach their goals alone. Ag teachers need support from people in his/her community. Financial support of the FFA and ag ed program is only a small aspect of this support. Support is also needed in the form of guest speakers, field trip locations, chaperones for events, and as general advocates for the program. It takes time for new ag teachers to build that network of people they can go to to get these resources that can help the program and more importantly to help the students.”
Kristyn Harms – Norris High School:
“I really enjoy teaching agricultural education because it presents new challenges every day. It’s exciting to see students learn and work in the agricultural world. Additionally, FFA presents wonderful growth opportunities for students, and I feel honored to assist students in developing leadership skills through FFA. In what other career can you work side-by-side with students in and out of the classroom? Teaching agriculture is just simply awesome!”