I knew I wanted to feature at least one agriculture teacher in Hi, I’m Agriculture. I know my high school ag teacher had a profound impact on my life, and I know that same can be said for many students. I’ve blogged extensively about the role that FFA and agriculture education has played in my life. When Matt Eddy tweeted at me about including an agricultural educator, I jumped at the opportunity. Mr. Eddy is a high school ag teacher, an active agvocate on Twitter, and an outspoken voice in rural Iowa. Thanks so much to Matt for volunteering to join in this project!
If God made a farmer, it couldn’t have been too long after that he realized he needed an Ag Teacher.
He must have realized that he needed someone that could teach animal science digestion principles, read financial balance sheets, teach vegetative plant cuttings and differentiate the instruction for each of his students – all in a day’s work.
Someone who could corral the ornery nature of a teenage boy in a mechanics lab and help a shy girl find her voice for public speaking.
Someone who would be equal parts task-master and fun-lover; getting more work done by 5th period than most would all day and helping students realize it was fun doing it.
Someone who could speak loud enough to inspire their charges to attain new heights of achievement and yet remember to remain silent enough to allow them to learn to climb on their own.
Someone who could fill a 40 hour week by Wednesday, then spend two more nights working with Career Development Event teams, weigh lambs for state fair all day on Saturday and then create lessons for Monday morning.
Teaching Agriculture is certainly the toughest job you will ever love (borrowing a phrase from the Peace Corp). I am of the opinion that no other career could offer the daily challenges, the momentous tasks and make the rewards so uplifting as teaching agriculture.
Some ask me what I teach, to which I reply… ‘Kids’. – Agriculture just happens to be my particular choice for context. I have been teaching at Southeast Polk for 9 years now and 14 overall. My program teaches STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) concepts with an agricultural flavor. The subject material ranges from Agriculture Food and Natural Resources topics, to biotechnology, and from greenhouse operations to an advanced animal science class that manages a herd of 23 cows for the Animal Learning Center at the Iowa State Fair. It’s usually never dull. 😉
Ag Teachers across the country are spending their efforts in the education of the future of agriculture. We are working hard to make a difference in those youth who have determined that they have a passion for our profession of agriculture. Someday they will be the farmers, merchants, scientists and policy makers of our future – and maybe even a few will choose to teach others.
We invest our time because we ‘believe in the future of agriculture, with a faith born not of words, but of deeds.’ Hi, I’m Agriculture, and teach tomorrows agricultural leaders.
See the blog of agriculture teachers from across the country as we live a Day in the Life of an Ag Teacher or follow the fun on Twitter @AgEd4ME