National Teach Ag Day: Sept. 26, 2013

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Three critical components make up the experience of any of the more than half-million FFA members nationwide: agriculture classroom instruction, supervised agriculture experiences and the FFA chapter. It’s better known as the three-circle model, and it prepares students for successful careers and a lifetime of informed choices in the global agriculture, food, fiber and natural resource systems.

That model would completely fall apart if one integral ingredient wasn’t there: the agriculture teacher. Currently there is a national shortage of agricultural educators at the secondary level. It is estimated that there will be hundreds of unfilled positions across the United States this year, simply because not enough students are choosing to be agricultural educators.

Filling that need is exactly why the National Association of Agriculture Educators (NAAE) is hosting National Teach Ag Day on Thursday, September 26, 2013.

Here’s a rundown on everything you need to know about National Teach Ag Day: Continue reading

Food for Thought: FFA chapter hosts farm-to-table benefit dinner

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FFA advisor Alice Dubois of Ponchatoula, Louisiana recently partnered with New Orleans’ chef Dickie Brennon to create a farm-to‐ table benefit dinner.

The ‘Food for Thought’ dinner was held at the Le Fleur de Lis Restaurant in Ponchatoula, Louisiana on February 24. Ten percent of the proceeds were donated to Our Daily Bread Food Bank. The rest went to the school’s Agriscience department and will be used to conduct additional service learning projects.

The produce for the dinner came from the Ponchatoula FFA chapter’s gardens, where the students grow vegetables, strawberries and herbs in both spring and summer gardens. Their excess produce is regularly donated to local homeless shelters, food banks, and senior citizen apartment complexes.

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Seeing the light come on…

In honor of Teach Ag Day, we’ve invited a few of the former Ag teachers we have on staff at the National FFA Center to tell us what makes teaching ag such a rewarding experience. Here are some thoughts from Kevin Keith, Local Program Success Specialist.

Kevin is from Northwestern Wisconsin and graduated from Bruce High School in 1974 where he was actively involved in Vocational Agriculture and the FFA for four years.  He served as an agricultural education instructor and FFA advisor at Denmark School in Denmark, WI for seven years. During his years as Ag Ed Instructor and FFA advisor the Denmark FFA Chapter grew to more than 470 members and the FFA Alumni grew to over 600 members. He also served as State Agricultural Education Consultant in Wisconsin for 11 years before joining the National FFA Organization in 1996.

My favorite memories of teaching agriculture come from the times I worked with students on new concepts or information, especially when they had trouble understanding or making that “thing” work properly.

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