Touching Hearts Always… The Impact of an Agricultural Educator


Buena Park FFA Officers hugging their agriculture teachers, Ms. Jessica Fernandes and Ms. Mary Ann Maxfield.

March 15,2012 marked the celebration of National Teach Agriculture Day. You may ask, what is National Teach Agriculture Day? It is a day to celebrate school-based agricultural education and to encourage agricultural education advocates, especially current agricultural educators to share with others the great career opportunities in agricultural education.

This year, agricultural educators and education advocates engaged in a variety of activities to celebrate and promote the career of agricultural education. For some it looked like capitol rallies and special lessons, whereas for others, celebration came through community activities.

For Buena Park agriculture program in Buena Park, California, their day of celebration was staked by a virtual celebration that was aired that morning. The live broadcast began with opening remarks from National Teach Agriculture Day’s coordinator, Miss Ellen Thompson. Following that, NAAE gave me the opportunity to address those watching about the importance of agricultural educators and the need for continual growth in our sector of education. After the remarks, FFA chapters like Dassel-Cokato in Minnesota and Suring in Wisconsin sent in questions, along with questions derived from the audience at Buena Park High School. Thank you to everyone who tuned in and contributed to the celebration! If you missed the broadcast, you can watch it online at

Agricultural educators are a special breed, a one of a kind person that engages in a career that few have the capacity to fill. They touch our hearts and get to know our deepest passions. They are the people that see a world of potential for their students, even when the students themselves don’t see it. Our “ag teachers” are the foundation for success and have played a role in developing their students as wholistic leaders in every facet of their lives. By dictionary definition, an agricultural educator teaches agriculture; to the students who are fortunate enough to have experienced their impact, they are mentors, leaders, role models, advice givers, advocates, and family.

Even though National Teach Agriculture Day is celebrated once a year, remember to always express your deepest thanks for your agriculture teacher because they spend every day of the week thinking about how they can contribute to the future of our country through developing future leaders in agriculture. Agricultural educators will forever be known as the people who are touching hearts always…


(With Buena Park FFA Officers in their greenhouse with an Agricultural Education Ambassador, Alycia McLamb).

-Alicia Hodnik, National FFA Central Region Vice President

3 comments on “Touching Hearts Always… The Impact of an Agricultural Educator

  1. I am concerned there is not more teaching of Organic Farming and Gardenening. I was the 1946 Vermont State FFA Predident. On our Dairy Farm in Vermont I won the 1958 New England in Winter Green Pastures Contest. Won many hay awards over the conventional farmers. Just took soil samples here on my garden here in Goode,Virginia. All elements arer high and very high. Have not used any chemical fertilizer, insecticides or herbicides. The organic matter in 9.6%..Nitrogrn is good also..

  2. The Organic movement is growing fast.. The consumers are the most interested as they are concerned about all the chemicals used in producing food. I am getting the best response from a book I wrote Learned by the Fencepost (Lessons in Organic Farming and Gardening). it can be reviewed on Amazon by the title. I would like to hear that some FFA Chapter tested both methods as I did in the 1950’s. If my book would encourage them to do it I can send a copy. Please let me know if interested. All food comes from the soil..

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