Shout out to ag teachers

Cyndi’s Two Cents

Shout out to ag teachers


It’s National FFA Week. The heart and soul of National FFA is found in the local chapter. Without the local agriculture teacher who serves as the advisor for the chapter, there would be no local FFA chapter.

There are currently more than 13,000 ag teachers who offer classroom and laboratory instruction to students, oversee students in Supervised Agriculture Education Experience programs (work-based learning) and serve as advisors for the local FFA chapter. Most educators have full plates, but today I’ll sing the praises of the men and women who teach animal science, welding, ag mechanics, horticulture, crop science and more.  Those who visit students’ SAE projects at least 2 or 3 times a year; assist student in keeping records for said SAE; assist students in exhibiting livestock, crop and ag mechanics projects at fairs and FFA shows; assist students in coordinating FFA activities at the local, area, district, state and national levels; train and prepare FFA teams for contests in soil judging, crops, public speaking, livestock judging, dairy judging and milk judging; and assist student in preparing applications for awards.

In addition to the 3 pillars of ag education, many of these teacher/advisors take on other roles at their school. I know ag teachers who do everything from driving a school bus to coaching cheerleading.

It takes a very special person to stay the course as an ag teacher/FFA advisor. As members of local communities with high school ag programs we should all be concerned about the shortage of qualified agriculture teachers. It is concerning that 23 percent of teachers have 5 or fewer years of teaching experience. The ag teacher shortage is the greatest challenge facing FFA and agriculture education today.

I was fortunate to have many good teachers during the first 12 years of my education.  Seldom do we realize, at the time, the influence these educators have on the persons we are becoming. My ag teacher and FFA Advisor, Bernard Goetze, made a difference in the lives of so many young men and women. During this week that we celebrate FFA, be sure to recognize the commitment of your local FFA advisors and ag teachers.

The National Association of Agricultural Educators Creed sums it up well:

I am an agricultural educator by choice and not by chance.

I believe in American agriculture; I dedicate my life to its development and the advancement of its people.

I will strive to set before my students by my deeds and actions the highest standards of citizenship for the community, state, and nation.

I will endeavor to develop professionally through study, travel, and exploration.

I will not knowingly wrong my fellow teachers.  I will defend them as far as honesty will permit.

I will work for the advancement of agricultural education, and I will defend it in my community, state, and nation.

I realize that I am a part of the public school system.  I will work in harmony with school authorities and other teachers of the school.

My love for youth will spur me on to impart something from my life that will help make for each of my students a full and happy future.