Thursday, February 17, 2011

I am an Agricultural Educator by choice

The National Association of Agricultural Educator’s Creed begins “I am an agricultural educator by choice and not by chance.” Career and technical education social media advocacy day seems like a good day to share why I made the choice to teach agriculture. Agricultural education is in my blood. My grandfather started a program in Pine Grove, PA and I grew up going to county fairs. However, my true passion for agriculture began when I took my first agriculture class in middle school.

As an agriculture student, I learned both career skills and life skills. I went from being a shy middle school student to a finalist in the National FFA Extemporaneous Speaking contest. Through the example of my agriculture teacher, I learned the value of working hard yet having fun. I was engaged in community service activities, learned business skills through fundraisers, and gained an appreciation for our vast food and fiber industry. The experiences I had in middle and high school inspired me to become an Agriscience Teacher.
After earning my Bachelor’s at Cornell University (yes, I am sad to see the Education program being cut there) and my master’s from Virginia Tech (back when it was still called Vocational and Technical Education), I stepped into my own classroom with a desire to share the passion I had with my students.

I am glad I choose this profession. I love seeing a student’s eyes come alive as they make connections between agriculture and the world around them. I feel great pride when I see FFA members use the leadership skills they have learned and help other members grow. I get a thrill out of making academic connections to agriculture. I know that by choosing to teach about agriculture, I am helping students apply the Career and Technical Education Month theme of “Learning Today Earning Tomorrow.”

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