Have you ever had a job in mind that you thought was a great fit for you? You had never thought about this career before, but somehow it just magically appears. Once I came to high school I discovered agriculture education, I also soon learned that it is a lot more than meets the eye.There’s obstacles, stereotypes, shortages, constant rule and regulation changes, and not to mention insane amounts of stress. While I can overlook at the struggles and look towards the positives of the job not many people can. There are only a select few that can take on everything that comes with the title of agriculture educator. I had the opportunity to speak with multiple students that are attending college to be an agriculture teacher, or thinking about becoming agriculture teachers. All of these students have bright futures ahead of them in the career that believes in the future of agriculture. I asked a select few, some questions about agriculture education and here are their answers.
What is the scariest thing about going into Ag Ed?
The most daunting thing about ag ed for me is questioning whether you will be a good teacher or not. You might know the information, and you might be at a great program, but if you don’t know how to build relationships with your students, then you won’t be successful.-Layne
What worries me about when I become an Ag teacher is what if I don’t know how to teach every student. Since every student has a unique way of learning, what if I can’t reach all of them. What if they ask me something that I don’t know the answer to.-Debra
Why do you want to teach ag?
I knew that I wanted a career where I felt like I was making a difference in the world. When I evaluated those two things, I came to agricultural education. I know that there is no other occupation that truly changes lives as much as an agricultural educator. -Mary Kate
Two things I want to make a difference in people’s lives. I love to teach people and see when they finally understand it and just get that warm fuzzy feeling.- Sadie
What do you think is the biggest stereotype about ag ed students and ag teachers?
Something we experience on a personal level, is people don’t think that we are a teacher. My title is agriculture educator, just because our classes go outside and we don’t have to teach in front of a board all day, doesn’t mean we are any less of a teacher then say a math teacher.- James
The biggest stereotype is the mindset that the agricultural industry is removed from our modern society. This creates stereotypes of these two parties as incompetent and unable to contribute to the general welfare of the public. However, the backbone of our general welfare is agriculture and agriculture education.-Clark
Despite all of the challenges of being an ag teacher what are you looking most forward to?
I look forward to seeing my students achieve and grow. Whether it’s learning the creed for the first time or winning a state competition. The joy you feel when seeing someone you’ve helped is incomparable. If I can help just one student learn something new or grow as a person then all the struggles will be worth it.-Lisandra
I can’t wait to see my students fall in love with this organization and see them swell with pride when they zip up their very own blue jackets.- Mary Kate
If you could thank your advisor from high school what would it be?
Clark- I can not thank my advisors enough for all that they have sacrificed for me. They saw something in me that I could not see in myself. It is because of their unwavering support and encouragement that I am where I am today.
Mary Kate- I would thank her for never-ending support. Throughout high school, she would never tell me no when I proposed my crazy ideas, but rather would do everything in her power to help me achieve them. Because of her selflessness, I have memories and experiences that will last a lifetime.
Layne- I would thank him for teaching me what it’s like to work with people who are very different from you. He and I are very different people, but through our time together. I truly learned the definition of working through differences and conflicts to be effective in my roles in FFA.
Sadie-If I could thank her for one thing I would thank her for making me who I am. Most of the credit of who I am goes is because of the experiences and opportunities through FFA. My advisor is the reason I had the experience and she’s the reason I am who I am.
Lisandra-If I had to thank my Ag teacher for one thing I would thank her for never giving up. Never giving up on the chapter, teaching ag, and for never giving up on me. For pushing me and nagging me every day to join until I did. So I would thank her for her persistence and stubbornness.
Debra-I would thank my advisor for being my rock and always having my back. She reached out to me and forced me to talk and then gave me an office and I didn’t want it. After my years in FFA, she had put me on the spot and from doing that she made me into the person I am.
James- I would thank them for pushing me to do more than I thought I could. They saw my insecurities and pushed me outside of my comfort zone. I would thank them for encouraging me and pushing me. I wouldn’t be where I am without them. They taught me to find something and stick with it. I would thank them for that impact.
Happy National Teach Ag Day Owls!
Vice President/ Editor for Everything Agriculture