and 2013 student teacher Mackenzie McCollum
|Facilitators at the Wii Night after the announcement of the winners|
|Austin Young teaching the class|
“Agricultural education is vital to our nation’s youth because it teaches students 21st century thinking skills which will aid them in being more employable in today’s increasingly competitive career market. In order for one to realize how agriculture affects every facet of society, agricultural literacy at an early age is essential. That is why society needs innovative, agricultural educators within our school systems.”
Austin said that entering the contest gave him an opportunity to explore the career and was supported by his teachers Mr. Doug Brown, Mr. Curtis Turner, and his student teacher at the time Ms Mackenzie McCollum. Winning, he said has “reassured me that the career of being an Ag educator is one of the most important jobs in a society that would not be able to make it through one day without agriculture.” He also pointed out again that there is a shortage of agricultural educators nationwide and the need for Ag educators is more important now than ever. “ That is why this contest is so important. It gives students the opportunity to see what it is like to be an agricultural educator, which will hopefully propel them into a career of teaching America’s youth about agriculture.”
|Katie McLaughlin and Victoria Herr in their|
Teach Ag! shirts from the essay contest.
Another student, Katie McLaughlin from Juniata High School entered the contest because at one point she had wanted to be an agricultural teach but her plans have changed. Although Katie will not be a teacher she will “always be teaching in the form of avocation.” Katie also said that the contest taught her a lot about what agricultural teachers do. Her teacher at Juniata is a part of a one teacher program with 110 kids to keep track of. She also has 11 different classes to teach in an 8 period day, all with different lesson plans. “I believe all teachers face challenges and we as students need to realize that our teachers truly want what is best for us. The essay made me realize how much Mrs. Morgan cares and it taught me to say thank you for everything she has done for our program.”
1st Place Austin Young, Central Columbia HS,
2nd place Amber Gabel, Newport High School,
3rd Place Lisa Boltz, Northern Lebanon High School, and
4th Place Victoria Daltroff, North West Area High School.
Meagan Slates wishes to continue increasing the contests and hopes to break the 45 entry record next year. Please keep an eye out to be ready to participate and apply next year! The Nation Needs You!
To learn more about starting on the path to having a career that makes a positive impact on the lives of students across the globe by becoming an agricultural educator, please contact the agricultural teacher education program at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow us on Twitter at TeachAgPSU, on Facebook, or on our blog!