Friday, February 23, 2018

The Annual Teach Ag Essay Contest!

"Explore" is the theme for 2018's Teach Ag Essay Contest,
ran by the LEAD Society of Penn State.
Are you a current student, or do you know of current students enrolled in a secondary agricultural education class? 

Take a chance to explore a career in Ag Education! 

The Essay Contest was created by former Penn State Teach Ag! Society members and is now run by the new LEAD Society of Penn State to promote an awareness of the national shortage of agriculture educators. The contest provides secondary level students who are involved in agriculture education classes an opportunity to teach a class in their agricultural education departments. After teaching, the students write a brief essay summarizing their experience.
Participants submit applications and compete with others to win prizes. This contest has the potential to spark the interest of secondary agricultural students to teach and become agriculture educators. The Teach Ag Essay Contest encompasses the motto of the National FFA Organization by providing students with a chance to develop their leadership skills, their personal growth, and develop opportunities for career success within the field of agriculture.

Here's how it works: 

Students create and teach a lesson in an agricultural class addressing any topic they have an interest in. They will then write an essay reflecting on their experiences and answering the following two questions:

1. Why teach Ag?
2. What did you learn in your day as an Ag teacher?

Additionally, students are encouraged to submit an optional YouTube video about either why they want to be an Ag teacher, or why they love their Ag teacher. (The video should not exceed 2 minutes). Feel free to post the video on your personal social media, and tag us on Facebook (@PennStateLEADSociety). The submission of a video will add a 10% bonus to your overall score.

How to submit: 

Complete the online entry form including the following things:

1. Your essay
2. Your lesson plan
3. A photo of you teaching
4. A photo of you and your Ag teacher
5. A photo release form
6. (Optional) A YouTube link to your video

The deadline for entry is 11:59 PM on Friday, April 13th. 

Winners and Prizes!

The "Final Four" students will be announced by May and their placings will be announced at the PA FFA State Convention in June.

Every participant will receive a Teach Ag t-shirt and an invitation to an ice cream social at the State Convention. The "Final Four" will win the following additional prizes:

First Place
$100 National FFA gift card
Free registration to any 2018 PA FFA event

Second Place
$75 National FFA gift card

Third Palce
$50 National FFA gift card

Fourth Place
$25 National FFA gift card


If you have any questions regarding the contest, please reach out to Dylan Schoemaker (

Everything you need to compete in the contest can be found here! Good luck and happy teaching!

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 Follow us on Twitter at TeachAgPSU, on Facebook, or on our blog.

Hunter Kauffman, Student Blogger
Wildlife and Fisheries Science
College of Agricultural Sciences