Finally - its spring (although we celebrated with 4 inches of snow this morning) and the steel has risen! On our new building that is! The best was that, since we were on spring break last week when the steel went up so this week our students returned and are very excited to finally see progress.
We have lots to celebrate as our team returned from a great trip to Joliet to attend the PLANET Student Career Days event. Similar to to the FFA CDEs, the Career Days combines skill and written tests with a Career fair, workshops, and seminars. We have been participating for 8 years and our students have always made us proud. Over 1000 students from both 2 and 4 year colleges from across the United States attend. Our students participated in skid steer operation paver installation, wood construction. landscape design, Woody Plant Id, Leadership Skills, Sales, and more. Many placed in the upper 10% in their events. Our Landscape Plant Installation Team placed 7th - out of 60 teams from across the country in that event alone. They networked and learned and survived the 12.5 hour drive with great stories to tell.
For me it seems so appropriate that, as we celebrate the great profession of agriculture teaching, here on our campus we are celebrating agricultural education with the commitment to our new building - it has been a long time in coming - but, when done, will mean so much to our students. It is an exciting time - not just because of the new building but because of what it represents - a new era and focus for us. Our "green" building with its geothermal heat, rain water harvesting, solar panels, and green roof will be the centerpiece of a curriculum designed to prepare students for the future - for careers and opportunities that I may not be able to name just yet but that I know are coming. Its is as exciting a time as I have experienced as an agriculture teacher - and the opportunities are there for all - what a great time to become an ag teacher.