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NAAE News & Notables

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Eau Claire, Wis. (January 18, 2019) – Realityworks, Inc., announces the receipt of a 2019 Florida Career Pathways Best Practice Award. Presented at the 2019 Florida Career Pathways Network Symposium in Jensen Beach, FL on January 17, the award recognizes Realityworks’ prioritization of educator and administrator partnerships to ensure the company’s training tools meet student needs while teaching in-demand job skills.

“We’re dedicated to creating innovative learning tools that keep today’s students and teachers in mind, and our product development practices reflect that dedication,” said Realityworks Product Marketing Manager Jamey McIntosh, who accepted the award from Florida Career Pathways Network President Chris Jargo. “It is by asking teachers what they need that we create quality training tools for their classrooms.”

Click here for the full press release from Realityworks.

Steven Bradley, College of Agriculture, Forestry and Life Sciences

December 21, 2018

CLEMSON — As Clemson University celebrated a century of Agricultural Education this year, the current faculty reflected on the anniversary not only as a milestone but also as a reminder of the program’s impact.

Clemson's current Agricultural Education faculty members pose.

And that impact doesn’t just extend to their own students at Clemson but is felt exponentially through future generations across the state and nation who grow up involved in agriculture.

“If you talk to our students and ask them who was their mentor in high school or what helped them through a troubling time in their life, many are going to say it was my ag teacher or it was my involvement in my FFA program in high school that built a family for me,” said Catherine DiBenedetto, assistant professor in Clemson’s Agricultural Sciences Department. “Ag serves a diverse population of students, and it really becomes their passion because they get a chance to get involved in something they’ve never experienced before.”

Click here to read more from The Newsstand >>













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                                                                                                       FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE…December 14, 2018






CLEMSON, SC… Jacob C. Cathcart of Irmo, SC, a Clemson University junior majoring in Agricultural Education, is the recipient of the John W. Parris Agricultural Leadership Award for 2018. The award was presented to Jacob by his twin brother Austin, president of the Clemson Collegiate FFA Organization, at the recent annual awards and recognition banquet.    


Jacob has provided dynamic leadership promoting the mission of the Collegiate FFA Organization by planning and leading superb educational tours for its members and the Agricultural Education faculty and by conducting record-breaking fund-raising events for Agricultural Education scholarships.


An outstanding FFA member since high school, Jacob served as president of the Lexington-Richland School District Five FFA Chapter and competed in the national finals as a member of the State Championship FFA Livestock Evaluation Team, the State Championship FFA Agricultural Mechanics Team and the State Championship FFA Nursery-Landscape Team.  He has attended the National FFA Convention four times and was awarded the prestigious American FFA Degree in October 2018.


Jacob is employed by the Simpson Agricultural Research and Education Center at Clemson University during the school year and at the White Oak Conference Center during the summer. An active member of the Riverland Hills Baptist Church in Columbia, Jacob is the son of Christopher and Robin Cathcart of Irmo.


The John W. Parris Agricultural Leadership Award was established several years ago and named in honor of Mr. Parris of Columbia, SC, a nationally recognized leader in agriculture and natural resource conservation with 60 years of professional service. A recipient of the 600,000-member National FFA Organization’s VIP Award, Mr. Parris was the first South Carolinian named to the National Conservation Hall of Fame and is the only South Carolinian to be honored with the National Professional Conservationist Award.


…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………. Note to Editor: For additional information contact Jacob Cathcart at 803-603-7322 or John W. Parris at 803-315-2987.

(BOISE) – Idaho’s newly announced 2019 Teacher of the Year offers a distinctive blend of credentials and characteristics that make him stand out: In addition to being a skilled and passionate high school teacher, he leads the state’s most honored FFA program and serves as mayor of American Falls.


See the attachment to read more.

From The Link Newspaper, Cheraw, South Carolina.



ClemsonAgEd_May2018_Banner-(002).jpgClemson, South Carolina


The Clemson University Agricultural Education program is proud of its Spring 2018 student teachers. As of May 1st, 10 of the 15 student teachers have already accepted teaching positions with school districts for the 2018-19 school year. Other candidates for graduation are negotiating teaching positions and one plans to enter a graduate school program.


The Clemson University Agricultural Education program recently celebrated its 100th anniversary and proudly boasts of the success of the class of 2018 by ushering the program into the next millennium serving American Agriculture.


Clemson Ag Ed faculty members are; Preston Byrd, Catherine DiBenedetto, Phil Fravel, and Dale Layfield.



BURLEY, IDAHO — A high school teacher has developed an agricultural science program that gives mostly urban students a chance to mingle with nature.

Jaysa Fillmore started the program in 2014 at Cassia High after she was hired to fill a science position at the alternative school.

Most of her students, she said, live in town — in apartments or homes where gardening or raising animals is not possible.

Click here to read more.



PO BOX 8312

COLUMBIA, SOUTH CAROLINA 29202 803-315-2987







COLUMBIA, SC…..Timothy R. Keown of Iva, SC, associate state director of agricultural education in South Carolina since 2014, has been named a recipient of the Outstanding Young Agricultural Alumnus Award by Clemson University’s College of Agriculture, Forestry and Life Sciences and its National Agricultural Alumni Board of Directors.


Keown, a 2004 graduate of Clemson University with a BS degree in Agricultural Education, began teaching Agri-Science and serving as the FFA and Young Farmer advisor at Crescent High School in 2006. He earned a Master’s in Agricultural Education in 2009 and is currently completing the requirements for a PhD in Educational Leadership at Clemson University.


Recognized as the Outstanding Young Agricultural Educator in South Carolina, Keown has also been honored as the Outstanding Young Farmer Advisor in the state a number of times. He has been named one of ‘Twenty Under Forty’ Outstanding Young Leaders in the Up-state by the Anderson INDEPENDENT MAIL.


A nationally-known leader in Agricultural Education, Keown has served as a member of the board of directors of the National Young Farmer Association since 2015. A regular featured speaker at conferences of the National Association of Agricultural Educators, the National Association of Young Farmers and the National Association of Career and Technology Education, Keown planned and coordinated the National Conference of Young Farmers in Charleston, SC in 2015.


Keown is the son of the late James B. Keown and Mrs. Linda R. Keown, a resident of Iva, SC. He was nominated for the Outstanding Young Agricultural Alumnus Award by John W. Parris of Columbia, director of the SC Agri-News Service and a charter member of Clemson’s National Agricultural Alumni Board of Directors.


Note to Editor:  For additional information contact Tim Keown at 864-940-0188 or John W. Parris at 803-315-2987



PO BOX 8312

COLUMBIA, SOUTH CAROLINA 29202 803-315-2987

March 12, 2018





cathcart austin is clemson ffa president.jpg

COLUMBIA, SC……Austin D. Cathcart of Irmo, SC, a 2016 graduate of Spring Hill High School, is serving as president of the Collegiate FFA Organization at Clemson University for school year 2017-18, reports John W. Parris, director of the SC Agri-News Service. The Collegiate FFA Organization is made up of students majoring in Agricultural Education and others who were active in FFA in high school but are majoring in other agricultural fields at Clemson.


“The mission of the FFA is to make a positive difference in the lives of students by developing their potential for premier leadership, personal growth and career success,” Mr. Parris said.


Austin and his twin brother, Jacob, who plan to be agricultural educators when they graduate from Clemson University in 2020, are direct descendants of the first Smith-Hughes Federally-funded agricultural educator in South Carolina one hundred years ago by the name of Thomas Cathcart. 


Active in the FFA in high school, Austin was a member of the 2014 State FFA Livestock Judging Team and competed in the national finals held at the National FFA Convention in Louisville, Kentucky. He took top honors in the 2015 State FFA Extemporaneous Speaking Finals and was recognized as a semi-finalist in the national competition. A delegate to the 2015 Commissioner’s School of Agriculture at Clemson University, Austin received the Thomas Dobbins Founder’s Award for his superb leadership as a delegate. A member of the 2016 State FFA Nursery-Landscape Team, he served as an official delegate to the National FFA Convention that year. He also served as president of the SC FFA Association in 2016-17.


An Eagle Scout and an active member of the Riverland Hills Baptist Church near Columbia, Austin is the son of Christopher and Robin Cathcart of Irmo, SC. He is employed by the LeMaster Dairy Center while at Clemson University and at the White Oak Conference Center in Fairfield County when he is home on break.


“Austin is at the top of the list of outstanding FFA members in the nation as evidenced by his successful participation in FFA activities at the state and national levels and by his dynamic leadership ability,” Mr. Parris added.

…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………Note to Editor: For additional information contact John W. Parris at 803-315-2987 and Austin D. Cathcart at 803-603-7346 .

DSC_0215-1100x733.jpgFrom the Post-Journal.


Thirteen years ago Scott Aikens embarked on his journey as a teacher at Clymer Central School the unconventional way. From dairy farmer to full-time teacher, Aikens took the long route to becoming an educator.

Before becoming a familiar face in the hallways and classrooms at Clymer, he attended Jamestown Community College and State University of New York at Fredonia. And before that, he was in the family business of dairy farming.

In his large classroom with a tech-shop and a greenhouse attached to it, Aikens sat down and reflected on his long journey from a dairy farmer.

Follow this link for the full article.

5a5d98a18e856.image.jpgFrom the Greensburg Daily News.

GREENSBURG – North Decatur High School (NDHS) proudly announced Wednesday that teacher Elizabeth Fry received a $1,000 grant to cover certification and training in the Curriculum for Agriculture Science Education (CASE) program.

This grant is part of the DuPont Pioneer sponsorship program.

“CASE is the most powerful tool available for the advancement of agricultural education and enhancement of student learning of agricultural science subject matter,” Fry said.

Follow this link for the full article.


From the Herald-Mail Media.

CHARLES TOWN, W.Va. — During its regular board meeting on Jan. 22, the Jefferson County Board of Education recognized a student and several staff members who have made outstanding contributions to the county’s schools.

At the meeting, the BOE presented one student and eight staff members with certificates of honorable achievement.

Katlin Thorsell, an agriculture teacher and FFA adviser from Washington High, was recognized by the BOE for being named the 2018 West Virginia Teacher of the Year. Thorsell will represent Jefferson County as she travels the state, giving presentations to various schools and organizations, during her reign.

Follow this link to read the full article.


From the Piqua Daily Call.


CASSTOWN — The impression left by two of her high school teachers led Marie Carity to strive to be the same kind of influential educator to her own students years later.


”I had two great high school agriculture teachers,” said Carity, agriculture instructor and FFA adviser at Miami East High School. “My first two years of high school, my teacher was Mr. Sam Custer, a graduate of Miami East. My second two years, my teacher was Mrs. Dena Wuebker. I chose a career in agricultural education because of the passion they demonstrated and true desire to always help students.”

Having grown up on a beef farm near Versailles, Carity — a satellite teacher of the Miami Valley Career Technology Center (MVCTC) — has a lifetime of experience in agriculture. “I enjoyed showing Charolais beef cattle across the country. I loved seeing the places and sharing memories with livestock enthusiasts,” said the oldest of Bob and Sonnie Rhoades’ three daughters.

Click here for the full article.

From the Sioux City Journal.



WAYNE, Neb. | Agriculture's importance to the area is pretty much a given.

Corn, beans, hogs, cattle and a number of other crops and animals are common sights from Siouxland highways, as are the many businesses that owe their existence to the agriculture industry.

It's no surprise, then, that high schools across the area have developed agriculture education programs that expose students, farm and city kids alike, to several aspects of agriculture.

But it is a surprise that until this year, a school the size of Wayne High School, with a high school enrollment approaching 300 students, did not offer agriculture-specific classes.

Click here to read the full article.

From the Manitowoc Herald Times Reporter

636404868137426281-MAN-Jamie-Propson-090717-JC0714.jpgMANITOWOC – If it takes a village to teach a child, it also takes a community to teach kids about the importance of farming.

So says Jamie Propson, agriculture teacher at Mishicot High School. Learning about agriculture means studying science, biology, business, nutrition, animal care and more. She loves sharing her knowledge with students, and on Sept. 22 she’ll be sharing it with the country too.

She is among four teachers who are members of the National Association of Agriculture Educators chosen from around the U.S. to be part of Culver’s #FarmingFridays, in which participants' photos and videos are shared throughout the day on Culver's social media, including Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat and Twitter.

Click here for the full article.