Ellen Thompson

Teach Ag Champions Press Release

Blog Post created by Ellen Thompson on Jan 8, 2013



For more information:

Ellen Thompson

National Teach Ag Coordinator


Phone: (605) 350-3842






ATLANTA – Four outstanding individuals were recognized on behalf of the National Teach Ag Campaign on Wednesday, November 28th at the National Association of Agricultural Educators convention in Atlanta, GA.  The awardees were William Nelson, President of the CHS Foundation; Matthew Eddy, Southeast Polk Agriculture Teacher Dr. Robin McLean, Northern Burlington County Agriculture Teacher; and Dr. Daniel Foster, Penn State Teacher Educator.  The Teach Ag Champion award is designed to highlight individuals who have displayed tremendous dedication and commitment to spreading the Teach Ag message and are working hard to ensure a quality supply of agriculture teachers across this country. 


Nelson is the president of the CHS Foundation and vice-president of corporate citizenship at CHS Inc. in Inver Grove Heights, Minn.  As a former agricultural education student in Brainerd, Minn., Nelson was influenced by his own agriculture teacher.  He values the important role that agriculture teachers play in their communities and seizes every possible opportunity to talk about agriculture teachers in a positive way. 


Eddy is a 13-year veteran agriculture teacher at Southeast Polk High School in Pleasant Hill, Ia.  He has served as a Teach Ag mentor teacher to future agriculture teachers this past year, has been a Teach Ag “A Day in the Life” Blogger for the past three years, volunteers as a Teach Ag workshop panelist at the National FFA Convention, and uses social media to encourage others to think about a career as an agriculture teacher.


McLean has also taught agriculture for 13 years, currently at Northern Burlington County Middle School in Columbus, N.J.  She also served as a Teach Ag mentor teacher to future agriculture teachers this past year, incorporates technology and social media in promoting Teach Ag, and encourages students to participate in the New Jersey Ag Ed Career Development Event.  She was recently selected as the Association of Career and Technical Education (ACTE) Outstanding Teacher for 2012. 


Foster is a teacher educator at The Pennsylvania State University in College Park, Pa.  He is a former high school agriculture teacher and a passionate advocate for future agriculture teachers.  Foster serves on the National Teach Ag Campaign advisory board, has had several students selected as Teach Ag ambassadors, and was key in developing a Teach Ag Day essay contest in Pennsylvania. 


“Honoring these four individuals is a great celebration of the dedication and determination of those involved in agricultural education,” said Ellen Thompson, National Teach Ag Campaign coordinator.  “We are currently facing a nationwide shortage of qualified agriculture teachers so the efforts of these champions are more critical now than ever.”  Each honoree received a personalized jacket, commemorative scrapbook, and a local food shelf donation on their behalf.   


The National Teach Ag Campaign is an initiative of the National Council for Agricultural Education led by the National Association of Agricultural Educators. It is funded by the CHS Foundation as a special project of the National FFA Foundation.  It is designed to raise an awareness of career opportunities in agricultural education, retain current agriculture teachers, encourage others to consider a career as an agriculture teacher and celebrate the positive contributions that agriculture teachers make in their schools and communities.