My agricultural education journey began at Spokane Falls Community College, where I received my Associated of Arts Degree. I then went on to complete my Bachelors of Science degree from Washington State University (WSU) in Pullman, Washington. After that, I achieved my Masters of Agriculture Science in 2013, also from WSU. I began my teaching career in Kendrick, Idaho where I taught agriculture and plant sciences and mechanics for seven years. Then I was able to move back to my home state of Washington in 2008 to Odessa (6 years). In 2010, I was selected to split my time between two high schools, daily, offering three agriculture courses of at both Odessa and Harrington school districts, and advising two FFA Chapters. This summer I began my fourteenth year in agricultural education and I was given the opportunity to take on the agriculture science position at Deer Park High School, teaching horticulture (CASE Plant Science), agriculture leadership, floral design, agriculture biology and physical science.
I served on the Idaho Vocational Agriculture Teachers Association (IVATA) as an officer for two years. I was selected as a Teacher Turn the Key recipient in 2002. I received recognition as the Idaho Outstanding Young Member and Outstanding Program in Washington. I have been a member of the NAAE for 15 years, served as the chair and co-chair for the member services committee, Region I secretary and Vice Chair.
My husband of 11 years is a huge advocate for agriculture and is a believer in agricultural education. He is a custom applicator, assisting agriculturists in making the best choices for their fields. Our only son, Porter is five years old and started Kindergarten this fall. Porter enjoys everything about my classroom and having the chance to be around my students. His knowledge about agriculture is quite extensive and he loves to share his stories about raising and showing his lambs and horse. I am excited to one day have Porter in my program. As a family, we enjoy our animals (5 horses, 5 cows, 3 breeding ewes, 3 dogs, and 3 cats), traveling, and spending time outdoors.
I have worked very hard in my position of being an educator, FFA advisor, a voice of agriculture for our state and nation, and want to share my success with others.
"My love for youth will spur me on to impart something from my life that will help make for each of my students a full and happy future."
Erica D. Whitmore