Have you logged in to the NAAE website yet? Follow these easy steps to get logged in and access the numerous benefits available through your NAAE membership!
*Note - you must use the email address we have on file with your membership record.
During the 2013-2014 school year, Atwater High School, in Atwater, California, became the single-largest agriculture program in the United States, with more than 900 high school agriculture students -- more than half of the student body at Atwater. In a school where the majority of students are from low-income families without a background in agriculture, the program at Atwater offers students experiences in agriculture otherwise not possible.
To meet the demands of that many students, seven full-time agriculture instructors manage Atwater's program. This allows each teacher to specialize in his or her strengths and provide students with agricultural experiences that best suit their interests. Together, the teachers at Atwater offer 24 agriculture courses to their students, ranging from Floral Design to Agricultural Government.
"As a department, we want to make a positive difference in the lives of young people and get students involved," said Dave Gossman, one of Atwater's agriculture teachers.
The agriculture department at Atwater High School can attribute its recent growth to the teachers' unwavering dedication to promoting the significance of agricultural education. They have gained the support of their school's administration as well as the support of their students' families and members of the Atwater community.
"We have been able to create positive and productive relationships with our campus administration, counselors, and staff because when they provide an 'investment' in student enrollment, they get a positive return through quality curriculum, test scores, and overall student achievement and success," added Gossman.
The support and buy-in for their program is a direct result of the teachers actively participating in the leadership and direction of the school. They are early adopters of the Common Core transition aligning their courses with core science standards -- a process that is still being developed for complete implementation in the state of California.
Atwater agriculture teachers have also used their course offerings as a means to develop partnerships within the community, allowing students the opportunity to experience agriculture outside of the regular classroom. A local family with ties to the Atwater agriculture program allows students to house more than 50 livestock animals at their farm annually for their Supervised Agriculture Experiences. It is partnerships and relationships like this that allow Atwater to continue to grow and expand the number of students they are able to reach and support.
Atwater is a great example of how students who feel supported beyond the walls of the classroom "buy in" to the program, which can produce extraordinary results. For more information about Atwater's program, please visit this link.
Atwater was selected as the 2014 Region I Outstanding Middle/Secondary Agricultural Education Program. The OMSP award is sponsored by Monsanto and AGCO.
A Message from our Partners:
The NAAE Outstanding Cooperation Award recognizes organizations, agribusiness companies, and others who have given outstanding support to agricultural education. The plaques for this award are sponsored by Forrest T. Jones & Company.
From working at the state level to address recruitment and retention issues in the profession, to developing grants and other programs at the collegiate level for future agriculture teachers and providing fundraising opportunities for local FFA chapters, this year's award winners allowed agricultural education to grow exponentially.
To learn more about the 2014 NAAE Outstanding Cooperation award winners, including links to their press releases and photographs from the 2014 NAAE Convention, please click here.
Do you know an individual, business, or organization that actively supports agricultural education? Nominate them for the 2015 Outstanding Cooperation award. For more information about this award please follow this link.State winning applications should be brought to the respective NAAE Regional Leadership Conference for judging.
Each year, during the spring semester, we are really busy getting our students ready for awards and scholarship applications, but don't forget about yourself! It is your time to shine too!
The process for preparing for NAAE awards this year is different from past years. Now, you must log on to the NAAE website and register your email address and a password. Once this is done, you can go to the NAAE award section and click on Apply for an Award. At this juncture you may encounter a problem; if you have not paid your NAAE dues yet, or your state's dues remitter has not turned in your name and your dues to the NAAE office, you will not be allowed to open an award application. This step in the process greatly aids the staff at the NAAE office because they will not have to check and see if each award applicant is a current, dues-paying member. When you are ready to send in your application in for your state's judging, you will need to print out your documentation and award application cover letter and send it to your state association. If you are selected as your state's winner, you will need to hit submit button (if you did not do so earlier), so that all your materials for that award will be sent to the NAAE office for processing.
Applications should be available in early February. This award application process is just another way the staff at the NAAE office has made the NAAE website more functional and more user-friendly. I hope this process makes it easier for all our members and I hope you make the decision this year that it is YOUR TIME TO SHINE!