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From the President

Terry Rieckman
NAAE President 2015-2016

NAAE Wants You!!

What Was I Scared Of? This is the title of another Dr. Seuss book that relays the message of trying new things and stepping out of your box.



Applications for NAAE Awards are Due May 15th!

NAAE maintains an extensive awards program to recognize the accomplishments of our many talented and dedicated members. We have awards for agricultural educators in every stage of their careers, from scholarships to lifetime achievement. We also manage grant programs for organizations who want to help support agricultural education and agricultural educators.

Apply Today >>


Tedra Bean:  Never Afraid to Try New Things

Agriculture is transforming every day. How are you staying current in the classroom? Tedra Bean is the agriculture teacher at Belleville Henderson Central School, in Belleville, New York. One priority Bean has is keeping up with current and emerging agriculture career opportunities.




Ideas Unlimited: Ag Communications Radio Station


Eric Tilleman, Cascade, MT
2015 NAAE Region I Ideas Unlimited Award Winner

Students in Tilleman?s agricultural communications class manage their own radio station directly from their classroom, broadcasting one nine-hour show each day that commonly includes a student-conducted interview, local and national FFA news, and a playlist of music. Click here to watch a short video explaining his award-winning idea.

The NAAE Ideas Unlimited Award is sponsored by Cengage Learning | National Geographic Learning.


Farrah Johnson: "Go-To" Resource for Florida Ag Teachers

What does it take to be a teacher mentor? Who is your ?go-to? person when you are searching for advice, lesson plans, or just a listening ear? Ag education is one profession that isn?t short on individuals willing to share advice and provide guidance. Farrah Johnson is one of agricultural education?s outstanding teacher mentors.



NAAE Convention Early Bird Registration

Get ready for the 2016 NAAE Convention in Las Vegas, NV! This year convention is November 29th through December 3rd and will be held at the Westgate Hotel. Early bird registration is now open through July 15th & we have a special early bird housing deal for you as well! Remember, NAAE members pay one price to attend both the NAAE Convention and ACTE Career Tech VISION.

2016 NAAE Awards Judging

Are you interested in helping judge the 2016 NAAE award applications? The deadline to sign up is May 10th. Click here for more information and to volunteer.

NAAE Summer Virtual Book Club

Register for FREE by June 3rd & Earn up to 12 hours of Professional Development Credit!Get ready for an exciting summer of professional development with our Virtual Book Club! We will read and engage with the book The Innovator's Mindset by George Couros.  Just click here to register for the book club, then pick up a copy of the book & join the NAAE Virtual Book Club group on Communities of Practice to get started! Click hereto find out more!

Regional Conferences

Make sure you attend your NAAE Regional Conference this summer! Get all the information you need to register when you follow this link and click on your NAAE region! The NAAE Region I and Region VI conferences are just around the corner, click on the links below for all the last-minute details you need to know:Region I                                                     Region VI
April 26-29, 2016                                      April 29-30, 2016
Coeur d'Alene, ID                                     Trenton, NJ
The NAAE Board of Directors met this winter to discuss member initiatives and prepare for regional conferences.


NAAE's News & Notables Blog

NAAE members have been attracting a lot of great attention lately! Here are just a few stories about the great things ag teachers do each and every day:We know there are more great stories out there. Read something that should make the blog? Send a link to NAAE Communications/ Marketing Director Julie Fritsch, and we?ll post it!

Congratulations 2016 ACTE Excellence Award Winners

Two of our members and an organizational member have been recognized as ACTE Excellence Award winners this year. Congratulations to these outstanding members for all of their accomplishments! Click on the links below to hear their stories.


Volunteer in East Africa with Farmer to Farmer

NAAE is partnering with the Farmer to Farmer program to provide technical assistance to farmers in developing countries. Ag educators are needed to help farmers in Kenya, Uganda, Ethiopia, and Tanzania improve productivity, access new markets, and conserve natural resources.Farmer to Farmer currently has more than 30 assignments available, for lengths of time beginning at 2 weeks. They also have several special projects for interested agricultural educators that are not posted on the website.Watch this video about Farmer to Farmer volunteer Lisa Campion, and contact Julie Fritsch, NAAE Communications/Marketing Director, to let her know you are interested in learning more about the Farmer to Farmer program.

Washington Beat

April 2016 Update

From the ACTE National Policy Seminary to Perkins Funding, check out this month's Washington Beat for your update on what is going on in agricultural education in our nation's Capitol.Read More >>

National Teach Ag Campaign

Spring Break For It!

"I don't know who needs spring break more, the students or the teachers," wrote one ag teacher recently. My biased opinion is that it's probably the teachers. It's no secret that agriculture teachers are doing way more with way less and yet still making magic every day for the thousands of students that depend on them.Read More >>

Curriculum for Agricultural Science Education (CASE)

Are You Ready to Address Environmental Science Issues with CASE?

Curriculum for Agricultural Science Education (CASE) is gearing up for yet another summer of exciting and innovative professional development institutes. The Environmental Science Issues (ESI) course is ready to be field tested by outstanding agriculture teachers who are looking to add even more engaging CASE curriculum to their agriculture programs.Read More >>


Seen on Communities of Practice


Your Students Can Win a Trip to Indianapolis!

Encourage your FFA members to enter Culver?s FFA Essay Contest for the chance to be one of three chapters that Culver?s helps send to the October 2016 National FFA Convention & Expo. for more information.

Learn more about Culver?s Thank You Farmers program and its efforts to support students pursuing agricultural careers.

NAAE Resource -- Ag Ed Relief Fund

The Agricultural Educator Relief Fund is designed to assist individual NAAE active members during a time of personal crisis or need. NAAE members may receive up to a $500 stipend to help them through a difficult time. The fund is made possible by the support of state associations and private donors. MORE >>


Elvis Presley's Graceland
K-12 teachers receive free admission to tour the former Memphis, Tenn. estate of The King with a valid school ID or recent pay stub or dated letter on school letterhead stating you?re a teacher at your school. MORE >>

NAAE Staff Update

It has been an exciting winter and spring for the NAAE staff. Find out about the new additions to the NAAE family, what we are working on here at the office, and get excited about all of our upcoming events and opportunities! MORE >>


Social Media Soundbites





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NAAE members, their students and their families are encouraged to visit Culver’s on Scoops of Thanks Day on Thursday, May 5. In exchange for a $1 donation to the FFA, guests will receive a single scoop of Fresh Frozen Custard. Search for your nearest Culver’s restaurant here:


Scoops of Thanks Day is part of the Culver’s Thank You Farmers program, an initiative that recognizes all farmers for their hard work and dedication in growing and producing the wholesome food that feeds our nation. To date, the program has raised nearly one million dollars in support of the National FFA Organization and Foundation, local FFA chapters and a variety of local agricultural organizations. To learn more about the Thank You Farmers program and how to get involved, visit

It has been an exciting winter and spring for the NAAE staff.  We have welcomed two new baby boys into our staff family and another new child is expected shortly!  Andrea and Jeff Fristoe are the proud new parents of J.W. Fristoe and Katie and Neil Wood are the proud new parents of Heid Wood.  Miranda, Ryan, and Beau Chaplin will soon have a new family member. We wish all of these NAAE staff families many blessings!


Professional development planning for 2016 is well underway with exciting plans for the National Agriscience Teacher Ambassador Academy, the NAAE Agriscience Inquiry Institutes, the Future Agriscience Teacher Symposium, and the NAAE Virtual Book Club.  Our agriscience workshops at the annual conference of the National Science Teachers Association in Nashville were a big success.


We are now receiving many applications for the 2016 NAAE awards programs and the process for evaluating the awards applications is underway.


In the past several weeks, we have signed contracts for upcoming NAAE convention locations.  We are now booked through 2021, as follows: 2016 - Las Vegas; 2017 - Nashville; 2018 - San Antonio; 2019 - Las Vegas (pending); 2020 - Nashville; and 2021 - New Orleans.  Staff are busy now preparing for the 2016 NAAE regional meetings and providing resources for the state agricultural education association conferences.


The National Teach Ag Campaign staff are busy planning for National Teach Ag Day, September 22, 2016. The location, satellite sites, and program are going to be exciting and uplifting for our profession.  Soon we will be announcing the 2016 group of National Teach Ag Ambassadors, university students who will help promote the agricultural education profession to prospective teachers.  Teach Ag Campaign staff are also coordinating the State Teach Ag Results (STAR) Program cohort state planning, on site meetings and follow up meetings.


Curriculum for Agricultural Science Education (CASE) staff are ready to deliver the CASE Lead Teacher Orientation meeting in Minneapolis, April 21-23.  2016 CASE Institute preparations are going very well and we are excited to be offering the Environmental Science Issues (ESI) field test this summer.  We are most pleased with the steady growth and expansion of the CASE initiative.


Membership staff are keeping current with processing membership rosters and dues payments.  A major push is on now to get states to update their lists of NAAE life members.  We have recently made a number of improvements to the NAAE database to increase the efficiency of our staff in generating needed reports.  Other routine office activities continue as normal including our back-office accounting processes, business management for The Agricultural Education Magazine, and federal lobbying disclosures.


We continue to improve our NAAE committee process.  A new committee member application process will be introduced to our members soon in an effort increase the efficiency of our committee member application process.


Staff have represented NAAE at numerous national meetings recently including the National FFA Foundation Board of Trustees Meeting, the National Agricultural Education Summit, the National Council for Agricultural Education board of directors meeting, and the National Postsecondary Agriculture Student Organization annual conference. We continue to communicate with the National FFA Foundation staff to ensure the continuous sponsorship support for NAAE initiatives and we are most grateful for their commitment to agricultural education and NAAE.


We were quite pleased with the participation from agricultural educators at the agricultural education stand of the ACTE National Policy Seminar in March 2016.  About 50 agricultural educators participated in the agricultural education strand activities.  The agricultural education stand activities were co-sponsored this year by the National FFA Foundation and NAAE.


We are pleased to have been invited to be a keynote presenter at the Primary Industries Education Foundation Australia (PIEFA) annual conference.  This is a wonderful opportunity for us to present our nation's agricultural education model to our international partners.


Details for NAAE initiatives are included on the NAAE website.  Feel free to call the NAAE office at (800) 509-0204 or send e-mail to for further information.



Agriculture is transforming every day. How are you staying current in the classroom? Tedra Bean is the agriculture teacher at Belleville Henderson Central School, in Belleville, New York. One priority Bean has is keeping up with current and emerging agriculture career opportunities.


Although her program is steeped in tradition, Bean is not afraid to try new things. Since her school is located just a few short miles from Lake Ontario, aquaculture is a high-demand career option for her students. Each year she and her students raise 30-50 tilapia in order to learn the skills necessary to operate a fish hatchery. Through this program, Bean's students also learn about career opportunities in aquaculture, water quality, and aquaponics.

"By practicing these skills in high school, students will have the upper hand when it comes to being competitive in the job market," said Bean.

Bean contributes her drive to try new ideas and conduct classroom experiments to her training through the Curriculum for Agricultural Science Education and the DuPont National Agriscience Teacher Ambassador Academy (NATAA).

"I use techniques and lessons from both of these experiences in my every day curriculum in order to introduce students to the diverse areas of agriculture with increased rigor," said Bean. "My students have more opportunities for hands-on learning in the classroom, which they enjoy."

Bean has many goals for her agriculture program as she continues her career in the classroom. In the fall, her program began their first garden, which she plans to continue for years to come. Her program has also planted maple trees with hopes to delve into the maple syrup industry. No matter the content area, Bean's primary goal is to continue to try new ideas and improve student opportunities.

Bean was selected as the 2015 NAAE Region VI Outstanding Young Member award winner. The Outstanding Young Member award is sponsored by John Deere as a special project of the National FFA Foundation. Click here to view the other 2015 Outstanding Young Member award winners. For more information about this and our other awards, please visit this link.

A Message from our Partners:

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What does it take to be a teacher mentor? Who is your "go-to" person when you are searching for advice, lesson plans, or just a listening ear? Ag education is one profession that isn't short on individuals willing to share advice and provide guidance. Farrah Johnson is one of agricultural education's outstanding teacher mentors. Helping others has always been an important part of Johnson's life. As an agriculture teacher at Deltona High School in Deltona, Florida, Johnson uses her wealth of knowledge to help both preservice and current agriculture teachers develop their own outstanding programs.

"A complete agricultural education program comes down to rigor, relevance and relationships," said Johnson. "I encourage all who I mentor to work with their students in the wide scope of agriculture to try and find opportunities that excite and interest them."

Formally, Johnson has mentored three student teachers, two first-year teachers, 12 new teachers in Volusia County, and three former students who are now agriculture teachers. She also presents to new teachers at conferences and offers resources, advice, and lesson plans for any new teachers looking for guidance. In addition, Johnson works closely with alternatively certified teachers to help them gain a better understanding of the three-circle model of instruction for ag education.

"Working with alternatively certified teachers is much different than those who have come through a formal degree track," said Johnson. "To mentor, I must take their expertise and help them in areas where they have little to no experience."

Johnson provides encouragement to her mentees through emails, text messages, and advice. She is a proponent of Communities of Practice and welcomes any questions from any teacher.

Johnson was selected as the 2015 NAAE Region V Teacher Mentor award winner. The Teacher Mentor award is sponsored by CEV Multimedia. Click here to view the other 2015 Teacher Mentor award winners. For more information about this and our other awards, please visit this link.

A Message from our Partners:


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