This is an article from the August 2017 edition of NAAE’s News & Views Newsletter. To read News & Views in its entirety, please visit this link.
Our interns this summer have been working very hard to help us with our programming and initiatives. We are very proud of their work ethic and dedication and look forward to continuing to work with them as they begin their careers in ag education! If you are attending NAAE Convention this year, in Nashville, you'll get the opportunity to meet these outstanding future educators!
School: University of Kentucky
Year in School: Senior
Hometown, State: Harrodsburg, Kentucky
Why did you choose to major in agricultural education? I chose to major in agricultural education because I grew up watching my parents in the classroom, and saw the impact they had on their students' lives. I my future career would allow me to do the same.
What are your professional goals? I believe that there is a need for agricultural education outside of the classroom, so I hope to pursue a career in lobbying for agricultural policy.
What has been the best part of your internship? I've thoroughly enjoyed the networking opportunities that come with meeting with staffers in Congressional offices. My favorite highlight has to be when Congressman Abraham from Louisiana spoke on the House floor about the achievements of his constituent that won an award through NAAE.
School: University of Wisconsin-River Falls
Year in School: Senior
Hometown: Bay Park, Michigan
Why did you choose to major in agricultural education? When I started high school, I truly didn't care about school, grades, or accomplishing anything. That all changed after a semester of Intro to Ag, where my first agriculture teacher, Victoria Talaski-Yackle, pushed me to succeed. She was the first teacher who believed in me and connected with me. I want to do the same for other students because of her influence in my life.
What are your professional goals? As an educator, my primary goal is to provide an exceptional educational experience for all students. I want to be the teacher known for truly teaching students something. In order to do this, I will be a lifelong learner and constantly find opportunities to continue to develop my teaching skills. I also plan to earn my master's degree in agricultural education within the next 10-15 years.
What has been the best part of your internship? The relationships I have built during my time in Kentucky and getting to know the professional staff that keeps ag ed working has been amazing. It has been eye-opening to see the amount of work which goes into providing the multitude of services NAAE does.
School: Clemson University
Year in School: Junior
Hometown, State: Floyd, Virginia
Why did you choose to major in agricultural education? Since I can remember, I have dreamed of becoming a teacher. The subject was in the air until my junior year of high school, after a few conversations with my advisor, Bruce Caldwell. We discussed how I couldn't set my mind one one subject in agriculture, so he suggested ag ed. He knew this would fuse my dream of being a teacher and all of my interests in agriculture. Now that I am halfway through college, I can't imagine pursuing any other degree.
What are your professional goals? I plan to teach agriculture in a high school in South Carolina or Virginia. My goal is to share my passion of agriculture with students and create strong advocates for the agriculture industry.
What has been the best part of your internship? One thing I love about agricultural education is that each teacher runs their classroom differently. Throughout the internship, I have loved seeing how over 45 individuals have impacted agricultural education in a variety of ways. The examples of hands-on learning activities, FFA events, and the unique SAE projects have provided me with many ideas that I cannot wait to incorporate into my own classroom.
School: New Mexico State University
Year in School: Senior
Hometown, State: Las Cruces, New Mexico
Why did you choose to major in agricultural education? When I graduated high school I did not plan on starting in ag ed, I really wanted to go into wildlife biology. When I began signing up for classes, I quickly realized it was not the place for me so I went to an area that was familiar, AXED or Agricultural Education and Extension. Growing up in 4-H and FFA my entire life, it was something that I knew very well. In college, a lot of my peers were individuals that I had grown up with, so they became my extended family. As I began to grow through the program, I started to find my niche. I really enjoy working with the youth of ag and helping them succeed. I realized that I had been teaching for many years, prior to college, and my biggest passion is helping others achieve their goals. As I have grown through the ag ed program, I have also realized that I can help students achieve their goals and pursue other goals they may have not had the opportunity to know about before.
What are your professional goals? My professional goals are to obtain a master's degree in something. After receiving my master's, I would like to be an agriculture teacher. I love my home state of New Mexico, but I am not set in stone to staying there. Depending on where life takes me, depends on where I will end up.
What has been the best part of your internship? The best part of this internship has hands-down been the people. I have now expanded my network by adding many outstanding individuals, but I have also created life-long friendships. I also got the opportunity to attend and help with the National Agriscience Teacher Ambassador Academy or (NATAA) which was phenomenal! Watching four fantastic facilitators teach teachers how to teach inquiry was amazing. I have now grown my resources for my classroom tremendously. These past eight weeks have been great and I now have many more tricks for my teacher box, and more fellow teachers to "sit down with" at national convention one night.
School: Iowa State University
Year in School: Junior
Hometown, State: New Hampton, Iowa
Why did you choose to major in agricultural education? I chose to major in agricultural education because I wanted a career that was challenging, but rewarding. We always hear that "no two days are the same" for agriculture teachers, and that is really appealing to me. I also love knowing that my work is going to have purpose and I have the opportunity to really leave an impact on the next generation of agriculturalists and leaders.
What are your professional goals? My professional goals start with beginning my teaching career at a rural high school in Iowa. I hope to earn my master's degree in agricultural education within five years of receiving my undergraduate degree. My final goal is to spend the entirety of my career in education, at some capacity, whether that's teaching at a local agriculture program, serving as a teacher leader, or even as a state agricultural education staff person.
What has been the best part of your internship? The best part of my internship has been the network I've developed. Working with my fellow interns, the Teach Ag and NAAE staff, and others has been wonderful, as they have all helped my passion for agricultural education grow. I feel very lucky to have these people help guide me during my journey as an agriculture teacher!