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This is an article from the February 2018 edition of NAAE’s News & Views Newsletter. To read News & Views in its entirety, please visit this link.


HeadShot.jpgCameron Dale
2017 NAAE Region II Outstanding Young Member Award Winner
Elgin High School
Elgin, OK


In the rural community of Elgin, Oklahoma, the agriculture program continues to grow and thrive with over 150 students enrolled. The three-teacher department focuses on agricultural education’s three-circle model of instruction, in order to help its students achieve their goals and aspirations in an agricultural context.


Since 2013, Cameron Dale has provided the students at Elgin High School the opportunity to learn beyond the walls of her classroom through hands-on and interactive experiences. Her dedication to teaching her students valuable life skills in order to prepare them for their future careers is why she was named the 2017 NAAE Region II Outstanding Young Member.


“As an agriculture teacher, my ultimate goal is to produce educated consumers that can critically think and solve problems,” said Dale. “I believe that students should learn something new in my classroom every day that can be applied to their future educational and career endeavors.”



Dale wants to ensure that her students develop soft skills like communication, problem-solving, and work ethic, that they can transfer to their future careers, so she takes every opportunity she can to teach. Whether in the school garden, at a livestock show, or on the way to a career development event, she uses every chance she can to help her students learn and grow through agricultural education.


“Linking real-life experiences to student learning is the foundation of my instruction,” added Dale.


Hands-on experiences are a critical part of Dale’s classroom and instruction. In her Agricultural Explorations class, she has her students conduct a research project by making ice cream. The students use a website resource available through the National Center for Education Statistics to graph their data and draw their conclusions. She also takes her students to the school farm to assess animal health and apply the skills they learn in the classroom to the program’s livestock. Dale also uses hydroponic systems and garden beds to teach her students about horticulture and even has the students care for and manage three breeds of composting worms.



By providing students with a real-life context for their learning, agriculture teachers are able to teach beyond the walls of their classrooms. When students are able to understand that what they learn at school has tangible value that they can use in their daily lives, they are more engaged in their learning.


How will you help reach students beyond the walls of your classroom?


The Outstanding Young Member Award is a means of encouraging young teachers to remain in the profession and to recognize their participation in professional activities. This program is sponsored by John Deere as a special project of the National FFA Foundation.



Follow this link for more information about the Outstanding Young Member award category and to see the other regional award winners.

This is an article from the February 2018 edition of NAAE’s News & Views Newsletter. To read News & Views in its entirety, please visit this link.


As a member of a professional organization, it is important to know your benefits. From professional liability insurance to discounts on hotels, there are a multitude of resources and opportunities that you are able to take advantage of.


One of the best benefits you can receive from your NAAE membership is professional development. NAAE provides its members with professional development opportunities catered specifically to agriculture teachers. Whether you are a preservice teacher, or have been in the profession for over 30 years, there is something for you. DSC_0006.JPG


Here are just a few professional development highlights you may want to consider adding to your schedule this year:


  • NAAE Virtual Book Club
    Personalize your professional development with the NAAE Virtual book club and earn professional development credit or CEU's during the summer. Each year a new book is selected and teachers are able to work at their own pace to read the book and complete the required assignments and activities on Communities of Practice.
  • Farmer to Farmer Program in East Africa
    Volunteer to work in East Africa through the Farmer-to-Farmer project – an NAAE partnership with CRS. Expertise in agricultural education is needed as you will focus your time on helping to develop the agriculture sector in East Africa.
  • Learning Sessions at NAAE Convention
    Three days of professional development workshops covering topics important to agricultural educators. Choose from more than 60 workshops, ranging from deep-dive sessions to idea labs. Network with your peers as you discover new and innovative classroom ideas, techniques and approaches that can help grow your program.
  • Curriculum for Agricultural Science Education (CASE)
    DSC_0103.JPGMore than just curriculum, CASE is a system of instructional support for the classroom teacher that also includes professional development, assessment and certification. Learn how to enhance the science of agriculture through inquiry-based classroom and laboratory experiences, which will take your students’ learning to the next level.
  • Workshops for Preservice Teachers
    Pre-service teachers are invited to participate in all NAAE workshops, but special programming is available during Teachers’ World at National FFA Convention and through other special preservice programs. From the Future Agriscience Teacher (FAST) Symposium at National Teach Ag Day and NAAE Convention, to the National Agriscience Preservice Teacher Program at National FFA Convention, we offer specialized professional development for our future teachers to help them begin their careers.


Whether you are looking for a distance-learning approach to professional development, or would like to travel across the globe to fully immerse yourself in agriculture, NAAE has something for you. If you would like more information about any of these professional development opportunities, or for a full listing of all our professional development offerings, follow this link.


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This is an article from the February 2018 edition of NAAE’s News & Views Newsletter. To read News & Views in its entirety, please visit this link.


Now that you have joined the team of professional agricultural educators, I would like to express the importance of your membership and how you have access to numerous benefits that can help you daily, as a professional.


First, I would like to make sure that everyone understands how easy it is to get to your membership area page on the NAAE website.



From the NAAE homepage follow these simple steps:

  • From the homepage task bar find: Members (click)
  • NAAE Membership Benefits, Services & Programs (click)
  • Then click the area that pertains to your membership from the quick links provided:
    • Benefits for Individual Members
    • Benefits for Student Members
    • Benefits for Organizational Members
    • Benefits for State Affiliates

After going through those steps you should arrive at your membership area of interest.


There are many advantages to your membership that you will find beneficial to you as an educator. Being in unison with your fellow members within the same profession carries a stronger voice when it comes to motivating others outside our profession to see things maybe in a different perspective.



Your NAAE membership allows you to take part in numerous professional development workshops at national convention (like our president stated in his letter, we had 85 workshops this past convention in Nashville), but as well as multiple opportunities throughout the year.


As a member, you have network connections through Communities of Practice (CoP) with over 9,000 members, allowing you to make connections with other agricultural educators from all over the United Sates. CoP is a great place to post ideas, have discussions, and share techniques for creating a better ag program.



Becoming a member allows you to have access to professional awards and grant opportunities to receive state and national recognition for your program.



New members have the benefit of a free -- that’s right free -- two full-year life insurance policy at no cost just by becoming a member. Members will have $100,000.00 in-dues professional liability insurance coverage with two upgrade options if you feel the need for additional coverage. 


As a member, you will also be able to take advantage of hotel discounts of 15% for participating hotels you will need to visit your MyNAAE page for your discount code.


It is always important to have our voice of interests represented involving government affairs that impact agricultural education. NAAE has representatives on several national boards to represent your interests and concerns. If you are interested in getting involved please visit our leadership and volunteer opportunities page.


As you can see, NAAE has a lot of resources and benefits for its members, and I strongly encourage you to take advantage of these benefits and allow NAAE to help you
take your program to the next level.


Board and Staff update: The NAAE staff and board members are gearing up for our annual winter board meeting scheduled for March 3rd and 4th, followed by the National Policy Seminar (NPS) meeting scheduled March 5th through the 7th, in Washington, D.C., where we will be meeting up with many of you who will be in attendance. During NPS we will have the opportunity to hear the latest updates in the field of agricultural education. Afterwards, make our way to Capitol Hill to advocate for agricultural education with our stateand national representatives.


Thank you for your time,



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