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Monsanto has been a long-time supporter of the National FFA Organization and we are proud to continue sponsorship of the DEKALB Agricultural Accomplishment Award in 2018. The DEKALB Ag Accomplishment Award showcases the abilities of outstanding agriculture students and is presented annually to one FFA student per chapter, who exemplifies scholarship, commitment and work ethic.

DEKALB is pleased to recognize these select students for their hard work, dedication and passion for pursuing a fulfilling career in agriculture. These students demonstrate promising young talent and are the rising stars of agriculture. Students can be nominated to receive this award by their FFA advisors beginning March 1st at DEKALB AgAccomplishment Award.


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



Our students learn by doing. Hands-on classroom experiences are what set our agriculture programs apart from core content classes and keep our students coming back for more.  For Tamara Whitcomb, agriculture teacher at Mount Baker High School, in Deming, Washington, providing students with experiential learning both in and out of the classroom is a crucial component of her program, as it contributes to the development of life and employability skills that will help her students succeed after high school.


Whitcomb has developed a comprehensive plant biology course which her students can take to fulfill a science credit at Mount. Baker. Students in this class gain vast knowledge and experiences with greenhouse management, plant anatomy, pest management, soil and fertilizer application, plant propagation, and landscaping. The skills they learn in each of these areas allow them to conduct a variety of vegetable research projects in the greenhouse, modify and maintain the school’s landscaping, and grow tomatoes that are harvested and used in the high school cafeteria’s menu.


After rigorous training in plant biology, Whitcomb’s students are able to take her ornamental horticu

lture class. This course is designed to transform the knowledge her students gain in plant biology into valuable life and employability skills. In this course, the students grow, manage, market, and sell the flowers, vegetables, and herbs for the annual Mount Baker spring plant sale. In addition to this, the students also maintain the school’s one-acre orchard. The orchard has a variety of apple, pear, plum, and cherry trees, as well as raspberry and blueberry crops. Since Whatcomb County is one of the nation’s leading raspberry and blueberry producers, it is essential that Whitcomb’s students learn the skills necessary for proper berry production. PhotoExperientialLearning3.jpg


Whitcomb developed her plant science curriculum because she saw the value and need for plant production skills and knowledge in her community. It is for this reason, she was named the 2017 NAAE Region I Outstanding Teacher of the Year award winner. This award program recognizes NAAE members who are at the pinnacle of their profession — those who are conducting the highest quality agricultural education programs. The award recognizes leadership in civic, community, agriculture/agribusiness and professional activities. Outstanding agricultural educators are innovators and catalysts for student success in agricultural education. Follow this link for more information about the award category, pictures, and press releases of all our outstanding teacher regional award winners at the 2017 NAAE Convention.


The Outstanding Agricultural Education Teacher Award is sponsored by Caterpillar, Inc. and Tractor Supply Company as a special project of the National FFA Foundation.

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



NAAE regional conferences will be here before we know it! If you are looking for a great way to network with other ag teachers in your area, receive some new and exciting professional development and resources, and find out what is going on at the regional and national levels of NAAE, make sure to register for your region’s conference.


The tours, trainings, meetings, and networking opportunities provide ag teachers with knowledge and experiences they can take back to their classrooms to enhance their lessons. Ag teachers are encouraged to bring along their families to regional conferences, so there are no worries about missing family time for yet another conference.


NAAE regional conferences are also a great way for you to represent your state association and help lead our organization. Talk to your regional vice president about becoming more involved in the leadership of NAAE – from committees to the board of directors, there is a place for you!





Here are the dates, locations, and links for each region’s respective conference:

Region IRegion IIRegion IIIRegion IVRegion VRegion VI

April 25-28

Cedar City, Utah

June 18-21

Fort Collins, Colorado

June 18-20

Cedar Rapids, Iowa

June 26-28

Kansas City, Missouri

June 25-27

Asheville, North Carolina

July 9-12

Dover, Pennsylvania


Make sure to register for your regional conference as soon as possible. You don’t want to miss this opportunity to engage with other ag teachers and take new and exciting information back to your program!

Stub-Tailed Coyotes

Posted by Nick Nelson Mar 6, 2018

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


Mike Hubbard was a stockman and world class cow dog trainer that ranched on the other side of the Lost River from our family’s operation in the Langell Valley of southern Oregon. In the winter we would get these long cold spells that were hard on ranchers and livestock alike. My dad and Mike would get together after morning feeding and lambing/calving checks and play cribbage in front of the fire in the lambing barns. While they played cards and drank coffee, they would tell each other stories that they had heard or most often stories that they had invented. I can still remember a story Mike told me about a coyote that he had trouble with:


“I was riding the Honda up to the lambing barn when I saw him the very first time. He was in front of a big boulder that jutted out of the side hill, and he was big. He was big enough that I could see his nose sticking out on one side of the rock, and see his tail wagging on the other. I tiptoed my way up as close as I could get, but there was no way I could get a clear shot off without him hightailing it out of there, so I tested the wind with my thumb. Once I determined the wind was just right, I aimed straight to the sky and fired. What I didn’t count on was that coyote hearing the shot and switching directions. I heard a wince from that dog, but when I got to the place he should have been, all that was left of him was about 8 inches of tail. For the next six months I played hide and seek with that coyote, with him getting a few lambs and me making a few feeble rifle shots at him.


“The next spring I saw that coyote again catching mice in the alfalfa field. I knew it was the same 'yote because he was missing half of his tail. This time I wasn’t going to let him get away. I belly-crawled for half a mile through that field, every so often parting the alfalfa to see where he was. Finally I got to within 10 feet of that coyote. I parted the legume and he was laying there with is stubbed tail pointing at me. As I raised up my rifle, it occurred to me that I had not jacked a shell into the chamber. I just knew that the sound would scare him away. So I did the best thing I could think of — I raised up real slow, pointed that barrel at that big ol’ coyote and yelled BANG! He died of a heart attack.”


Mike Hubbard would have been a great ag teacher, mostly because he never let the truth get in the way of a good story. The other thing about Mike was that he would always share his mistakes and lessons learned in the process. This is one of the huge advantages of going to regional conferences. It is a chance to get together with other ag teachers and share with each other the lessons learned in and out of the classroom. It is an opportunity that shows that everybody is in the same boat, has had similar trials and tribulations and the sharing of how those situations were handled. If a story gets told, even better. These professional development opportunities are what separates ag teachers from the rest of the school.


Regional conferences are not just for the leadership teams in your state, but for any member to visit with colleagues beyond our state borders. We are seeing an increase of pre-service teachers coming to these meetings with their universities and great collaboration is happening at the conferences because of it. This year, a couple different regions are planning an XLR8 workshop for mid-career teachers that would not be able to attend at the NAAE convention. These types of professional development activities are tremendously invaluable, please do not miss the opportunity to attend.


Regional Conferences dates and locations are listed below:

Region 1-- April 25-28;  Cedar City, UT
Region 2—June 18-21;  Ft. Collins, CO
Region 3—June 18-20;  Cedar Rapids, IA

Region 4—June 26-28;  Kansas City, MO
Region 5—June 25-27;  Asheville, NC
Region 6—July 9-12;      Dover, PA


At the NAAE office in Lexington, Kentucky, many things are keeping the staff and officers busy. The board has approved new changes to the award applications, which is a directive that came out of committees. Those are now live and up and running on the NAAE website. You will see new application questions that are current and show a separation of the award areas. Also, the NAAE Board of Directors has approved a change from the Agriscience Teacher Award to an Agriscience Fellowship Program. We are excited for what the Fellowship Program can provide and will have details to the members by this spring. We will soon have a new operating budget and will be looking to approve it by the end of the month. As you read this, the National Policy Seminar will have just gotten over with many of our colleagues visiting Capitol Hill in Washington D.C., advocating on our behalf. Currently the NAAE staff is screening applicants for the marketing position and will be interviewing for that position in the next month. We have also received good news from National FFA to have another ag educator on the National FFA Board. The NAAE Board of Directors submitted three individual names after an application review to the Department of Education. DOE will select one of the three to serve on that board. Having two ag educators on the National FFA Board is a very positive exciting opportunity.


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