Cowboy Logic: “I am no longer
young enough to know everything.”
I have a map of the United States that I have been carrying around since I was in high school. After visiting a state, I color it in on the map. I started color-coding the states as well, so I can differentiate between the reasons I was there. So far, I have visited 31 of the 50 states. The majority of those states I visited because of my involvement with NAAE—16. Most people travel to see the sites or shop the unique stores—I have always been interested in an area's agriculture enterprises. When I come back, I always talk about the production I saw and experienced with my students.
The other advantage of traveling that I have had is meeting ag educators. What surprises me every time is the fact that ag teachers are the same everywhere you go, which is cool because there is no teacher in any school that has the personality of an ag teacher! So I thought I would put a list of why I think ag teachers are so unique compared to the average school teacher.
- We vote liberal about education issues, but we vote conservative about agricultural issues
- We are the only teachers to ever visit a student’s home
- We invest countless hours that we don’t get paid for—and don’t lose any sleep over it!
- We are constantly changing our curriculum, sometimes minutes prior to class—and we can pull it off!
- We know more about accounting than the finance teacher (especially about tax write-offs)
- We know more about mammalian reproduction than the health/biology teacher and expect our students to care for real, live babies
- We teach “real” math every day
- We know all of the other ag teachers in the state and region and consider them dear friends
- We never ever let the truth get in the way of a good story
- We are a “Jack of ALL Trades,” but recognize that “We are a Master of None”
- And we focus on teaching every child, everywhere, every day!
As I finish out my term serving NAAE on the Board of Directors, I can’t explain in words how amazed I am of the people in our profession. Ag teachers are truly the most impressive people in their schools and communities. Thank you all for allowing me to have the most rewarding experience I could have in this profession. Everywhere I have gone in my travels with NAAE, I have been made to feel like family—thank you for that!
Many things have happen this fall in the NAAE office. We have offered the Marketing/Communications position to Libby Duncan and she has accepted and started work for NAAE towards the end of October. We were very impressed with Libby’s background and expertise, and feel very strongly she is the right fit for this position. Hopefully you will be able to meet Ms. Duncan at the NAAE Convention in San Antonio. The rest of the staff had a successful week in Indianapolis, visiting with both teachers and students, and have been working tirelessly to prepare for the NAAE Convention and make it the best professional development event to date. You also may have seen some leadership changes to CASE. Be rest assured that this outstanding professional development initiative is in good hands and will continue forward to benefit agricultural educators in years to come! I look forward to seeing you all in San Antonio, and I am extremely excited about the vision and the progression of where agricultural education is headed.
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