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This is a feature from the April 2019 edition of NAAE’s News & Views Newsletter. To read News & Views in its entirety, please visit this link.

 

Conservation practices and sustainability are at the forefront of hot topics in the agriculture industry. It is imperative that our students become informed consumers, so that they can make the best decisions for the future of our planet. As agriculture teachers, it is our job to make sure we teach our students curriculum that develops the knowledge and skills our students need to do just that.

 

The National FFA Foundation has partnered with the National Association of Agricultural Educators (NAAE) to provide teachers with a week-long lesson focused on agriculture conservation practices with support from Midwest Row Crop Collaborative (MRCC) members. These agricultural education instructional materials and programmatic deployment comes after a larger marketing campaign in grocery stores focused on connecting consumer purchases to the support of farmers and agricultural education.

 

These instructional materials focus on teaching the concept: “Conservation practices can contribute towards enhanced sustainability without reducing yield by enhancing the efficiency of inputs and reducing or making use of outflows.”

 

As you look for ways to enhance your curriculum, you will find that these instructional materials are a natural addition to many agricultural education courses including, but not limited to, plant science, soil science, crop science, natural resources and ecology, environmental science, and others. Many teachers have already used these exercises in their classrooms with great results.

 

“My students are now engaged in the concepts of sustainability,” said Jacob Hunter, agriculture teacher at North Scott High School, Iowa. “As a teacher of mostly non-traditional agriculture students, this was a way for me to help them understand that farmers take actions to protect the environment and that there is a science behind their decisions. Additionally, my students organically drew connections to the Dust Bowl. The lesson also encouraged them to think about where our soil leaves us in our county.”

 

Each exercise allows students the opportunity to collaborate with their peers, think critically, and problem-solve as they research and learn about the importance of conservation and sustainability.

 

“The students really enjoyed this lesson,” said Toni Gabriel, agriculture teacher at Genoa-Kingston High School, Illinois. “I tied it in to my soils unit and it was a great fit. The lesson allowed us to have a great conversation about fertilization. It also helped my students understand the importance of the 4 R's.”

 

Interested in learning more about these great instructional materials? Visit NAAE’s Communities of Practice website at this link for more information and to access these free resources today!

 

 

This is a feature from the April 2019 edition of NAAE’s News & Views Newsletter. To read News & Views in its entirety, please visit this link.

 

Each year, NAAE recognizes six distinguished postsecondary agriculture programs with the Outstanding Postsecondary Agriculture Program award. This award is designed to showcase exemplary postsecondary institutions and full-time young farmer and adult agricultural education programs from across the nation.

 

The 2018 award recipients were selected based upon the high-quality and diverse programming they offer postsecondary students or members of their local communities. From young farmer associations to community colleges and four-year institutions, each of these programs devote an exceptional amount of time to personal and professional development, in addition to the instruction they provide.  

 

The selected programs offer agricultural instruction to those who are interested in furthering their knowledge and careers in agriculture. Whether by staying updated with new advancements in farming technology, to entering the classroom as an agriculture teacher, these programs offer opportunities to all who are invested in agriculture.

 

Many of the programs partner with local businesses and agriculture industry partners to provide students with a variety of internships and work-based experience projects. Other programs focus on providing their students with professional development, networking, and certifications in the agriculture industry.  

 

Want to know more about the 2018 award winners? Follow this link to check out their press releases and click here for photos from the 2018 NAAE Convention in San Antonio, Texas.

 

The Outstanding Postsecondary Agriculture Program award is sponsored by Bayer as a special project of the National FFA Foundation. 

 

 

 

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This is a feature from the April 2019 edition of NAAE’s News & Views Newsletter. To read News & Views in its entirety, please visit this link.

 

The spring and summer months are full of professional development opportunities for agricultural educators.  As I think back on my own career, some of my favorite professional development has come from regional conferences.  

 

The cool thing about our regional conferences is that many of them are within driving distance. Those that aren't are still relatively short flights away from home. When I think back to the great experiences I've had at regional conferences, I can identify three major benefits of attending.

 

First, I've made great friendships and built wonderful relationships with teachers across the region. Building this network has given me access to experts in many different areas of agricultural education. Although the states in our regions are relatively close in proximity to each other, there is still a stunning degree of diversity from state to state. Knowing people with different experiences has improved my program here at home.

 

Second, regional conferences have allowed me to see how other state associations function. Learning about the different professional development and advocacy programs offered by other states has been very enlightening.

 

Finally, I have benefited from the professional development. Yearly, I share with my students the stories of places I've been and things I've seen at regional conferences. The experiences I've had on professional development tours have enriched my teaching by giving me great stories and photos to share.  

 

Sign up for your regional conference!  You'll be glad you did!

 

Speaking of big impacts, I would like to thank the NAAE staff for the work they do on our behalf. I would especially like to thank Katie Wood for her service to the association. Katie has decided to move home to Washington. We wish her and her family well.  

 

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