Jason Kemp

Build Now for the Future of Agriculture Education

Blog Post created by Jason Kemp on Jul 11, 2019

Hello fellow NAAE members, 

I trust your summer has went well thus far and that you are enjoying the much needed time with family and friends. I know for many, you are knee deep in showing livestock at this point in the year and are planning your schedules around your summer CTE training. Please remember to balance and pace yourself for the long haul in this career.
The question that gets asked to me all the time is, “Why do we need more Ag teachers”? The answer is really simple when you stop and think about it. The first thought that we as agriculture teachers fire back at them is that we will never escape agriculture and that is the most accurate statement ever stated by any Ag teacher. With this question in mind we need to go a little deeper into the subject and think about the vast amount of jobs that stem from agriculture and the many different sectors that people normally do not think fall within the agriculture realm.
While it is true that less than 2 percent of Americans are directly employed by the agricultural industry, many more work for a business that is adjacent to it or otherwise dependent upon it. Agriculture is more than sows, cows and plows which is known as production agriculture. More than 22 million people are employed in agriculture related field. That’s one in 12 American jobs. These are jobs in fields such as; food science and food inspection, packaging, conservation or agricultural engineering. The basics for every one of these jobs are related back to agriculture teachers. In order to keep up with the ever changing field of agriculture, we need to be turning out more agriculture teachers for retiree replacements, etc.
Next I would like to encourage the teachers that will be serving as cooperating teachers this fall or next spring for universities to place student teachers along with student observers. We as Ag teachers and NAAE members need to encourage our student teachers and student observers to become student members. I have spoken to agriculture student members at their club meetings on this subject. Stop for a minute and look at the membership cost verses the benefits for student members.
Student members get the same professional coverage that we do as a student member and that to me is so important for the student members. Take a moment and share with your student teachers and observers the benefits of NAAE’s Student membership.
Student members enjoy all of the same benefits as active individual members, including the same level of liability coverage (see above), but NAAE also has programs and initiatives targeted specifically for those who are preparing to become agricultural educators. Please share with them what they get for $10.00 found below.
1. Upper Division Scholarship: Student members can apply for scholarships awarded during their student teaching semester. Applications are due in May for the upcoming year, so double-check to make sure you apply at the right time.
2. Pre-Service Professional Development: Student members are invited to participate in all NAAE professional development, including workshops, online professional development opportunities and Communities of Practice.
3. National Agriscience Preservice Teacher Program: This program allows specially selected agricultural education majors to spend a day during National FFA Convention immersed in inquiry-based teaching methods and agriscience. Learn more.
4. Teach Ag Ambassador Program: Each year the National Teach Ag Campaign selects an elite group of agricultural education majors to represent the profession and encourage others to teach agriculture. This program is only open to current NAAE student members. Learn more.
5. Teach Ag Collegiate Contest: Each year the National Teach Ag campaign holds a contest for collegiate agricultural education student organizations to show their Teach Ag pride! The contest changes each
Staff Updates:
We have successfully completed 5 out of the 6 NAAE Regional Conferences thus far. The last NAAE Regional Conference for this summer will be Region 6th held in Roanoke, Virginia dates are July 21st – 25th 2019. The NAAE office staff have been very busy with summer intern training, office staff interviews, NAAE regional conference preparation, etc. We certainly miss Ashley Hood in our office staff, and we wish her well with her endeavors. We have 5 summer interns that are working out nicely and our new two staff members Sarah Warren and Sabrina Shaver are transitioning well. Our NAAE office has been interviewing for our staff member openings and we hope that we will soon have the two open positions filled.
Our NAAE board are working on judging scholarship award applications and following up on our regional summer conference work. Our next board meeting will be September 6th, 7th and 8th in Lexington, KY.
I hope that everyone will be able to enjoy the rest or their summer and be ready to resume back in our classrooms within the next month or so ready to help mold the minds of our future and share the importance of agriculture to the world.

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