Congratulations to the agricultural educators who received awards at the 2013 ACTE CareerTech Vision in Las Vegas on December 4! Agricultural educators were well represented in the ACTE awards program. Once again, the quality of the work that you do was evident for all of Career and Technical Education to see.
Here is a list of the NAAE members who received an award during the banquet.
We are so proud of all that our members accomplish! We are looking forward to another great year in agricultural education.
Communities of Practice is a great tool to find and share information, but did you know that as a registered user, you have the ability to create your own space within the site? These areas are called social groups, and they're one of the best kept secrets of CoP.
Social groups on Communities of Practice work a lot like a community (the broad categories you see to in the spaces menu on the home page), but they can be created by any CoP user, and customized to fit a particular project or user's needs. Groups can be open, members only, private or secret. Open groups allow all CoP members to view and post content. Any user can see a private group, but must request to join in order to see content within the group. Secret groups aren't visible on the site to anyone except members, and require a current group member to invite others to join.
Groups have all the features of a community, but are intended to be self-managed and more focused on one topic or interest. There are currently hundreds of groups on Communities of Practice. Some function as the sharing space for state agriculture teacher associations, some are being used as the information hub for online university teacher education courses, and some bring together teachers who share a common interest and want to explore it further.
Here are a few groups you can check out:
A quick primer on using groups
Search for a Group
On the CoP homepage, click the "browse" button at the top of the page, select "places" from the drop down menu.
Click the Social Groups button from the menu across the top. You can further filter your selections once the groups appear.
Follow a Group
Following a group would allow the activity in the group to be on your activity stream, allowing you to see posts whenever you log in to CoP.
Go to the homepage of the group you want to follow.
Click the "Follow" button on the right. This will change that button to say "Following."
Create a Group (you must be logged in)
Click the Create button at the top of the page, then click on the Places tab at the top of that drop down window. Select "group" from that list.
Customize your group's settings of your group, enter a description, and select tags for the group.
Once you have completed all the fields, hit "create group" at the bottom of the page.
Good luck, and if you have any questions about creating a group in Communities of Practice, contact Julie Fritsch at firstname.lastname@example.org
Growing up on a dairy farm in Wisconsin, young Craig Kohn had no intention of ever teaching agriculture. Instead, he wanted to become a doctor. Today, Kohn has just completed his sixth year teaching agricultural education at Waterford Union High School, and is completely devoted to his job and making his program better every year.
On his path to becoming a medical doctor, Kohn found himself wanting to change students' mindsets on learning and the world around them, and decided that the formative teenage years were the best time to do it. That changed his path from medicine to education. Once he was in the classroom, seeing his agriculture students struggle with basic science and its application in agriculture led him to the goal of creating an agriscience program high in rigor that was relevant to his learners.
Waterford High School has a mix of students, ranging from those with no agriculture background to students whose families are still actively involved in food and fiber production. This diverse mix challenged Kohn to create curriculum that was relevant by using real-world scenarios, technology, and STEM concepts. His goal is to develop productive citizens with the ability to apply skills to real-world situations and use critical thinking and problem solving, no matter their agriculture background or academic ability level.
"Being able to see growth, maturation, and change in students is my favorite part of teaching," Kohn said. "It is so important that students have good teachers in their lives."
Every student in Kohn's program at Waterford has a supervised agriculture experience project. He has implemented livestock care teams, summer courses and programs, and weekly lab night research opportunities in order to meet every student's needs. Thanks to the many opportunities he creates, the Waterford FFA program has more than doubled since Kohn began teaching there. In additional to many local, state, and national awards for various FFA teams, Kohn has been awarded the prestigious Tapestry Grant from the National Science Teachers Association to fund a biofuels project being conducted by a group of students. Kohn encourages FFA alumni and industry partnerships to enhance his program by offering job connections, donating money to support new programs, and assisting in the creation of updated curriculum. These partnerships allow Kohn to adapt curriculum and projects to meet the need of industries and companies working in the agricultural field. In addition, this allows him to elevate the rigor of his courses to help students prepare for college.
Kohn has also worked hard to improve his program's facilities over the past six years. He created a fully-functioning student laboratory for agriscience projects, rooms and offices for student fundraising and business skills, a program website, and will have a new hydroponics setup starting this year. Kohn is also in the planning stages of creating a campus barn and livestock facility for students that don't live on acreage but still want to do a livestock SAE.
Kohn has been selected for the Wisconsin Agriscience Teacher of the Year, Waterford High School Staff Excellence Award, NAAE Outstanding Young Member, and was named a Kohl Fellow by former U.S. Senator Herb Kohl. Kohn also leads professional development workshops at several conferences and conventions annually, has served as a research experience teacher with the U.S. Department of Energy, and serves as a teacher mentor for new teachers in his area.
For Kohn, the challenge of driving his students to excel also prompts him to continually develop his skills as an educator and mentor. It's not just about teaching good material in the classroom, he says, but also about helping students develop life skills and connect that classroom information into their real lives.
Craig Kohn was the NAAE 2013 Region III Outstanding Young Member, which is sponsored by John Deere as a special project of the National FFA Foundation. For more information about NAAE award programs, visit http://www.naae.org/awards/applications/.
Thanks to our sponsors!
My wife and I live on the family farm where I was born and raised. My wife of 26 years, who is always there to support me, also teaches at Cumberland High School, teaching students who learn differently. Our oldest son Coleman, and his wife Shelby, live in Carlyle, IL, and he is a second year agricultural educator at Odin High School in Southern Illinois. Our younger son, Jacob, is a junior at Eastern Illinois University, majoring in business and economics. We raise corn, soybeans, alfalfa, sheep, llamas, and dairy goats on our Cumberland County farm.
My educational journey started with receiving my bachelor's of science degree from Southern Illinois University at Carbondale, and then achieving my master's of science in 1988, also from SIU-C. I taught high school agricultural sciences and mechanics at Clay City High School for four years, and then relocated back to my home school, Cumberland High School, where I am in my 31st year of teaching. I served as Section 20 chairman 12 years, district director, and was the Illinois Association of Vocational Agriculture Teachers President in 2007-2008. I was honored to serve as the Region IV Vice President of NAAE 2009-2012.
Agricultural Education and the FFA
We have so many opportunities to guide and educate our students and help them find their career path in life. I believe that diversity of instruction is the key to maintaining a high quality program that will draw students in and keep them coming back. The concept of inquiry based learning integrated in all courses, whether it is an agriculture science class or an agriculture mechanics shop class, is essential. Incorporating STEM into our lessons helps us maintain the high level of academic standards that all education classes should strive to have in their course offerings. Using the Three Circle Model, we can assist our students in succeeding in life with the integration of SAE's, classroom instruction, and FFA activities. I believe that FFA CDE's provide an excellent opportunity for students to find success and find an agricultural career area that they will thrive in for years. If we can open the door for our students and show them how to succeed, they will become productive assets in our community. Success breeds success.
Teacher Recruitment, Retention and Membership in the NAAE
The recruitment and retention of teachers is being addressed by the Teach Ag Campaign to find quality candidates who are in it for the long haul. We as agricultural educators need to always be inviting students into our programs that we believe could contribute to the future of agricultural education. However, we are still losing teachers due to burn out and to industries that lure high quality teachers away from teaching. The NAAE board needs to continue to work with state leaders in retention of young members in several ways. NAAE could provide mentoring of young members and assisting them in finding success in teaching as well as with their professional growth. Connected to this interaction, we as NAAE members need to address the fact that many first year teachers do not see the advantages and benefits of being a member of our great organization.The NAAE board needs to work with state leaders in developing a program where first year teachers are shown the benefits of being a member of the NAAE. This program can demonstrate to them the growth they can achieve in their teaching experience and provide them protection with liability coverage.
For me, advocacy starts at the local level where we can share our mission with our local administration, our students' parents, and the general public that need to see what we do, not only with the FFA. but what we are doing in our classrooms to educate our youth about the career opportunities in agriculture. However, it cannot stop there. Communicating with our state and federal elected officials is crucial and relaying our story on a regular basis will give our students and programs an identity that will be remembered as our officials make decisions that will affect our profession, our teachers, and our students. This all sounds simple, but a few voices will not influence them as much as hundreds of communications from NAAE members would if we contacted our legislators each month. My goal is to make it easier for members to contact their elected officials and help them tell their story of how Perkins funding has benefited their programs and students, and why the Perkins Act should continue to be funded.
I believe that it is each member's duty to serve as a leader-- not only to their students, but also to their peers in the ag education profession. I would be honored to serve all NAAE members as the 2013 - 2014 NAAE President Elect.
Cumberland High School Cell (217) 259-9390
1496 IL Rte. 121 Work (217) 923-3133
Toledo, IL 62468 Home (217) 849-3440
Hello everyone, I have been teaching ag science classes for 21 years at Brunswick High School in Brunswick, Maryland. Currently, I teach horticulture, agriscience, pre-vet science, and agriculture mechanics classes. My wife, Allison, and I live in Frederick, Maryland; and we have five grown children. My passion for agricultural education began in high school when I joined the Gaithersburg High School FFA Chapter. As I look back and think about my decision to become an agricultural educator, I realize how fortunate I am to be a NAAE member. Membership in NAAE has widened my perspective and has enriched my teaching practices.
Recruitment and Retention: I believe being an agricultural educator is the best career anyone could have. I also believe it is a legitimate question for agricultural educators to wonder about the fate of their program when they retire. The future success of agricultural education hinges on recruiting the next generation of agricultural educators to fill our ranks. It is important as agricultural educators to encourage our best and brightest students to view agricultural education as a viable career choice. On a personal note, I am very happy to say I have a former student who just entered her second year as an agricultural educator.
Advocacy: I encourage NAAE members to take an active role in building relationships with parents, school officials and policy makers in their community, in order to gain support for agricultural education programs. I support working with The Council for Agricultural Education and the National FFA Alumni Association in building a consistent advocacy message for agricultural education. The support for agricultural education will only grow if we work together.
Educational Philosophy: Over the course of my twenty plus years of teaching agricultural science courses, I have held firm to the belief that every student entering my classroom has the capacity to grow and mature emotionally and intellectually. I believe it is the teacher's responsibility to create an educational environment that allows and encourages students to reach their full potential. I believe we must continue to seek out and identify learning strategies that lead to student success. We need to communicate to school officials how agricultural education meets the STEM standards. Agricultural education gives students a foundation on which they can reliably build for the rest of their lives.
In closing, it has been an honor and a privilege to serve on the NAAE board of directors. The opportunity to serve the members of NAAE has been unbelievable. If given the chance to continue my service as NAAE President-Elect, and then President, I promise every NAAE member that I will serve with integrity, passion and enthusiasm. I promise to work hard every day promoting NAAE and agricultural education. Thank you for considering me for this very important position. Please contact me if I can be of any help to you or your program.
Cell: (240) 315-7285, Home :(301) 662-4598, School: (240) 236-8600 ext. 686
Don't Miss the 2013 NAAE Convention!
Las Vegas, Nevada
Looking for a great professional development opportunity jam-packed with resources? The 2013 NAAE Convention will feature tools and networking opportunities you won't want to miss. We have some new features, as well as restructured old favorites, so there is something for everyone. Visit this page to view or download a draft schedule.
Pre-Convention Professional Development
Be sure to arrive at convention early to attend the Pre-Convention professional development session, which will be about financial and farm management education for high school students. There is no cost to attend this session, but you must register in advance. Visit this page for more information and to complete a registration form.
Mystery Speaker and Networking Reception
Tuesday, December 3, 9:00-10:30 p.m., Top of the Riviera Ballroom
Kick-off NAAE convention by attending the Mystery Speaker and Networking Reception event. It all starts with the mystery speaker at 9pm. The speaker's identity and topic is under wraps, but it's guaranteed to inspire you and make you think. Get there early, as the doors close promptly at 9pm. Everyone who attends the mystery speaker event will receive a complimentary drink ticket to the networking reception. The networking reception begins immediately following the mystery speaker.
Professional Development Workshops
We are changing the way we do professional development workshops this year by categorizing all professional development into one of three types. Deep Dive sessions will be two-hour, detailed presentations that will fully immerse participants into a particular topic. Idea Labs will be 75-minute presentations focusing on a particular topic. Snap Learning Spots will be short, to-the-point workshops that will get you the information and get you out the door in 30 minutes. This new system will help you maximize your time while at convention and get the most out of professional development.
Here are a few of the workshops we're offering- check the NAAE website closer to convention for a complete list
Common Core: Shift Happens!
Cacee Ford and Ashton Norman, Baker County High School, Glenn St. Mary, FL
Shift happens! Common Core State Standards (CCSS) are coming and we cannot change that fact. As the flexible agriculture teachers that we are, we can and should do be on the forefront of this change and take active roles in our own schools to effectively implement CCSS into our program's curriculum. This deep dive workshop's purpose is to help you better prepare for the transition to CCSS and allow you to get comfortable with the new standards. It will explain how CCSS tells you how to teach your standards, which actually provides ideas, simplicity and organization in your lesson planning. The shift is happening! Now it's our job as agriculture teachers to learn how to best implement CCSS.
Food Safety: Stop the Growth!
DuPont Agriscience Institute
Learn how to bring food safety to a new level. This inquiry-based activity will focus on deepening the understanding of inhibiting microbial growth in our food supply. Come and learn how to increase the science rigor in your food science class or unit!
There's an App for That! Using iPads in Agricultural Education
Dr. Wendy Warner and Joy Marshall, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, NC
Are you wondering how to utilize technology to support classroom instruction, increase student engagement, promote personal organization, and assist with program management? You can bet there is an app for that! This workshop will overview a variety of apps available for iPad that are appropriate for agricultural education.
Chicken Little-Chicken Big
DuPont Agriscience Institute
Discover how to help your students gain a better understanding of the use of vitamins and supplements in growing livestock. This interactive lab puts the learning in the hands of the students using chicken production as the main concept, although it can be adapted to both animals and plants.
SNAP LEARNING SPOTS
Put Global Agriculture in Your Students' Hands- Opportunities for Teacher Travel
Wes Crawford, Sutherlin High School, Sutherlin, OR and Kate Crawford, Oakland High School, Oakland, OR
The world isn't any less flat, and many of the challenges we face in American agriculture can be found around the world. Connecting you and your students to these global examples is key - and expected by newly adopted standards. Leave this snap learning spot with opportunities, such as the Rural Trust Global Teacher Fellowship program, that will expand your own experiences, as well with an example curriculum for incorporating international agriculture.
MIG Welding 101
Dr. Jason Scales, The Lincoln Electric Welding Co., Cleveland, OH and Dr. Phil Fravel, Clemson University, Clemson, SC
Riviera Hotel & Casino Convention Center
From uncreating the machine to setting it properly for Axial Spray, this workshop will help you dial in your MIG welding power source. This workshop will focus on initial set-up, drive roll wheel selection, properly sizing the wire, different welding maerials, Flux Cored vs MIG wire, and more. This will be an interactive session, so come loaded with questions.
Registration cost until November 1st:
NAAE members: $375
Registration after November 1st:
NAAE members: $450
For a one-day, non-member, and spouse registration costs, please see the registration form.
After November 14, registrations and payment will only be accepted in person in Las Vegas.
Hard Copy: Download, print, and fill out the NAAE Registration form. Return the form according to the instructions listed at the bottom of the form.
Online: Register online here. The ACTE website should allow you to access the NAAE Member rate and will read "our membership records indicate you are entitled to register as a NAAE member. As an association NAAE member, you may take advantage of our low membership registration fees and you may attend member-only sessions and special events."
NAAE members who are not ACTE members will not be able to register online. Those people should register by filling out the registration form and submitting their registration to ACTE via mail or fax.
The Riviera Hotel and Casino will serve as the convention hotel for the 2013 NAAE Convention. All general sessions and most NAAE professional development workshops will be held at the Riviera. Room rate are $49 per night for Monday-Thursday, and $72 per night for Friday-Saturday. Rates are for single or double occupancy room. Rates do not include applicable taxes and fees. Visit here to make reservations or call 1-800-634-6753.
For Adam Wehling, agriculture teacher at Mondovi High School in Mondovi, Wisc., every day starts and ends with his philosophy; "Always lead by example with energy and passion while empowering students to believe in themselves."
It's this unwavering positivity that has led Wehling to success as an agricultural educator since he began teaching in 2003 at Evansville High School, in Evansville, Wisc. After a few years at Evansville, Wehling moved to Mondovi High School in the fall of 2007, and is still teaching there today. His first goal at MHS was to create an updated curriculum focusing on the science in agriculture, and develop SAE programs for interested students to enhance personal and professional career skills. Thanks to his efforts, Wehling's program now reaches more than 300 of his school's 530-member student body, with 70 active FFA members.
Completing his master of science in agricultural education in 2009 gave Wehling new perspectives to help develop his rapidly growing program. For instance, he has formed an advisory board comprised of industry professionals and community leaders that provides input and ideas for field trips, guest speakers, and helps Wehling gauge the effectiveness of his curriculum.
That connection to industry and community is key for Wehling, who believes that helping his students develop career skills through hands-on instruction is critical.
"I want the students to focus on developing skills for their future career," Wehling said. "Career connections and skills are what bridge the kids into life after school."
Wehling also coordinates co-ops for about 25 of his agriculture students each semester, a program that allows them to work with area agri-businesses during school hours. In total, he supervises 150 students who participate in agricultural education experiences outside the classroom in addition to in-school activities. This hands-on experience is what sets Wehling's students apart from others by showing they have skills and knowledge for the real world. Wehling also brings in guest speakers to his classes regularly, so students can see how hard work pays off for successful individuals.
Increasing growth in his programs, encouraging student involvement, and enhancing student learning are just a few reasons why Wehling is an outstanding agriculture teacher. Not only does he foster student learning, but he truly believes in learning by doing. He finds that serving not only as a teacher, but also as a mentor to his students is truly rewarding.
"Positive energy builds a positive environment. I want my students to be able to have the same outlook and optimism I have," he said.
Wehling was selected as the 2012 Region III Outstanding Agricultural Education Teacher. That award program is sponsored by Toyota as a special project of the National FFA Foundation. For more information about all NAAE award programs, visit http://www.naae.org/awards/applications/.
From a NAAE Partner:
Back Row (left to right): David Black -NATAA Facilitator, KY; Laura Hasselquist- NATAA Facilitator, WI; Michael Clark- NATAA Facilitator, PA;
Second Row (left to right): Lula Curry-Williams, GA; Patrick Little, TN; Amy Grantz, IA; Tracey Hoffman, MI; Kurt VanDeWalle, NE; MacKenzie Wright, IN; Katie
Crawford, OR; Jenn Scott, AZ; Michael Butler, IL; Julie Reynolds, IL; Sarah Shriner, OH; Jeanna James, WI; Leanna Britton, AR; Linda Chase, KS;
Bottom Row (left to right): Angie Daly, CO; Jessie Hartle, TN; Annie Bauler, NM; Heather Johnson, MO; Rocky Brown, ND; Rebecca Carter, TX; Elizabeth Duncan, VA; Nyree Washington, FL; Jeffrey Billings, DE; Ashley Masters, AZ; David Swanson, MN
Back Row (left to right): Josh Christiansen, SD; Meghan Biggs; Al Gray, SC; Stacy Lischke, WA; Sheila Schenk, MT; Rachel Knight, NM; Trent Van Leuven, ID; Wendy Purvis, MS; Josh Berg, IL; JoAnn Pfeiffer, NATAA Facilitator, OH
Second Row (left to right): Josh Bondy, MO; Alan Held, NE; Shannon Boswell, WV; Melanie Berndtson, PA; Kristy Rothe, MT; Julie Throne, GA; Bradley Markhardt, WI; Jessica Rehak, MN; Jessica Grundy, UT
Bottom Row (left to right): Michelle Burrows, NV; Missy Swain, NC; Andrea Briney, IL; Karen Van De Walle, IA; Jessica Torres, DE; Emilia Dover, NAAE Professional Development Intern, GA
It isn't always clear what we want to do later in life, but sometimes we're presented with an opportunity that helps set our path. For Bethany Markway, the National Teach Ag Campaign helped do just that.
Before getting involved in agriculture in high school, Bethany knew she wanted to be a teacher, but teaching agriculture never crossed her mind. As she became more involved in FFA, she saw firsthand how her own agriculture teacher impacted the lives of his students, and the spark to pursue a career in agricultural education was born.
By the time she started college at Missouri State University in Springfield, Bethany's perception of agriculture had completely changed. Before high school, she was not interested in being active in agricultural industry. Starting college, she knew she wanted to make an impact through agriculture in some way. She continued her FFA involvement through MSU's collegiate chapter, and also got involved in Agriculture Future of America, another agriculture leadership organization.
At an AFA conference, Bethany was introduced to the National Teach Ag Campaign, and was eventually selected to participate in the Teach Ag in D.C. program. This program paired Bethany with a mentor teacher and together they developed an agriculture lesson that she later presented at a Washington, D.C. school. Aaron Geiman, Bethany's mentor teacher shared his passion for agricultural education was evident and showed Bethany how a passionate teacher can impact the classroom. He also introduced Bethany to the CASE curriculum and helped her look at lesson plans and curriculum from a new perspective.
"He stressed the importance of hands on learning and I try to implement that model in every one of my lessons. He showed me different ways to look at lesson plans that I would have never thought of," she said.
After her experience with the Teach Ag in D.C. program, Bethany was selected to serve as a Teach Ag Ambassador during the 2012 National FFA Convention in Indianapolis. As an ambassador, Bethany developed and presented an agriculture literacy lesson to middle school students in Indianapolis, talked with students who visited the Teach Ag booth at the career show about considering a career as an agricultural educator, and helped conduct student workshops about teaching agriculture.
As she prepares to teach agriculture this fall at the Technology and Career Center in Lebanon, Mo., Bethany contributes her excitement to her positive experience with the National Teach Ag Campaign.
"The Teach Ag programs were life changing for me. It was the best experience I have had," she said. Even though the school year hasn't started yet, she's already taken students to FFA camp, and is working to get her curriculum in place. The skills and experiences Bethany picked up through her involvement with the National Teach Ag program have helped give her ideas for setting the direction of her agriculture program and being an effective agriculture teacher.
"I see so much potential in these students; it makes me so excited for the upcoming year." she said. I would recommend the Teach Ag programs to anyone and everyone. If educators can make an impact on someone's life, then that person will be motivated to go and impact someone else's life. That is what ag teachers do every day."
From our partners: