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3 Posts authored by: Jay Jackman

On the wall of my childhood bedroom was a picture in a simple wooden frame. Inside the mat, written in script, was the statement, “No matter how great your words may be, you will be judged by your actions and deeds.” As the daughter of an English teacher, a newspaper reporter, and a book editor, I always found it strange that this picture would hang between my bedroom windows. It stood as a reminder to me that I needed to be good, do good, and help others … because no matter how well I could talk my way out of something or write an apology for something I had done, the actions always spoke louder than the words I spoke or wrote.


Twenty years (or so) later, as I sit at my desk in my own classroom, I see the Teachers Creed that my students gave me when I first started to teach. The very first bullet on the poster hanging above my desk states, “As a teacher…if you can’t walk-the-walk, we won’t listen when you talk-the-talk.” These words, so similar in meaning to the ones that were displayed in my childhood bedroom, remind me of the importance of deeds and not just words.


As a two term president of the New York Association of Agricultural Educators (NYAAE) and the past finance committee chair for the NAAE, I feel that I need to both talk-the-talk and walk-the-walk for the NAAE Agricultural Educator Relief Fund I have had the privileged to be a part of this program since its inception and I have seen first-hand how teachers in our profession benefit from it. As the NYAAE president, I sent three requests for funding to support teachers in my state. One instance came from illness and loss of income from a spouse. The second was for a teacher who delivered a baby nearly four months pre-mature and needed to travel to and from the hospital daily. The last went to a teacher friend who lost everything she owned in a fire.



Imagine you are in the middle of teaching your morning class and you get a call that your home is ablaze. Everything you own, that you have collected, that you cherish including your pets – lost. As the NYAAE president, getting a phone call to let me know this had happened was devastating. Hearing that the only thing left was what had been carelessly thrown into the drier earlier that morning – a towel, some underwear and socks – made me ache. While it did not seem like much to fill out the request for the relief fund and write some letters to gather support, it was what I could do. It helped this fellow teacher when she had lost everything … when she was at her lowest … when she needed it the most.


The purpose of this fund is to help those with the most need – but it cannot continue without of the support of other members. NAAE is seeking support for the fund through our state associations and from individual members.


“No matter how great your words may be, you will be judged by your actions and deeds.” Today I choose to walk-the-walk. As a current member of the NAAE finance committee and as a former state association president who requested money to help someone else, I am asking that you choose to make a contribution to the NAAE Agricultural Educator Relief Fund, just as I did. This tax-deductible donation can be made by credit card by calling the NAAE office at (800) 509-0204 or by sending a check made payable to NAAE with “Ag Ed Relief Fund” in the memo line. Please mail check directly to NAAE, 300 Garrigus Building, Lexington, KY 40546-0215. You may also choose to contact your state agricultural education association and make donations in that way.


Thank you and please consider supporting because you never know if you will need relief in the future.


Tara Berescik

Agricultural Education Teacher

Tri-Valley Central School

34 Moore Hill Road

Grahamsville, NY  12740

(845) 985-2296, ext 5503

Summer is professional development time for NAAE! Our staff are engaged in very exciting work with our members at Agriscience Inquiry Institutes, the National Agriscience Teacher Ambassador Academy, CASE Institutes, regional NAAE meetings, NAAE convention planning, and more.


For personnel notes, we are excited to announce that Miranda, Ryan, and Beau Chaplin have welcomed another baby boy to their family. Reid was born on May 24. Everyone is happy and healthy!


Our five summer interns are now in full swing. We are pleased to have these fine university students with us this summer.


Communications Interns

Isaiah Govea -- University of Arizona

Abby Lohman -- Oregon State University


Professional Development Intern

Emily Burns -- Ohio State University


National Teach Ag Intern

Tabitha Hudspeth -- Arkansas State University


Advocacy Intern (working in Washington, DC metro area out of the ACTE office)

Perry Harlow -- Illinois State University


CASE Institutes are happening this summer for nine CASE courses at 26 different sites. The Natural Resources pathway specialization course, Environmental Science Issues, is published and will be field tested this fall. Development of the Agricultural Engineering pathway specialization course, Mechanical Systems in Agriculture, will begin this fall. CASE Online is being updated now and flipped classroom videos are being added to the site.  DETAILS


The National Agriscience Teacher Ambassador Academy will be at the Iowa FFA Enrichment Center the week of July 18-22, 2016. Agriscience Inquiry Institutes have been or will be held this summer in New Mexico, Delaware, and Wisconsin.  DETAILS


Applications for the NAAE teacher and program awards are being evaluated. Results will be available this fall. We are pleased that so many of our members apply for these awards -- and we encourage more NAAE members to apply. Recognizing our members gives us the opportunity to showcase the excellent work that is going on in agricultural education programs nationwide. DETAILS


Planning for the 2016 NAAE Convention is in full swing. We are eager for hundreds of NAAE members to join us in Las Vegas for the NAAE convention and ACTE CareerTech Vision 2016.  DETAILS

Summer 2016 participants in the NAAE Virtual Book Club will read The Innovator's Mindset by George Couros.  DETAILS


NAAE's Communities of Practice is undergoing a major overhaul. We're expecting the overhaul process to be mostly invisible to our members, but the result will be a much improved site that will serve our members even better. We also now have biographical sketches posted on the NAAE website for the NAAE board of directors and staff.  DETAILS


The National Teach Ag Campaign is making great progress with the State Teach Ag Results (STAR) program. Teach Ag staff have five STAR meetings scheduled this summer. The twelve 2016-17 Teach Ag Ambassadors have been selected. National Teach Ag Day will be Thursday, September 22, hosted by Growth Energy at one of its affiliate sites, POET LLC, in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. 

Additional information can be found on the NAAE website or contact us at for further information.

It has been an exciting winter and spring for the NAAE staff.  We have welcomed two new baby boys into our staff family and another new child is expected shortly!  Andrea and Jeff Fristoe are the proud new parents of J.W. Fristoe and Katie and Neil Wood are the proud new parents of Heid Wood.  Miranda, Ryan, and Beau Chaplin will soon have a new family member. We wish all of these NAAE staff families many blessings!


Professional development planning for 2016 is well underway with exciting plans for the National Agriscience Teacher Ambassador Academy, the NAAE Agriscience Inquiry Institutes, the Future Agriscience Teacher Symposium, and the NAAE Virtual Book Club.  Our agriscience workshops at the annual conference of the National Science Teachers Association in Nashville were a big success.


We are now receiving many applications for the 2016 NAAE awards programs and the process for evaluating the awards applications is underway.


In the past several weeks, we have signed contracts for upcoming NAAE convention locations.  We are now booked through 2021, as follows: 2016 - Las Vegas; 2017 - Nashville; 2018 - San Antonio; 2019 - Las Vegas (pending); 2020 - Nashville; and 2021 - New Orleans.  Staff are busy now preparing for the 2016 NAAE regional meetings and providing resources for the state agricultural education association conferences.


The National Teach Ag Campaign staff are busy planning for National Teach Ag Day, September 22, 2016. The location, satellite sites, and program are going to be exciting and uplifting for our profession.  Soon we will be announcing the 2016 group of National Teach Ag Ambassadors, university students who will help promote the agricultural education profession to prospective teachers.  Teach Ag Campaign staff are also coordinating the State Teach Ag Results (STAR) Program cohort state planning, on site meetings and follow up meetings.


Curriculum for Agricultural Science Education (CASE) staff are ready to deliver the CASE Lead Teacher Orientation meeting in Minneapolis, April 21-23.  2016 CASE Institute preparations are going very well and we are excited to be offering the Environmental Science Issues (ESI) field test this summer.  We are most pleased with the steady growth and expansion of the CASE initiative.


Membership staff are keeping current with processing membership rosters and dues payments.  A major push is on now to get states to update their lists of NAAE life members.  We have recently made a number of improvements to the NAAE database to increase the efficiency of our staff in generating needed reports.  Other routine office activities continue as normal including our back-office accounting processes, business management for The Agricultural Education Magazine, and federal lobbying disclosures.


We continue to improve our NAAE committee process.  A new committee member application process will be introduced to our members soon in an effort increase the efficiency of our committee member application process.


Staff have represented NAAE at numerous national meetings recently including the National FFA Foundation Board of Trustees Meeting, the National Agricultural Education Summit, the National Council for Agricultural Education board of directors meeting, and the National Postsecondary Agriculture Student Organization annual conference. We continue to communicate with the National FFA Foundation staff to ensure the continuous sponsorship support for NAAE initiatives and we are most grateful for their commitment to agricultural education and NAAE.


We were quite pleased with the participation from agricultural educators at the agricultural education stand of the ACTE National Policy Seminar in March 2016.  About 50 agricultural educators participated in the agricultural education strand activities.  The agricultural education stand activities were co-sponsored this year by the National FFA Foundation and NAAE.


We are pleased to have been invited to be a keynote presenter at the Primary Industries Education Foundation Australia (PIEFA) annual conference.  This is a wonderful opportunity for us to present our nation's agricultural education model to our international partners.


Details for NAAE initiatives are included on the NAAE website.  Feel free to call the NAAE office at (800) 509-0204 or send e-mail to for further information.

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