Three Outstanding Agricultural Educators Honored in Atlanta

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ATLANTA - Three outstanding agricultural educators were recognized on behalf of the National Teach Ag Campaign and the National FFA Organization on Thursday, March 29 at the Minorities in Agriculture, Natural Resources and Related Sciences conference in Atlanta, Ga. The awardees were Dr. Alvin Larke, Jr, Dr. Antoine Alston and Dr. Dexter Wakefield.  The award recipients combined have over 80 years of service to agricultural education and agriculture teachers.  The Outstanding Contribution award is designed to highlight individuals who have had a tremendous impact on the agricultural education profession through service, mentorship, and leadership.


Dr. Larke is a professor in the Agricultural Leadership, Education and Communications department at Texas A&M where he focuses on teacher education, youth mentoring, diversity, and the recruitment and retention of underrepresented groups in agriculture.


Dr. Alston is professor and interim associate dean, Academic Studies, in the school of Agriculture and Environmental Sciences at North Carolina A&T State University.  Alston?s areas of concentration include courses related to instructional technology, teaching methods and instructional methodology.


Dr. Wakefield is an associate professor in the department of Plant, Soil Science and Agricultural Systems at Southern Illinois University. Wakefield?s primary responsibilities are academic advising and teaching graduate and undergraduate courses in teacher preparation.


"Honoring these men is a great testament to the dedication that agricultural educators have for the profession," said Ellen Thompson, National Teach Ag Campaign coordinator.


"These men are great leaders and educators who have been planting the seeds for global success for generations.  They have invested in education and their reach stretches around the world," Said Erica Flores, National FFA Organization Diversity and Inclusion coordinator.


The National Teach Ag Campaign is an initiative of the National Council for Agricultural Education led by the National Association of Agricultural Educators.  It is funded by the CHS Foundation and Landmark Nurseries as a special project of the National FFA Foundation.  It is designed to raise an awareness of career opportunities in agricultural education, encourage others to consider a career as an agriculture teacher and celebrate the positive contributions that agriculture teachers make in their schools and communities. 

The National FFA Organization is a national youth organization of 540,379 student members as part of 7,489 local FFA chapters in all 50 states, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands. The FFA mission is to make a positive difference in the lives of students by developing their potential for premier leadership, personal growth and career success through agricultural education. The National FFA Organization operates under a federal charter granted by the 81st United States Congress and it is an integral part of public instruction in agriculture. The U.S. Department of Education provides leadership and helps set direction for FFA as a service to state and local agricultural education programs.