Future of experiential learning in school-based agricultural education focus of 2014 National Agriculture Education Summit in Indianapolis

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CONTACT
Duane Brodt
Marketing and Communications
National FFA Organization
DBrodt@FFA.org
888-332-2589

INDIANAPOLIS (Wednesday, Jan. 22, 2014/National FFA Foundation) –Hundreds of agricultural education thought leaders, higher-education executives and business professionals will converge on Indianapolis next week for a three-day summit focusing on the future of experiential learning in school-based agricultural education.

A joint project of the National Council for Agricultural Education and the National FFA Organization, the 2014 National Agriculture Education Summit is Jan. 28-30. The theme of this year’s event, held at the Sheraton Indianapolis Hotel at Keystone Crossing located at 8787 Keystone Crossing, will focus on renewal of experiential learning and supervised agricultural experiences within agricultural education.

"As the nation begins to deal with the skills gap that exists between current educational components and what will be needed for the future workforce, the general education community is looking to experiential learning as a key solution,” said National Council for Agricultural Education Managing Director Mike Honeycutt. “Changes in our industry and demographics are challenging teachers to find ways to meaningfully engage all students through experiential learning. The summit brings together a variety of national leaders in agricultural education to study, debate and seek solutions to the barriers we face."

Featured speakers for this year’s summit include:

  • Dr. James Stone, director of the National Research Center for Career and Technical Education
  • Scott Stump, dean of career and technical education at Colorado Community College System
  • Matt Lohr, commissioner of the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services
  • Marc Howze, vice president of global human resources at John Deere

During the three-day summit, updates will be provided from national agricultural education organizations, including the American Association for Agricultural Education, on plans to support local implementation of supervised agriculture experiences for all students. Highlights of how educators have creatively engaged students in experiential learning regardless of backgrounds will be shared and discussions will focus on resources available and resources needed to help educators overcome barriers to engage more students.

The summit also provides National FFA Organization leaders the opportunity to get together with national agricultural education groups and discuss future programming and activities. It also provides the opportunity for FFA leaders to provide updates on state and national FFA officer training programs; the National FFA Convention and Expo, which is the single-largest annual student gathering in the nation and last year drew nearly 63,000 students; national award and leadership programs; teacher training; and best practices to gain increased adoption of the Agricultural Career Network, a national online portal for students to use to develop their educational and career timelines, document awards and achievements, apply for scholarships and pursue careers in the agriculture industry.

The 2014 National Agriculture Education Summit will be streamed online at iHigh.com/FFA and action can be followed on Twitter at #AgEdSummit.

The National FFA Organization provides leadership, personal growth and career success training through agricultural education to 579,678 student members in grades seven through 12 who belong to one of 7,570 local FFA chapters throughout the U.S., Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands.

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About National FFA Organization
The National FFA Organization is a national youth organization of 557,318 student members as part of 7,498 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. For more, visit the National FFA Organization online at www.FFA.org, on Facebook, Twitter and the official National FFA Organization blog.