Acquaint yourself with the six 2018 educators who won Outstanding Agricultural Education Teachers Awards from the National Association of Agricultural Educators.
Carolyn Piguet, Vinita High School, Vinita, Okla.
Students at Vinita High School grow food in a 1-acre garden and serve it in their food truck and catering business. Piguet believes the offerings help students understand the link from farm to table, explaining, “You don’t have to farm to benefit from agricultural literacy.”
Neil Pearson, Willmar Senior High School, Willmar, Minn.
Pearson wants students to have access to specialized agricultural programming, from horticulture to engine repair. Pearson has led students on the agriculture mechanics team to eight state championships. “Seeing them succeed is the best part of teaching,” he says.
Matthew Dettloff, Chiefland Middle High School, Chiefland, Fla.
Dettloff ’s passion for agricultural education is contagious. “FFA is the biggest club on campus; it’s something all of our students want to be part of,” he says. “I love being part of it because I can help students explore their passions outside the classroom.”
Wes Crawford, Sutherlin High School, Sutherlin, Ore.
Although Crawford grew up on a farm, most of the 130 students in the Sutherlin High School FFA Chapter are being introduced to agriculture for the first time. “Without an ag ed program, there wouldn’t be much understanding of the path food takes from farm to plate,” he says.
Tammy Hyatt, Lapeer County Education and Technology Center, Attica, Mich.
Hyatt does more than teach students about production agriculture and veterinary science. Almost all of the produce and proteins raised on campus are donated to the local food bank. “It’s our work in the community that makes this program special,” she says.
Holly Hufford, Smyrna Middle School, Smyrna, Del.
Many of the 350 students taking agricultural education classes at Smyrna Middle School don’t know the difference between dairy and beef cattle. “I love the shock value of teaching ag ed, the moment when you completely change how a student sees something,” Hufford explains.
Is Agricultural Education Right For You?
Visit AgExplorer.com/career/agricultural-science-teacher for job details. Or, visit the National Association of Agricultural Educators’ website, NAAE.org, and click on “Teach Ag.”