Thursday’s National Teach Ag Day
UNDATED -- Thursday is National Teach Ag Day, and Minnesota is a sponsoring state for the celebration.
Sarah Dornink is the executive director of the Minnesota Agricultural Education Leadership Council. She explains the two-part focus of the celebration.
One is to celebrate the school-based agriculture teacher to (remind them) that they do a fantastic job of preparing students for future careers in Agriculture, Food, and Natural Resources. They're also preparing them for the leadership skills to be great citizens who contribute to their communities. And then also, to think about recruiting those future teachers; to help people know that there's a career, and you can make a difference in students' lives.
Since 2010, Minnesota high schools have added 30 high school agriculture departments and 97 teachers. Statewide, there are now 218 high school agriculture departments. To fill those teaching openings, school districts rely on both new ag teacher graduates and individuals with technical agricultural knowledge.
Not your father’s Vo-Ag
Dornink says the classes have evolved to provide teaching in agriculture, but also environmental and natural resources, food processing, and biotechnology.
We call it career and technical education. I would say it's evolved some but the basic structure is in agriculture, food, and natural resource education. What we stick to is that hands-on model, learning in the classroom, getting right in there and experiencing it, then we have an outside experience. Whether it's called Work Based Learning, or in agriculture, we call it supervised agricultural experiences.
National Teach Ag Day
The CHS Foundation is hosting the National Teach Ag webcast from their headquarters in Minneapolis. The webcast will spotlight the contributions ag teachers make to their schools and communities. To view the webcast, click here.
For more on National Teach Ag Day, click here.