Tag Archives: agriculture education


#Amplify Carrie Taets Northcott, FFA Alumni

Carrie Taets Northcott is an FFA Alumni from Annawan, Illinois, who took agriculture classes and joined the organization because of her love of agriculture.  Oh, and her dad was the teacher.  Her story resonantes with me, particularly her ability to speak to large groups without hesitation. FFA teaches that kind of self-confidence.  She is a scientist working in cardiovascular safety at Pfizer.  Thank you for sharing your FFA story Carrie! Continue reading


#Amplify Brian King, East Burke FFA, North Carolina

Brian KingBrian King (pictured center) is a recent graduate and charter member of the East Burke FFA Chapter.  And in the charter year, he placed first in the regional prepared public speaking career development event and participated at the state level.  That says something – about Brian and his advisor.  Building a program takes time, but with great support from the community, parents and school, students can reap the rewards of FFA immediately. Continue reading


#Amplify Faith Stegbauer, Fayetteville FFA, Ohio

Faith StegbauerFaith Stegbauer’s entry to FFA was a given.  Her family farms.  Her brother was a member (you’ll read about Tyler later this week).  Why wouldn’t she join? Her youthful enthusiasm for agriculture and the blue & gold inspires me. Sometimes we adults need to remember that feeling that the world is there for the taking; we just have to be brave enough to take it. Continue reading


#Amplify YOU! FFA Week 2016

FFA changed the trajectory of my life. I write and speak about it often.  In a short four years, the iconic blue jacket took me from a freshman wallflower to a senior student leader. Now 20 years later, I still refer to the simple lessons taught through the FFA. Continue reading


21st Century Vocational Education

Recently I joined parents and students in our high school auditorium to view the documentary Beyond Measure. The film profiles several school districts, their teachers, administrators and students, spotlighting the tired side of a standardized educational system driven by assessments and testing.  Then the filmmakers give us a taste of what could be by introducing those who dared the system — teachers who refused to give state mandated tests; teachers who tossed a cardboard box, wires, and a few robotics manuals at their students and said, “Build.” Administrators who asked their staff, “How can you be an effective teacher and how can I support you in that endeavor?” Continue reading


Buried in the multi-billion dollar Illinois state budget, sits a line item tiny in amount ($1.8 million) but big on impact.

The Agriculture Education line item supports agriculture education in 321 Illinois middle schools and high schools, funds teacher recruitment, retention and professional development, and in general affects the lives of 17,250 Illinois FFA members. Continue reading


Where Have All The Teachers Gone?

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Mid-April, leaders in Illinois agriculture education met in Springfield to discuss an epidemic plaguing the nation. We don’t have ag teachers. In fact, according to the National Teach Ag Campaign our country is operating at an annual deficit of 400 … Continue reading