Graduate Assistants, Scott Burris, Tracy Kitchel, Shane Robinson, and Jon Ulmer, were awarded the "High Flyer" for teaching from the College of Education. All four graduate assistants teach classes for both the Department of Agricultural Education (housed in the College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources) and the Teacher Development Program (housed in the College of Education). To be awarded the "High Flyer," an instructor must earn a rating of 4.5 or higher on their teaching evaluations for the sections on the evaluation relating to teaching effectiveness. Research Recognized at North Central Region ConferenceThe department presented six research papers this fall at the North Central Region Conference held in West Lafayette, Indiana. Faculty, graduate assistants, and recent alumni co-authored papers and received the following outstanding paper recognitions: Second Runner-up, Robert Torres and Jonathan Ulmer; First Runner-up, Anna Ball (alumnus), Tracy Kitchel, and Bryan Garton; and Outstanding Paper Presentation, Tracy Kitchel, Scott Burris, Brad Greiman (alumnus), and Robert Torres. Undergraduate Students Receive RecognitionsBen Marshall, a junior, is serving as Truman the Tiger, the official mascot of Mizzou. This past spring Truman was recognized as the 2004 National Mascot of the Year. This was the second time in three years for Truman to receive this recognition. Christy Forkner and Crystal Mathews, seniors, were recently awarded National Association of Agricultural Education (NAAE) scholarships. Crystal Mathews, senior, was a finalist for Mizzou Homecoming Queen. David Cook, Aaron Medsker, Cord Jenkins, and Celia Brammer, Ag Ed Society members, placed 2nd in the National ATA/Collegiate Quiz Bowl conducted during the ATA Conclave in Louisville. Students Serve as National FFA TrainersSeniors Jake Davis, Crystal Mathews, and Morgan Scheiderer are serving as trainers for the National FFA Organizations weekend leadership conference series this academic year. They are working with the Advanced Leadership Development conference, Made for Excellence conference, and Experiencing Discovery, Growth and Excellence conference. Morgan and Jake have an emphasis in leadership and Crystals emphasis is in teacher certification. Leadership and Teacher Certification Emphasis AreasThe leadership and teacher certification emphasis areas of the undergraduate degree program have been officially approved by the Coordinating Board for Higher Education. In the past, two career options were offered, now the two options are official emphasis areas and will be reflected on student transcripts. The leadership emphasis focuses on developing student leadership, communication, and human relation skills. Students learn to plan, manage, and teach in non-formal educational settings. The teacher certification emphasis focuses n preparing students to teach in public schools at the secondary and adult levels.
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University of New Hampshire
Retirement Dave Howell has announced his retirement in May of 2005. He will have completed 23 with the University of New Hampshire and has one of the last agri-science teacher education programs in New England. The New England Deans are currently trying to find a way that UNH can be the regional center for a New England agriscience teacher education program. The concern always comes down to funding, numbers and recruitment. Dave is looking forward to greater international involvement and enjoyed a team work project in Nicaragua last summer.
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Utah State University
Warnick Hired as Associate Professor Dr. Brian Warnick has been hired as Associate Professor of Agricultural Education. Dr. Warnick began August 2004 and is currently teaching courses designed to prepare pre-service agricultural education students. Further, Dr. Warnick has begun work on a mentor teacher program as part of a grant from the Utah State Office of Education. Warnick taught secondary agricultural education in Utah before earning a Ph.D. at Oregon State University.
Gary Straquadine AdvancesDr. Gary Straquadine, Professor of Agricultural Education has been named Assistant Vice Provost at Utah State University. As the former department head of Agricultural Systems Technology and Education, Straquadine will serve the entire campus community with the same enthusiasm and dedication that he provided for agricultural education.
Summer Ag Teacher Tour Over 40 Utah agriculture teachers hit the road this past summer as part of a summer agriculture tour sponsored by the Utah State Office of Education. Hosted by William Deimler, State Specialist for Agricultural Education, the teachers visited sites of agricultural interest throughout Oregon and Washington on their way to Butchart Gardens in Victoria, British Columbia. Other stops included the aquaculture program at College of Southern Idaho, McNary Dam on the Columbia River, secondary agriculture programs in Washington, and the Thomas Angus Ranch in Baker City, Oregon.
Collegiate FFA & ATA ActiveUtah State University is pleased to support two active professional agricultural education organizations. Collegiate FFA and Alpha Tau Alpha both had large increases in membership during the 2003-04 school year. Recently, 12 Collegiate FFA members and 5 ATA members attended activities at the 2004 National FFA Convention and ATA Conclave. USU faculty members believe this recent growth is a reflection of the increased emphasis now being placed on professional development.
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AES Leadership Conference On October 5th the Virginia Tech Agricultural Education Society (AES) held it 24th annual FFA Leadership Conference. The conference was attended by 661 members and 55 advisors. The members attended workshops conducted by AES members, state FFA officers, and national FFA officer Amy Rasmussen. Classes were targeted to new members of the FFA and had such topics as becoming a leader and getting off to a good start in the FFA. Over the past 24 years more than 13,000 FFA members have attended the conference. Two Tech Professors Receive Alumni AwardsTwo faculty members of the Virginia Tech Department of Agricultural and Extension Education were recently named as award recipients by the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences Alumni Organization. Dr. John Hillison, professor and head of the department, was selected as the first recipient of the Outstanding Faculty Service Award. Dr. Hellion's service to the students and alumni of the College and University were cited as reasons for his selection. Dr. Tom Broyles, associate professor, was named as the recipient of the Outstanding Young Alumni Award. The Alumni Organization selected Dr. Broyles for his outstanding leadership and dedication to the Virginia Governors School for Agriculture. 2004 Virginia Governors School for AgricultureDuring the month of July, Virginia Tech hosted the Governors School for Agriculture (GSA). Ninety-two students attended this years school, the highest attendance ever. The students chose from 6 majors: agricultural economics, animal science, food science and nutrition, natural resources, plant science, and veterinary medicine. Each student participated not only in course work but also in a group research project. The school concluded with a poster and symposium session. Please visit the GSA website (www.gsa.vt.edu) to learn more about the school and the projects.
Virginia Agricultural Education CurriculumVirginia agricultural education is working diligently to keep the curriculum on the cutting edge and our students ahead of the curve. As the level of technology increases and the expectations of our students increase, we continue to move our agricultural program offerings toward a more agri-science based curriculum. We have recently implemented several new courses into our program offerings. Biological Applications in Agriculture, Biotechnology Applications in Agriculture, Biotechnology Foundations, and Veterinary Science. Each of these courses heavily supports science and math concepts.
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International Dr. Swan spent time this fall working in South Africa, Botswana, and Kenya on several projects sponsored through WSU International Office. He continues to assist with video conferencing and distance delivery technologies with designing systems and training faculties in their usage. Dr. Swan is also involved with projects sponsored through UNESCO and other developing countries in Africa.
Program Changes We are involved in a redesign project with our college to better emphasize agriculture and agricultural education. Designing a new degree program that will enhance our visibility both inside and outside the university. We are hopping that implementation will occur in fall 2005. New program or department degree name should be approved this winter.
Certification Procedures Washington like many states is going through several changes to their teacher certification procedures. One of those changes we are now implementing is a set of new benchmarks for teacher candidates. These are now included on the forms we use when visiting student teachers and must be completed before certification can be issued by our Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction. More forms and a new look for everyone.
New Career pathways Supervisor In July Washington State hired a new Agriculture Career Pathways Supervisor. Mr. Wayne Gilman officially took the position and started with the duties during our annual summer conference. Mr. Gilman replaces Rod Duckworth who was promoted by our State Superintendent to Director of Career and Technical Education for the state. We welcome Wayne and look forward to working with him in promoting and advancing Agricultural Education in Washington State.
New Initiatives We are now focusing on how to train our new teacher education students in mechanics. Our former metals laboratory was closed last spring semester by our current department chair. Our plan is to include many of the skills into an existing course to be taught in 4 weeks in spring semester. Time will tell if this is the best way to try. If you have ideas please let us know.
Washington State University
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West Texas A&M University
New Faculty Member Mr. Robert Herington was hired as a part-time instructor in Agricultural Mechanics beginning August 15, 2004. Along with serving as instructor in agricultural mechanics Robert is also seeking his PhD at West Texas A&M University. Mr. Herrington is a native of Rankin Texas. Robert received his undergraduate degree from Tarelton State University in Agricultural Education, and a Master degree from Texas Tech University. Robert served with the Texas Cooperative Extension for eight years as an agricultural extension agent in Johnson and Dickens Counties. Robert also served eight years as an Agricultural Science Teacher in Patton Springs I.S.D. and most recently in the Valley I.S.D. The university is very pleased to have Robert and his wife Polly as part of the Agricultural Education Team. Robert brings over 16 years of experience and a great deal of enthusiasm and passion for agricultural education. WTAMU Agricultural Education Learning Center A proposed agricultural education-learning center at West Texas A&M University received a $260,000 donation from private donors in an effort to reach the $450,000 needed to build the proposed facility. The new educational facility will be designed to provide quality instruction in an appropriate environment for the students seeking a teaching certificate or a career as an extension educator. The facility is to be built just east of the WTAMU campus on the previous site of the university dairy. The location will not only provide easy access for students, faculty and other individuals using the educational facilities, but also will be highly visible to the general public and supports of West Texas A&M University and Panhandle agriculture. The proposed learning center will be housed a 120 acres which will include working pens for livestock, 50 acres of pasture, housing for livestock, and an arena to host local FFA and 4-H events. The structural facility to be built is a 100x 100metal building that will house the agricultural mechanics laboratory, two multi-media classrooms, office space, and a men's and women's locker room. The additional 70-acre will be designed for instruction in crop production, range and pasture management, horticulture and landscaping and wildlife management. The site also has a three-bedroom house on the premise in which graduate students will live rent-free in exchange for upkeep and maintain for the new center. Groundbreaking for the new facility will take place in the spring of 2005 with completion scheduled for the Spring 2006 semester.
Program Milestones The West Texas A&M University Agricultural Education Program has just completed its second year as an academic major on campus. Beginning the fall semester of 2002 the new teacher certification program started with 10 eager students. Beginning the fall semester of 2004 the program has grown to over 60 students seeking teachers certification and 10 seeking a non-certification track geared at extension education. The increase in students has exceeded the expectations of both faculty and administration. Another milestone of the program has been having the first graduate of the program Mr. Darryn Perryman (Spring, 2004), get hired this fall as one of the Agricultural Science Teachers at Hereford I.S.D.