So you love your agriculture classes
in high school, huh?
Why is that?
It might have something to do with how the classes are taught, something to do with the content of agriculture, something to do with FFA and also what you do outside of class in your SAE.
But also, do you feel a connection to your Ag teacher that
you don't have with other teachers?
Teachers make a difference in students' lives, and teaching Agriculture is unlike teaching any other subject! It's one of the few subjects that connect directly to an industry (you know, agriculture)! Have you ever asked the question, "Why do I need to know this?" Chances are, you've asked that question a lot less in your Ag class than you have in algebra! Agriculture classes are the application of math, science, language arts, and social sciences. In other words, we practice all of those "core" subjects when studying agriculture!
Why not teach Ag?
Whatever your reason, why not consider teaching agriculture as a career? Nation-wide, there is a shortage of agriculture teachers. Even in Nebraska, not all schools that had open positions had them filled last year!
With a dramatic increase in the number of schools who offer agricultural education and and FFA programs over the last five years, a bubble of current teachers preparing to retire, and a strong agricultural economy, Nebraska expects a shortage of agriculture teachers for the foreseeable future. We need great agriculture teachers who are willing to make the difference in future students' lives!
I'm interested! So, where do I go from here?
Only one school in Nebraska prepares students to be agricultural teachers, the University of Nebraska--Lincoln. Within the University is the College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources (CASNR) and within CASNR is the Department of Agricultural Leadership, Education and Communication (ALEC). (Side note: Ag teachers swim in acronyms!) From the ALEC website:
"The major in agricultural education is designed to prepare students with the necessary communication and interpersonal skills, leadership training, and knowledge of technical agriculture to be a teacher of agricultural education at the secondary or post-secondary level. The major also prepares students for work in agricultural extension, positions in foreign service, and agricultural educators in business and industry. Agricultural education majors are provided with many opportunities for career awareness and exploration outside the classroom."
What if I don't want to go to college in Lincoln?
Even though UNL is the only college that prepares agriculture teachers, there are MULTIPLE pathways to becoming an Ag teacher in Nebraska that can minimize your time in Lincoln. Teachers can get their start from any corner of the state with transfer programs that include:
- NCTA: Nebraska College of Technical Agriculture
- Northeast Community College
- Central Community College
- Southeast Community College
- Western Nebraska Community College
- Wayne State College (with coursework from Northeast Community College)
For more info...
Visit the Teach Ag (TAG) site to learn more about this exciting profession! View videos, testimonials, and explore other colleges that prepare agriculture teachers.
Nebraska has supported two Teach Ag Interns, college students who are preparing to become agriculture teachers, through a 40-day summer internship. Learn about their experiences here!
By the way, some new teachers may qualify for one of many college loan forgiveness programs. Learn more about these programs here.
Oh, and, go talk to your Ag teacher!