On March 24, agricultural education students and teachers across the country will be celebrating the second annual National Teach Ag Day.  National Teach Ag Day was started by the National Council for Agricultural Education as part of the National Teach Ag Campaign.  The campaign began to celebrate agricultural education and to promote the possibilities of a career in the profession.  There is a national shortage of agricultural educators in the United States, and the National Teach Ag Campaign’s aim is to raise awareness of the career.

Anyone who has been in agriculture classes in high school or participated in FFA understands the important role an ag teacher can play in the life of a high school student.  However, many people do not have those opportunities and therefore, do not know that ag teachers don’t just talk about cows and corn. 

Agriculture teachers prepare students for high-demand careers in cutting edge industries like biotechnology, renewable energies, food production, and more.  Ag teachers also teach students how to be leaders and prepare them to take on the challenges of the next generation.  Many people do not realize that students enrolled in agriculture classes at the high school level are learning things they cannot get elsewhere.  Not only are they learning basic shop, horticulture, and ag science concepts, but they are getting math, science, and language arts skills in a hands-on way that helps them apply their lessons to real life.

So to celebrate National Teach Ag Day, help share the importance of agriculture programs in schools and consider the possibilities of a career in agricultural education.  Get involved in your local ag programs.  Join the FFA alumni, go to your FFA pork chop dinners, talk to the ag teacher, do anything to show the students and teachers that the community supports the program.  Happy National Teach Ag Day and remember to tell the ag teachers in your life thank you for all their hard work!

Sarah Carson
Agricultural Education
University of Illinois
Class of 2012

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