Illinois Groups Address Growing Need For Ag Teachers

Illinois has a growing need for agricultural education teachers, and now new, innovative opportunities are available to attract more students to teaching careers, including the new Web site, “Inspiring Minds to Grow” at http://teachag.net/.

“More than 60 openings for agriculture teachers in both rural and urban settings were available in 2007-08 with only 19 college graduates to fill those openings. Since 1992, the number of available positions has exceeded the number of graduates,” says Jay Runner, coordinator for Facilitating Communication in Agricultural Education (FCAE).

In 2007-08, the average agriculture teaching salary in Illinois was $45,822. Four percent of Illinois agriculture teachers reported earning more than $80,000 last year. Agricultural science teachers apply academic concepts to topics ranging from business management, to biological and veterinary science, to biotechnology and food science. Environmental science, landscape and turf management, floral design, mechanical technology and construction systems, and leadership and communications are also areas of study.

Illinois agricultural education groups are employing several tactics to address the teacher shortage. The Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) is offering incentive grants under the Growing Agriculture Science Teachers (GAST) program. The goal is to help community colleges and universities recruit agriculture science teacher candidates, ensure their preparation, and offer support during their first five years of service.

“The grant funds activities that promote the recruitment, training, and retention of agricultural science teachers in both rural and urban areas,” says Harley Hepner, principal consultant for agricultural education with the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE). “Opportunities will be available for secondary and postsecondary students to enter into paid internships and other activities to explore and experience careers in agricultural education. The grant is a vital component to growing agriculture programs in Illinois schools at all educational levels and growing our own teachers and programs in order to produce future leaders and a skilled workforce for the agriculture industry.”

Individuals with agricultural-related business and industry experience are also encouraged to inquire about how they might become agricultural science teachers. The Web site, http://teachag.net/, guides users through opportunities available in agricultural education. Students can fill out the online form for more information about teaching careers in Illinois, and packets will be sent to those students that address questions and nurture their interests.

Teachag.net is a great tool to immediately connect students to the right person from each university, and allow students to begin to build relationships with them,” says Mindy Bunselmeyer, FCAE program advisor based in Monticello, IL. “The Web connection starts them on the best path for their future in agricultural education.”

High school juniors and seniors can also learn more about agricultural education by attending an “Elite Conference” during the school year. The hands-on, day-long conference is packed with activities designed to get students headed in the right direction for careers in agricultural education. Students learn about the profession, talk with university representatives and current teachers and more. Information about the conference is found at the same Web site, http://teachag.net/.

Note: The statewide agricultural education team includes the Illinois Leadership Council for Agricultural Education (ILCAE), the Illinois Committee for Agricultural Education (ICAE), Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE), Illinois FFA and its associated groups, Illinois Association of Vocational Agriculture Teachers (IAVAT), Illinois Association Community College Agriculture Instructors (IACCAI), University Council, Illinois Agriculture in the Classroom, and FCAE.

The team works to help ensure a successful social, economical, and environmental future for the state with K-adult education programs in support of Illinois’ largest industry, agriculture. For more information, visit www.agriculturaleducation.org.

Leave a Reply

Latest News
Allen Summers Asmark Institute PSM Training
EmployeesAsmark Institute Sponsors 25 ResponsibleAg Auditor Trai…
June 21, 2016
The Asmark Institute has announced plans to provide 25 scholarships through their affiliated State fertilizer and agrichemical associations to help encourage Read More
Kennebec Elevator
CropLife 100Wheat Growers Celebrates Kennebec Elevator Grand Openin…
June 21, 2016
Over 250 patrons and guests were on hand to celebrate Wheat Growers’ Kennebec Elevator grand opening. South Dakota Secretary of Read More
Land O Lakes
Industry NewsLand O’Lakes To Acquire Ceres
June 20, 2016
Land O’ Lakes, Inc. and Ceres, Inc. have announced that they have signed a definitive merger agreement under which Land O’Lakes Read More
Food IT
Industry NewsCalifornia Event Will Mix Ag And Tech Professionals To …
June 20, 2016
Silicon Valley is hot on agriculture, and an upcoming event in California will bring together the food and tech industries Read More
LegislationVilsack Christens WinField Crop Adventure, Talks Monsan…
June 17, 2016
The WinField Crop Adventure grand opening ceremonies at Fair Oaks Farms (near Winemac, IN) welcomed USDA Secretary of Agriculture Tom Read More
Crop InputsFields of the Future: WinField Doubles Down with Agri-E…
June 16, 2016
Land O’Lakes, Inc., joined by Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack, today will host Fields of the Future, a live broadcast about Read More
Bayer sign
Crop InputsMonsanto Turns Back Bayer Again
June 14, 2016
Bayer AG’s bid to buy Monsanto Co. for more than $60 billion has hit an impasse that could pose a Read More
Young Corn Field
Crop NutritionNext Generation Of Nitrogen Efficiency Technology Conve…
June 13, 2016
Commodity price projections indicate farmers will continue to face tight margins again this year. Delivering higher yields and more bushels Read More
Industry NewsLa Crosse Seed Acquires Cover Crop Solutions Brand
June 10, 2016
La Crosse Seed announces that it is the new and exclusive owner of the entire family of brands of Cover Read More
ManagementTravel Plans and EU Rejection of Glyphosate, Biotech Cr…
June 9, 2016
Editors Paul Schrimpf and Eric Sfiligoj talk about upcoming trips and the latest in the European Union’s moves against glyphosate Read More
Aspire with Boron
Crop InputsStudy: Aspire with Boron Ups Alfalfa Yields
June 8, 2016
Alfalfa growers are successfully improving yields through the cutting season by applying an important micronutrient. In a recent study, The Read More
Industry NewsAGCO Announces Tragic Death of Longtime Employee
June 8, 2016
It is with deepest regret that we announce the passing of our dear friend, colleague and customer advocate-in-chief Kevin W. Read More
Wheat Field North Dakota
Industry NewsBASF Inks Northern Seed for Clearfield Wheat R&D Li…
June 6, 2016
BASF has licensed Northern Seed LLC to perform research and development of BASF’s proprietary and patented Clearfield technology in wheat. Read More
ManagementBayer/Monsanto, EU/Glyphosate, Corn/Soybeans
June 2, 2016
Editors Paul Schrimpf and Eric Sfiligoj discuss the latest regarding industry mergers, the glyphosate debate in Europe, and an update Read More
Growers looking at soybeans
Industry NewsKoch Licenses 2 Marrone Products For North American Dis…
June 2, 2016
Koch Agronomic Services (Koch), with support from its affiliate, Koch Biological Solutions, has secured exclusive rights to sell REGALIA Rx Read More
Gypsum
Industry NewsBeneficial Reuse Management Launches GYPSOIL BLENDABLE
June 2, 2016
Beneficial Reuse Management (BRM) has introduced GYPSOIL BLENDABLE, a new high-quality pelleted gypsum fertilizer that supplies 17% sulfate sulfur and Read More
StewardshipAgrible Joins Field To Market To Pursue Sustainable Sou…
June 1, 2016
Agrible, Inc. has joined Field to Market: The Alliance for Sustainable Agriculture as an associate member. As a leading multi-stakeholder Read More