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
Eric SfiligojNo Alternative Facts: Dicamba Cropping System Applicato…
January 23, 2017
During President Donald Trump’s inauguration, much fuss was made over the use of the term “alternative facts” vs. some of Read More
Young Corn Plants
ManagementTimac Agro USA Acquires Michigan Ag Retailer
January 20, 2017
Timac Agro USA, an agriculture supply company specializing in high-efficiency plant and animal nutrition products, has acquired St. Louis,MI-based A&E Ag, Read More
Soybean field
Crop InputsNufarm Teams Up With John Deere Financial
January 19, 2017
Nufarm and John Deere Financial have teamed up to help farmers grow a better tomorrow. This program helps make purchases Read More
Sonny Perdue
LegislationTrump Formally Picks Perdue As Agriculture Secretary
January 19, 2017
U.S. President-elect Donald Trump officially announced Sonny Perdue as his choice for secretary of agriculture on Thursday, selecting a former Read More
ManagementPresident Trump, Wisconsin Review, and a Dow-DuPont Upd…
January 18, 2017
Editors Paul Schrimpf and Eric Sfiligoj reflect on a new administration, a recent winter show, and crop protection company mergers. Read More
Industry NewsBayer, MS Technologies Get China Approval For Balance G…
January 18, 2017
MS Technologies and Bayer have received import approval from China for Balance GT soybeans. The new Balance GT Soybean Performance Read More
Werner Baumann, Bayer AG, and Hugh Grant, Monsanto
Industry NewsReport: Monsanto, Bayer CEOs Among Latest to Make Trump…
January 18, 2017
The chief executive officers of German chemical giant Bayer AG and U.S. seed behemoth Monsanto, Werner Baumann and Hugh Grant, Read More
Giant Ragweed
HerbicidesStudy: Focusing On Weed Seedbank Can Help Manage Herbic…
January 18, 2017
Researchers writing in the latest issue of the journal Weed Science provide important insights on the control of herbicide-resistant giant Read More
Management3 Financial Trends To Watch In Agriculture
January 17, 2017
I recently had the opportunity to attend a meeting of credit managers for Midwest ag supply and input companies, in part Read More
Andersons Retail Store
CropLife 100The Andersons To Close All Retail Stores; Shutdown Does…
January 16, 2017
In a stunning announcement to the Toledo area, The Andersons Inc. said on Sunday that it would close its two Read More
Trimble TMX-2050 In-Cab Display
Eric SfiligojPrecision To Lead Agriculture In 2017?
January 16, 2017
Another new year is upon us! And I’m certain I speak for many in the agricultural world when I say Read More
Corn
Eric SfiligojThe Mood From Madison? In A Holding Pattern
January 16, 2017
Last week, I had the chance to attend the annual Wisconsin AgriBusiness Classic show in Madison, WI. It’s been a Read More
Syngenta Sign
Crop InputsAccenture Helps Syngenta Transform Its Global Logistics
January 13, 2017
Syngenta, a leading agriculture company, has collaborated with Accenture to design and implement a new digital logistics operating model across Read More
Fall Creek Seth Harden The Nature Conservancy
StewardshipLocal Farmers’ Watershed Initiative: Continuous Improve…
January 13, 2017
The goal in the Big Pine Watershed Project is to more intentionally do what local farmers and responsible ag retailers Read More
HerbicidesEPA Expands Enlist Duo Herbicide Registration To 34 Sta…
January 13, 2017
The U.S. EPA has expanded the geography for application of Enlist Duo herbicide from 15 to 34 states. This means Read More
Olson Ag Enterprise
CropLife 100Wilbur-Ellis Acquires Nebraska Seed Retailer
January 13, 2017
Wilbur-Ellis’ Agribusiness, a recognized leader in precision agriculture technology and the distribution and marketing of plant protection, seed and nutritional Read More
ManagementDeere-Precision Planting Update and the Ag Secretary Wa…
January 12, 2017
Editors Paul Schrimpf and Eric Sfiligoj provide the latest on the court date for John Deere/Precision Planting and the quest Read More
Monsanto sign
Seed/BiotechMonsanto, NRGene Form Agreement For Big Data Genomic An…
January 12, 2017
Monsanto Co. and NRGene have announced that the companies have reached a non-exclusive, multi-year global licensing agreement on NRGene’s genome-analysis Read More