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Logo | Illinois Agrivultural Education

FFA is dedicated to making a positive difference in the lives of students by developing their potential for premier leadership, personal growth and career success through agricultural education..

The FFA Alumni Association supports and advocates for agricultural education and FFA through gifts of time, talent and financial resources..

The mission of the Illinois FFA Foundation is to provide financial support for the Illinois FFA. When you make a gift to the Illinois Foundation FFA, you are investing in the future of agriculture..

The Illinois Association of Vocation Agriculture Teachers (IAVAT) is a professional organization for agricultural teachers at all levels..

The Illinois Association of Community College Agriculture Instructors (IACCAI) is a statewide professional organization for postsecondary agriculture instructors. .

The Illinois Postsecondary Agricultural Student (PAS) Organization provides opportunities for individual growth, leadership and career preparation. .

The Illinois Farm Bureau & Affiliated Companies Youth Education in Agriculture program offers unique educational programs to Illinois youth in 4-H and FFA. .

The purpose of the Illinois Agriculture in the Classroom Program is to encourage educators to incorporate more information about the agriculture, food, and natural resources system into daily lessons..
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Facilitating Coordination in Agricultural Education (FCAE) is a state project administered through the Illinois State Board of Education that is tasked with improving and expanding agricultural education from pre-k through adult levels..

The Illinois Leadership Council for Agricultural Education (ILCAE) is a voluntary, grassroots agricultural industry group focused on the expansion and improvement of Agricultural Education programs at all levels..

The Illinois Committee for Agricultural Education (ICAE) is a 13-member committee established by legislation and appointed by the Governor to advise both the governor and state education agencies concerning Agricultural Education K-adult..

The Illinois State Board of Education is the state agency responsible for Pre-K through 12th grade education. Its primary mission is state program leadership, planning, approval, funding, and evaluation..

The Illinois Department of Agriculture will be an advocate for Illinois' agricultural industry and provide the necessary regulatory functions to benefit consumers, agricultural industry, and our natural resources.. provides information about the Agricultural Education profession and encourages students to consider a career as an agriculture teacher..

MyCAERT provides teachers with an integrated online system to Plan, Document, Deliver, and Assess Career and Technical Education instruction. .

Information Technology and Communication Services (ITCS) Instructional Materials provides agricultural education publications in a variety of formats. .

The Agricultural Experience Tracker is the premiere personalized online system for tracking experiences in agricultural education. .
FFA FFA Alumni IL FFA Foundation IAVAT IACCAI PAS IFB Youth Education IAITC FCAE ILCAE ICAE ISBE Illinois Department of Agriculture MyCAERT ITCS The AET

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Casey Bolin
District 5 Program Advisor
Sections 21-25
1475 West Whittaker
Salem, IL 62881
Cell: (618) 780-0230
[email protected]
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District V Message--Dean Dittmar--4/5/2008

Saturday, April 05, 2008

Promote your profession, lead by example, be enthusiastic, and keep your facilities inviting to students.

 It’s Your Responsibility (and Mine) Authored by Harold Eckler, 2007-08 NAAE President...
Three common-sense strategies to encourage your students to think about becoming agricultural educators
1. Promote a positive image of our profession
2. Actively encourage students to think about teaching as a career
3. Mentor students once they start  thinking of a career in ag education

It’s easy to identify problems in almost everything we do and even easier to place blame for those problems on other people. At school we blame the math teachers for students who can’t add and subtract, we blame elementary teachers for students who have trouble reading and writing, we also blame parents, administrators, and everyone else. Some say that recruitment of students into teacher education programs is the responsibility of teacher educators and offer suggestions that they might employ to recruit more students into their programs. However, just as all teachers must teach the core subjects of math, reading and writing, we as agricultural educators have to accept our part in the daunting task of ensuring there are qualified teachers to fill every agricultural education position that becomes open each year.  Recruiting high school students into the agriculture education profession is our responsibility. So what are we going to do about it? There are three common sense strategies that we can implement as educators that will cost little more than our time and effort.

 FIRST, it is important for teachers to promote a positive image of our profession. The first line of the Ag Teacher’s Creed, “I am a teacher by choice and not by chance,” hopefully reflects every teacher’s opinion of his or her career. I can’t image anyone pursuing or remaining in a career that they did not enjoy or feel was rewarding in some aspect. It’s easy to complain about all of the negative aspects of teaching, such as low pay, state mandates, and inadequate funding, but we really need to focus on the positives. Things like making a difference in the life of a student and the smorgasbord of subjects and activities that we can participate in (remember we don’t have to do everything) are just a couple of the reasons that come to mind.

SECOND, actively encourage students to think about teaching as a career. We spend time in class promoting other careers in agriculture, but how often do we promote teaching as a viable option? Most of our students love agriculture and are interested in being involved in some aspect of the industry. What better way for them to engage in agriculture than by being involved in education? Teaching can also be a gateway to many other careers such as banking, sales, and administration. Besides, you never know what will happen to those young teachers; maybe they will plan to use teaching as a stepping stone, and instead end up remaining in the profession.

THIRD, mentor students once they start thinking of a career in agricultural education.  Help them connect with teacher educators and students already majoring in agricultural education. Having a strong network and support group will be beneficial when challenges arise and they start to have second thoughts about their choice of becoming a teacher. Keep them involved in your program by inviting them back to make presentations, asking them to help train a CDE team or evaluate student work. Listen to their concerns and continue to help them solve the problems that they face. Most importantly, don’t wait for them to ask for help, take it upon yourself to keep them involved. If you poll a group of agricultural education teachers about why they became a teacher, most will reply that their high school teacher had a great impact on their life. By implementing these three strategies; having a positive attitude, encouraging students to think about agricultural education as a career, and mentoring students who are enrolled in agricultural education, teachers will have an impact on the number of potential agricultural educators.

“They see what you do, and that you’re having fun, and they think, why not?” - Mark Steber, Agriculture Teacher, East Richland High School at Olney(Read about how Mark promotes the teaching profession also in this newsletter.)

Click here to view the entire featured article from the March/April 2008 News & Views, newsletter of the National Association of Agricultural Educators.


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