DES MOINES, Iowa — The Iowa Council on Agricultural Education awarded Lone Tree Community School in Lone Tree, Iowa with the 2019 Excellence in Agriculture Education award. The award was presented at the Iowa FFA Leadership Conference held in Ames, Iowa April 14-16, 2019.
The purpose of the award is to identify what makes a highly successful agriculture education program in schools and recognize those who model that success. Bridget Mahoney is the agriculture teacher at Lone Tree Community School and FFA advisor. The program was nominated for the award by a student in the agriculture education program, Molly Milder.
“The Lone Tree Agricultural Education Department opens the doors to many activities and opportunities for student within our school district,” wrote Milder. “These students have many options to learn about vast career opportunities within the agricultural field. The Lone Tree FFA Chapter welcomes kids from all backgrounds and encourage kids that live in more urban areas.”
The council also recognized four other award areas for schools who excelled in agriculture education programming.
- Advisory Committee Award: Eddyville-Blakesburg-Fremont in Eddyville, Iowa – agriculture teacher, Melissa Appel. The Eddyville-Blakesburg-Fremont Agricultural Education Department works closely with a District Specific Advisory Council as well as the Advisory Council for the Regional Planning Partnership through Indian Hills Community College. Both give feedback about the current curriculum and direction of the program. Appel has established a three-year rotational review of her program and course offerings with the committee reviewing components every year. The group also approved expanding the program course offerings to include two additional career pathways including animal science and landscape and turfgrass technologies.
- Program Promotion and Marketing Award: Central DeWitt High School in DeWitt, Iowa– agriculture teacher, Amy Grantz. During National FFA Week this year, FFA flags lined the downtown and a banner hung over the main road in DeWitt, Iowa. The chapter utilizes its website, a chapter newsletter, and social media regularly to inform the public of the chapter’s activities. Articles are sent to the local newspaper and local businesses display ‘proud to support’ signs in their windows. Other public events like a petting zoo and pumpkin fest help promote the chapter’s activities.
- Agriculture Career Awareness Award: Lone Tree Community Schools in Lone Tree, Iowa – agriculture teacher, Bridget Mahoney. The Lone Tree agricultural education department sees more than fifty percent of their members participating in career development events exposing them to a wide array of careers in agriculture. As part of an exploratory class, eighth grade students conduct research and develop a project based on jobs in their assigned area of focus. Program offerings related to careers are rounded out be guest speakers sharing their personal experiences and students participating in supervised agricultural experience programs.
- Integration of Science Award: Lone Tree Community Schools in Lone Tree, Iowa – agriculture teacher, Bridget Mahoney. Mahoney began implementing the Curriculum for Agriculture Science Education (CASE) in 2014. Classes are taught through inquiry-based lessons where students discover and experiment through guided activities. The courses align to the national agriculture, food and natural resources content standards and overlap with Iowa core standards in science, mathematics, and English.
Agriculture education is offered in 235 high schools across Iowa with more than 21,400 students enrolled in agricultural education courses. Agriculture education employs a three-component model to deliver teaching through classroom instruction, supervised agricultural experience programs, and leadership development through FFA. Students who take an agriculture education class are eligible to join FFA. There are more than 15,479 FFA members in Iowa.
— Iowa Council on Agriculture Education
Iowa FFA Association
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