ST. PAUL, Minn. — Minnesota is celebrating in conjunction with National Teach Ag Day – a day dedicated to the agricultural education profession and bringing awareness to the ever-growing demand for agriculture teachers. This year, the celebration is being hosted on Thursday, Sept. 15 in Minnesota at CHS Headquarters; a live stream of the festivities is set to broadcast at 10 a.m. CDT (watch here: https://www.naae.org/teachag/webcast.cfm)
Across the state, nearly 40,000 students receive school-based agricultural, food and natural resource (AFNR) education in grades 7-12. Minnesota is fortunate to have more than 320 agriculture teachers in over 215 AFNR programs providing students with hands-on opportunities to gain technical knowledge, obtain leadership and personal development skills, and prepare for future careers. The Minnesota Agricultural Education Leadership Council (MAELC) recognizes and thanks these teachers for their work in and out of the classroom supporting AFNR students.
Minnesota has experienced continuous demand for high school AFNR programs. Historically, there have been 30-40 position openings throughout the state each year; this year there have been more than 100. All but four school districts have found a teacher as of early September, however some schools have had to rely on alternatively licensed teachers which means they have not had formal Agricultural Education training. Statewide more than 40 of the 320 total AFNR teachers have an alternative license.
“To address the increasing demand for AFNR programming, we need many more individuals to consider agricultural education as a career. Becoming an agriculture teacher is an opportunity to make a difference in students’ lives,” says Sarah Dornink, MAELC Executive Director.
Minnesota offers multiple pathways to becoming an agriculture teacher, whether transitioning from high school into college, changing majors within college, or a mid-career professional looking for a change. To explore more about becoming an agriculture teacher in Minnesota, visit teachagmn.org. In addition to the website, individuals can connect with Minnesota Teach Ag on Facebook (@TeachAgMinnseota) and Instagram (@teachagmn), or emailing email@example.com.
If you know of an individual who should consider a future career in agricultural education, nominate them as part of Teach Ag Day utilizing this form: https://z.umn.edu/taggedtoteachag. All nominees received by September 15 will be entered into a drawing to win a Tagged to Teach Ag Kit from MAELC!
MAELC is a 16-member legislative council that provides leadership to promote and expand agricultural education in Minnesota. The state legislature, agricultural educators, and agriculture industry leaders are all represented on the council.
— Minnesota Agricultural Education Leadership Council