ST. PAUL, Minn. — The Minnesota Agricultural Education Leadership Council(MAELC) is excited to announce the creation of the Minnesota Teach Ag Ambassador program. This program was developed by Minnesota’s State Teach Ag Results (STAR) committee, which is coordinated by MAELC. STAR is a component of the National Teach Ag Campaign and designed to assist states in creating sustainable and effective recruitment and retention strategies to help fulfill the agriculture teacher shortage.
The purpose of the Minnesota Teach Ag Ambassador program is to utilize current collegiate students majoring in Agricultural Education-Teacher Licensure to represent the Agricultural Education profession and encourage others to teach agriculture.
After completing an application process, six individuals were chosen for the program; two from each Minnesota institution that licenses agriculture teachers:
Ashley Eisenbraun, Southwest Minnesota State University
Myla Lewis, University of Minnesota – Crookston
Hailey Nierling, Southwest Minnesota State University
Natalie Resch, University of Minnesota – Twin Cities
Jeannie Rhinehart, University of Minnesota – Twin Cities
Jane Strand, University of Minnesota – Crookston
“I am excited to be a Minnesota Teach Ag Ambassador because I believe it is a great opportunity to represent the many options of agricultural education and discuss why it is an important profession. Minnesota is in need of dedicated agriculture teachers to help make an impact on future generations. I am looking forward to helping steer students toward this wonderful career and hearing their agriculture stories!” – Jane Strand, University of Minnesota – Crookston.
Similar to states across the nation, Minnesota is facing a shortage of agriculture teachers. However, the gap between supply and demand is not simply an indication of the number of individuals entering the profession. In Minnesota, the shortage is exacerbated by an increasing demand for high school agricultural education programs. To accommodate heightened interest, many school districts are investing in the development of new programs. Additionally, some single-teacher programs have expanded with the addition of a second or third teacher, allowing for greater breadth and depth of agriculture, food and natural resource courses.
This year’s Teach Ag Ambassador program will run through December, 2019. Along with supporting National Teach Ag Day activities on September 19, 2019 the ambassadors will spend their term encouraging high school and postsecondary students to consider a career in teaching agriculture. The ambassadors will use several different outlets to accomplish this task including social media, email, workshops, booths, and presentations. They will also be attending the Minnesota FFA State Convention and visiting Minnesota high schools to answer questions about Teach Ag and agricultural education!
If you are interested in having a Teach Ag Ambassador visit your local high school or college, please contact Kari Schwab at firstname.lastname@example.org.
MAELC is a 17-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
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