UNIVERSITY OF WISCONSIN River Falls

Careers in Ag Education
Opportunity Awaits!

Currently there is a national shortage of agricultural educators at the secondary level. It is estimated that there will be hundreds of unfilled positions across the United States this year, simply because not enough students are choosing to be agricultural educators.

While the majority of Agricultural education graduates work in school or post secondary settings, their are endless possibilities. Because Ag Education majors have a background in communications, agriculture, leadership, and human relations, they are prepared for a variety of jobs. Graduates from Ag Education programs are employed in every field across the world from government positions to business and industry. [NAAE]

Career opportunities exist in a diverse array of agriculture-related areas such as:

  • Middle and high school teacher
  • Technical college teacher
  • University teacher and researcher
  • Extension educator
  • Business personnel manager
  • Advertising representative
  • Public relations officer
  • Marketing manager
  • Sales representative

 

Average Starting Salary

According to National Association of Agricultural Educators, the national average salary for an Ag teacher, not including summer contract or benefits, is about $42,000 per year.  Ag teachers are often contracted during the summer months for things like county fair, SAE visits, FFA camps, curriculum writing and summer Ag class. [NAAE]

Agricultural Education Alumni Spotlight

Meet Crystal

Crystal JohnsonCrystal (Heath) Johnson

Agricultural Education
Richey Public Schools
Richey, MT

Hometown: 
Whitehall, WI

B.S. Agricultural Education (December 2005)

As I worked toward earning an agricultural education degree at UWRF, I never imagined I would end up teaching grades 7-12 in Montana. The agriculture I grew up and worked in was Midwest farming at its best; but in Montana, corn, soybeans and dairy cows have little importance to local agriculture. Production beef operations and wheat are the primary commodities in our rural community. I also never dreamed that I would teach in a high school with 24 students!  I love the opportunity to motivate junior high and high school students in the world of agriculture, and it is extremely rewarding to see so many of my graduates head into agricultural careers.

In addition to teaching agriculture, I also advise the FFA chapter. I love having the opportunity to travel to events and network with professionals from all areas of agriculture!

I am proud to say that I am an alumna of CAFES. I always encourage my Montana students to consider the Agricultural Education department at UWRF. My professors were true professionals and experts in their fields of study. The campus was home to me and I made so many friends and networked with so many individuals! It was through my networking with a UWRF professor that I was offered my current position.


Meet Jeanna

Jeanna JamesJeanna James

Agricultural Instructor
Southern Door County School District; Brussels, WI

Hometown: Darlington, WI

B.S. in Agricultural Education
Dual certification in Agriculture and Earth Science Education (May 2008)

As an agricultural instructor, I teach students in grades 8-12. Courses include 8th Grade Agriscience, Animal Science, Veterinary Science, Horticulture, Landscaping, Wildlife Management, and Ag Business/Leadership. In addition, I serve as the Advisor to our FFA chapter, member of the district's School Forest Management Committee and Door County's Quality Market Animal Sale Committee and I play an active role in the Southern Door FFA Alumni Chapter.    

During my senior year at UWRF, my goal was to have a contract signed with a school district in Wisconsin by graduation. Although the paper wasn't officially signed, I had a verbal agreement with the school district. My experience at UWRF helped make that goal attainable. The required TED and AGED courses provided hands-on experiences such as: creating, preparing, and facilitating lesson plans, observing in area schools, and hours of working with exceptional and multicultural students. UWRF also allowed me to expand my teaching skills by serving as a lab assistant for the Intro to Food Science Lab course and as Service Learning Project Coordinator for the AGED department.

UWRF Career Service

CAFES Internships


FAQ: Careers in Agricultural Educationlink

Careers

Many students go on to teach Agricultural Education at middle schools and high schools across the state of Wisconsin and beyond. Our graduates have also obtained a variety of non-teaching positions. Here is just a sample:

  • Data Analyst, Security Health Plan of Wisconsin (Marshfield, WI)
  • County Operations Trainee, USDA-FSA (Western Wisconsin)
  • Livestock Specialist, Crystal Creek (Spooner, WI)
  • Area Reproduction Manager, ABS Global (Augusta area, WI)
  • Staff, Wisconsin State Assembly
  • Associate Alfalfa Researcher, Pioneer Hi-Bred International (Arlington, WI)
  • Research Associate, Syngenta (Kekaha, Kauai)
  • Shed Manager, Hartung Brothers, Inc. (Portland, OR)
  • Developmental Quality Control Supervisor, Land O' Lakes (Spencer, WI)
  • Area Representative/Type Appraiser, American Jersey Cattle Association
    (includes MN, IA, ND, SD, MO and NE)
  • Manager, Menards (Montevideo, MN)
  • Area Program Coordinator, Genex Inc. (Seymour, WI)
  • 4-H Program Coordinator, Univ. of Minnesota Extension-Meeker County
  • Field Supervisor, Wisconsin Farm Bureau (Southeast, WI)