June 17, 2013 - - Three of 11 National Teach Ag Ambassadors for the 2013-14 academic year are from the University of Wisconsin-River Falls. These future agriculture teachers will spend the next year promoting the agriculture education profession.
UWRF students Whitney Barnes of Kiel, Kessa Firkus of Stevens Point, and Stacey Kunde of Oshkosh were selected from a nationwide pool through an application and interview process. During the upcoming 2013 National FFA Convention in Louisville, Ky., this fall, the ambassadors will encourage high school students to consider becoming agriculture teachers. The ambassadors will also be assigned a mentor agriculture instructor who will guide them as they plan, prepare and present a lesson at a Louisville middle school. They will also bring promotional materials back to their campus and community to further spread the Teach Ag message.
More than 700 agriculture teachers across the nation are expected to retire in the next three years and new programs are opening every year. In Wisconsin this year there are 36 postings for agriculture teachers, up from previous years. Just last year Vincent High School in Milwaukee launched an urban agriculture program, and several districts, including Waupun and Winnecone, expanded their programs.
The ambassador program is a component of the National Teach Ag Campaign that is an initiative of the National Council for Agriculture Education, led by the National Association of Agricultural Educators, with funding from the CHS Foundation and CSX. For more information about the National Teach Ag Campaign, visit www.naae.org/teachag.