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Students learn the ropes of ag education careers at regional conference

Posted by Seth Truscott | May 18, 2022
Anderson and Duim Ag Education
WSU Ag Education students Ruby Anderson, left, and Morgan Duim share ideas for career development activities during the “Ideas Unlimited” workshop at this spring’s regional agricultural education conference.

Sharing ideas as they learned how to launch their own careers as teachers, nine Washington State University agricultural education students attended the National Association of Agricultural Educators regional conference, April 27-29 in Blaine, Wash.

Students Ruby Anderson, Kathleen Chadwick, Sandra Crook, Morgan Duim, Julia Layland, Kaylee Mcghan, Mackenzie McGary, Michael Ramirez Martinez, and Rachael Shrauger joined peers and teachers from 11 western states at the regional conference.

Engaging with teachers from across the west through industry tours, professional development workshops, business meetings, and networking opportunities, students attended the Future Agriculture Teacher Symposium, which explores topics that help educators enter the profession.

“This experience is an excellent opportunity for our students to engage in the professional community they will be entering, and build a network of peers and mentors who will support them through their career,” said Anna Warner, WSU Assistant Professor of Agricultural Education.
Three WSU students led workshops for teachers: Schrauger led “Mentorship for Success,” while Anderson and Layland led “Designing Course Websites.”

“The goal was to give teachers a way to connect technology to their class,” said Anderson, who will attend the Washington Association of Agricultural Education conference this summer, begin student teaching this fall, and plans to graduate in the spring 2023.

“I am beyond excited to use what I have learned and grow the connections I have made in the next few years of teaching,” she added. “It’s so clear how the older generation of ag teachers want the newer to succeed. There are always people in the profession who want to help you.”

Taking part in a Future Agriscience Teacher (FAST) workshop, Ramirez Martinez shared and listened to innovative ideas that help teachers develop supervised agricultural experiences for their high schoolers.

“A school-based co-op is a great way for students to learn real-life skills,” said Ramirez, who offered the example of a summer rabbit co-operative from his hometown of Elma, Wash.

“This conference has given a lot of information that I can use in and out of the classroom,” he added.

NAAE advocates for agricultural education, provides professional development, and helps recruit and retain educators in the profession. Learn more on the NAAE homepage.