Career Spotlight: Ag Teacher

Ag Teacher Career Spotlight
Gabriele Drishinski, Montana

If you love teaching others and have a passion for agriculture, then a career as an Ag Teacher may be the perfect job for you! Ag Teachers use classroom instruction, experimental learning, and leadership education, to educate students about agriculture, animal and plant science, and food science. This chosen profession is key for the ag + western industries, because it can often be a student’s first introduction to agriculture. It can also be what inspires students to pursue agriculture + western professions. Are you ready to see if a career as an Ag Teacher is right for you?

Classroom Instruction

Through classroom instruction ag teachers help students gain skills in math, science, leadership, communications, management, and technology. They teach classroom lessons focused on helping students gain knowledge about all facets of agriculture and the industry’s effects on the world.

Experimental Learning

During experimental learning, Ag Teachers introduce their students to supervised agricultural experience (SAE) programs. SAE programs are learning opportunities that involve practical agricultural activities that extend past the classroom. These programs help students develop real-world skills outside of the classroom and foster career exploration. These programs are work-based learning that is student-led, but instructor-supervised. 

Leadership Education

Leadership education is performed by the Ag Teachers through organizations such as FFA. Ag teachers have a duty to serve as their Chapter’s FFA Advisor. Through FFA, ag teachers will encourage students to participate in activities through FFA such as public speaking, food science, meat and livestock judging, and proficiency projects. 

Other Responsibilities of an Ag Teacher

– Create lesson plans that conform with school policy.

– Participate in different community events.

– Enhance students’ ag literacy. 

– Attend and escort students to different events, programs, and meetings.

– Supervising activities that take place at the school greenhouse, livestock barn, farm, and/or meat lab.

– Regularly attend professional training and meetings.

How to Become an Ag Teacher

To become an Ag Teacher you must obtain a bachelor’s degree in agricultural education, or a related field, and pass a teaching certification test. Certain states have different requirements, so click here to check your state’s specific requirements. Each university will have its own unique courseload for ag education majors, although you will most likely take classes, such as animal science, general teaching method courses, horticulture, human relations, welding, and more. Courseloads like these will equip you with a vast amount of knowledge in many different areas of agriculture.

Impact of an Ag Teacher

According to the National Association of Agricultural Educators, there are 1 million ag education students in the nation who are taught by 12,000 ag teachers. These 12,000 teachers are introducing the next generation of the workforce to the ag + western industries. Whether the students choose to pursue careers in ag + western or not, ag teachers are helping these young people recognize how crucial these two industries are and how they impact the world around them. 

Events to Attend

National Association of Agricultural Educators Convention

Current Ag Teacher Openings on Of The West

Agriculture Teacher, Hysham Public Schools – Hysham, MT

If you’d like to read more in Of The West’s Career Spotlight series, highlighting jobs and people in the ag and western industries, you can find those, here.

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