Agriculture educators are far more than just teachers or FFA advisors. They play a critical role in student success by working as the cornerstone for student exposure to agriculture and a springboard for opportunities and growth. From a student’s very first class to their last one, agriculture educators work tirelessly connecting their students with opportunities, encouraging them to try new things, and exposing them to new experiences and ideas.
If you ask anyone about their time in the blue jacket, they will almost always mention the impact their ag teacher had on them and their experience. That is because the role an ag teacher plays is instrumental to their success and overall experience. Ag teachers are a student’s loudest cheerleader, biggest advocate, and catalyst for growth.
IT TAKES A VILLAGE
Bailey Grove, 2020-2021 Idaho FFA State Reporter, knows firsthand the important role an ag teacher plays on an FFA member’s journey. Bailey does not hail from an agriculture background and while both her parents participated in FFA, she had no plans on joining herself. Yet on her 1st day of school, she enrolled in an agriculture course and was quickly hooked on the blue jacket.
“My ag teacher, Mr. Hoffman, navigated me towards my interests and showed me all that FFA and agriculture had to offer,” said Bailey, “After I spoke the Creed and attended State Leadership Conference that year, I was hooked.”
At that point, Bailey jumped in headfirst into all things FFA by competing in as many Career and Leadership Development Events and attending as many FFA conferences as possible. By the beginning of her junior year, that hard work, started to pay off when she qualified for the National Soils contest and was elected to be the North Idaho District Reporter.
With each new achievement, came new interests and areas to explore, and there the whole time encouraging that growth and helping in every way possible, was Mr. Hoffman. While the District Reporter, Bailey became interested in marketing and communications, which led to participating in the Marketing Plan CDE. Her team went on to win the Idaho FFA State Marketing Plan CDE contest and then competed at the 2019 National FFA Convention.
A LASTING IMPACT
Each step of the way, Mr. Hoffman played an instrumental role. From encouraging Bailey to pursue this interest, to connecting her to resources necessary for success, to supporting her every step of the way, Mr. Hoffman served as the springboard for new experiences, opportunities, and growth. Through the good times and bad, Mr. Hoffman stood as a constant, continuously opening doors for new experiences. Now looking back, Bailey realizes the lasting impact FFA and her ag teacher had on her.
“As a freshman, I was super introverted. I had no confidence and I could not speak in front of people. Joining FFA changed that,” said Bailey, “I wouldn’t be here without Mr. Hoffman.”
Because of these cumulative experiences, Bailey now plans to become an agriculture educator herself.
“I realize how important FFA was to me and the impact my ag teacher had on me,” said Bailey, “I want to pay it forward and be to students what Mr. Hoffman was to me.”
Regardless of your background, your interests, or where you are from, every student can find a home and success in the FFA. Agriculture educators take students and mold them into their full potential by exposing them to different opportunities and guiding them along various avenues, they are the cornerstone of growth for students everywhere.
In order to support local schools and teachers, Peterson Dodge Chrysler Jeep Ram in Nampa, Idaho, created their Back to School Appreciation Project. Every year in the month of September, $100 from every new vehicle sale is donated to pre-selected school programs and projects that need funding. This year, a total of $19,587 has been pledged to 12 programs to enhance agriculture education for treasure valley students!
This project doesn’t just give Peterson the chance to provide much-needed supplies to schools, but also gives their customers a chance to make an impact in their communities as well. A display table with all of the grant requests are setup on the showroom floor explaining the various projects and how they will benefit students. Customers gain an insight on the importance of agriculture education programs and the diverse curriculum students are exposed to, then choose which project they would like their donation to be applied to.
This year’s projects were not only funded by Peterson Dodge Chrysler Jeep Ram. Their sister store, Peterson Chevrolet Buick Cadillac will also fund projects for local agriculture education programs.
The program, started in 2014, has raised over $70,000 for local schools since its inception.
“Agriculture is a part of our daily lives – from the food we eat to the cloths we wear. We understand how important it is to help provide the right tools to these students. The equipment that is purchased through this program not only benefits current students, but future students as well. Our hope is that with the money raised, the students can enhance their hands on education to better prepare them to enter the workforce,” said Marie Wallingford, Peterson DCJR Customer Experience Specialist.
SAVE THE DATE
To celebrate this year’s program, Peterson Dodge Chrysler Jeep and Ram will host local area FFA Chapter on September 12th from 8:00 to 4:00 p.m.. FFA members will be selling Idaho FFA Tractor Raffle Tickets- a program where 90% of each ticket goes directly to Idaho FFA chapters. For every person that purchases a Tractor Raffle Ticket, they will be given a red raffle ticket from Peterson’s for a chance to win one of two gift baskets with all kinds of great items in it. Mad Mac Food Truck will also be on site from 11:00 to 2:00 p.m. serving some delicious Mac & Cheese dishes.
Thank you to Peterson Dodge Chrysler Jeep and Ram and Peterson Chevrolet Buick Cadillac for your support of Idaho FFA and agriculture education programs in your local communities!
The 2020 National Awards in Agriscience Fair, National Chapter Award, and Agricultural Proficiency Awards have been announced. Idaho FFA was well represented on the National stage with 16 proficiency awards, 8 Agriscience Fair awards and 10 National Chapter Awards. Of those awards, there are 4 proficiency National Finalists, 3 Agriscience Fair National Finalists, and 1 National Chapter Award National Finalist! Congratulations to the chapters and members on such an incredible accomplishment!
Agricultural Proficiency Awards
National Chapter Awards
National Agriscience Fair
Congratulations to our 8 Agriscience Fair Award Winners, including the 3 NATIONAL FINALISTS!
The National FFA Agriscience Fair recognizes student researchers studying the application of agricultural scientific principles and emerging technologies in agricultural enterprises. The agriscience fair is for middle and high school students. Participation begins at the local level and progresses to state and national levels.
Congratulations to all members and chapters and best of luck to our National Finalists as they compete at the National FFA Convention!
The Idaho FFA Foundation, Inc. is a nonprofit, tax-exempt charitable organization under
Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. Donations are tax-deductible as allowed by law.
To learn more about the Idaho FFA Foundation and how you can become involved, please contact:
Marcia Jedry CAE, Executive Director
Idaho FFA Foundation, Inc.
Mailing Address: P.O. Box 827, Star, ID 83669