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.
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