The Real Reason to Teach...

And on the 9th day, after God made a farmer, God looked down on his planned paradise and said "I need someone to educate future generations about the land and ways of the world," so God made an Ag Teacher. "I need someone with the strength to haul bale upon bale of hay, yet gentle enough to birth animals."

God said, "I need someone who is willing to begin their day before the crack of dawn and help students with their ag projects." So God made and Ag Teacher.

God said, "I need someone willing to load up five vans with teenagers and drive across the state for five days for a leadership conference. Then after those five days, pained from lack of sleep and nothing but junk food, come home and work the farm for the rest of the day. Then, come back the next day and teach a full schedule of classes." so God made an Ag Teacher.

He said, "I need someone willing to pass along their knowledge of crop production, livestock management, floral design, public speaking, interview skills, veterinary technology, and farm machinery skills." So God made an Ag Teacher.

He said "I need someone who lives life by the FFA motto, knowing that their students learn by doing." So God made an Ag Teacher.

He said, "I need someone who shows kids to do things for the purpose of learning, shows them the amazing feeling of earning an honest living, and what it means to live to serve." So God made an Ag Teacher.

He said, "I need someone willing to sacrifice time with their families and friends and to make room in their busy schedules to take students to leadership events and competitions on weekends." So God made an Ag Teacher.

He said, "It must be someone who is a servant to the community around them - someone willing to give the shirt off their back to help out a family in need. It will need to be someone who dedicates time to writing valuable classroom lessons to teach their students, while starting their weekend at 5:30 AM with farm chores, machine maintenance, and home responsibilities. Then, finish it all off with a 10 mile drive to church." So God made an Ag Teacher.

God said, "They must be an endlessly giving individual who somehow still finds time to sit down with their family, with their child on their lap, and holds hands with their spouse." So God made an Ag Teacher.

As I pondered all these things that make up the day to day life of an Ag teacher and my gratitude toward them, I realized today's blog wouldn't be complete without a few words straight from the source.

I asked three questions to two different Ag teachers that really stood out and impacted their view not only on agriculture, but the world itself.

Question 1: Why is teaching Future generations about agriculture important to you? Question 2: What or Who Inspired you to teach Ag and why? Question 3: What is your favorite part of it all?

These were their responses…

“Teaching agriculture to our next generation guarantees that the history and future of agriculture are passed to ensure human prosperity. My agricultural teachers were my inspiration to become an Ag, teacher, they always listened to me, helped me, and showed me how to do things I did not know how to do. I believe most Ag teachers would tell you they were inspired by their past teachers because they cared. I enjoy the freedom to be myself and have fun while trying to be a great teacher to all the students, and show the great importance of agriculture to everyone.” – Ben Swain

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“Agriculture is an industry that impacts literally everyone in some way. I believe the agriculture industry is without a doubt the single most important industry in the world. Without agriculture the world population would go unclothed, without shelter, and without food. Many people do not think about the many things impacted by agriculture and I believe that is why it is imperative we educate the future about the impact it has on all of us. When I started high school, as a transfer student I knew absolutely know one. I was a new person in a new town. Sitting in my freshman Ag class my teacher Mr. Michael Hunter saw a young person who needed to be involved, he went above and beyond to make sure I found a place to belong in the FFA. Did he have to? No, that wasn’t something he had to do, but he did it because he had a passion for agriculture, and he has a heart for his students. The impact that Mr. Hunter had on me through my high school career made me strive to have the same impact on my students. My favorite part of being an agriculture educator is that I get to do something that I love and that I am passionate about every day. I know that everyday I go to working have the opportunity to impact the lives of others and I make that decision every time I step into my classroom that I WILL make a positive impact. There is so much more to teaching Ag than meeting the state standards or winning a show. It’s about touching lives, and making the future generation better than the current. – Skyler Shively

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As Mr. Shively said, Ag teachers are not teaching us so that we can pass tests and make the government happy. They are teaching us so we can become teachers, farmers, entrepreneurs, salesmen, aviators, scientists, surveyors, engineers, etc. They are teaching us so we can be successful and change the world one class at a time. These two teachers are not the only ones that feel this way. Ag teachers put in too much time and effort to think they are just teaching a class of kids. They work hard to help ensure that a better future can and will happen.

So…next time you are counting your blessings, make sure to count your Ag teachers.