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Emerging Agricultural Technology: New Course Explores Technology in Agriculture

By Deanna Reid, agricultural education and communication master’s student

Students learn about wind energy at Cloud Community College.

AGED 212 emerging agricultural technology, a new agricultural education class, allows students to explore topics that can be covered in the power structural technical systems pathway in an agricultural education program. As part of the class, students participate in tours and hands-on learning around the state. This semester, students have learned about new the K-State Polytechnic unmanned aerial systems program, alternative energy at Cloud County Community College, the Department of Biological and Agricultural Engineering at K-State, and more.

Students tour the K-State Polytechnic campus in Wildcat style.

 

 

 

Through these tours, they learned about the use of drones, wind, and solar technology in agriculture and agricultural education, discovered postsecondary education and career options, and explored teaching methods for new technology concepts.

 

 

Monte Poersch at Cloud County Community College hosted the AGED 212 class and explained alternative energy. Students were introduced to career opportunities in wind and solar and many ways to teach those concepts in agricultural education classes.

Monte Poersch explains alternative energy sources.

 

The class also toured the biological and agricultural engineering program at K-State where Dr. Stacy Hutchinson described and demonstrated integrated systems management in agriculture. The education students were challenged to teach their students how to solve agricultural challenges of the future.

Dr. Stacy Hutchinson tells students about the biodiversity and agricultural engineering program at K-State.

Agricultural Education Students Assist at National MANRRS Conference

By Deanna Reid, agricultural education and communication master’s student

MANRRS students enjoy science-based learning.

K-State agricultural education students helped with the 34th Annual National Minorities in Agriculture, Natural Resources and Related Sciences (MANRRS) Conference in Overland Park on April 6. K-State agricultural education students facilitated workshops to teach high school students from across the country about renewable energy, biotechnology, food science, soil conservation, and plant and animal science.

About the event, Jon Ulmer stated,

K-State junior Matthew Milholm teaches during the 34th annual conference.

“We want to thank K-State MANRRS, Compass Minerals, and Zelia Wiley for giving our students the opportunity to teach Jr. MANRRS members about agriculture at their national conference.” MANRRS promotes academic and professional advancement by empowering minorities in the fields of agriculture, natural resources, and related sciences.

High school students learn from Casey Ballard and Matthew Milholm, juniors K-State agricultural education.

Agricultural Education: A Major Worth Considering

K-State alumna Alex Walters

Growing up in Plainville, Kansas, Alexandra Walters considered a career in social work, but decided early on to teach about agriculture. A 2018 graduate of K-State, Walters is a first-year agriculture education teacher at Peabody-Burns Middle School-High School in Peabody, Kansas, where she teaches classes in plant science, animal science, food science, agricultural mechanics and others.

“My students enjoy anything they get to design themselves,” she said, adding that her high school food-science students created their own Christmas cookie business.

Walters is teaching in what’s part of a growing trend in middle schools and high schools across the country to offer agricultural education programs, and colleges and universities cannot turn out graduates fast enough to keep up with demand.

“There is a nationwide shortage of agriculture teachers,” said Brandie Disberger, an instructor in Kansas State University’s Department of Communications and Agricultural Education. “Here in Kansas we are currently only graduating about half of the needed agriculture teachers. We have had 100% placement in this major for more than 20 years.”

Students with an interest in agriculture and a passion for working with people make excellent candidates, Disberger said, noting that as of May 2018, average starting salaries in Kansas were more than $40,000. The average salary of agriculture education teachers across the country in 2017 was $43,093, according to the National Association of Agricultural Educators, with averages across the U.S. varying by region.

Disberger, who taught high school agricultural education for 10 years before coming to teach at K-State, said contrary to some perceptions, there are ag education openings in urban and suburban school districts as well as in rural areas.

The breadth of training students receive lends itself to a range of careers, she said. About 80% of K-State’s ag education graduates go on to teach in high school, but some move into careers in extension where they teach adults and youth in less formal settings. Others work in agriculture-related sales or service positions, nonprofit organizations, or pursue advanced academic degrees.

Students study topics such as energy systems, animal science, plant systems, food products and processing, biotechnology in agriculture, power, and structural and technical systems.

“Some individuals think career and technical education programs, including agricultural education, are closing in high schools when it is just the opposite. They are growing rapidly,” Disberger said.

Ag Ed Club Helps FFA Award Winners

By Deanna Reid, agricultural education and communication master’s student

Ms. Kane helps agricultural education club members critique submissions.

The Agricultural Education Club had an opportunity to serve Kansas FFA members by providing feedback for high school state Agricultural Proficiency Award winners in preparation for the national competition. Based on supervised agricultural experience programs, proficiency awards recognize students who have developed skills they can apply to future agricultural careers.

Award areas include: entrepreneurship, placement, combined, and agriscience research. Though critiquing award applications, K-State agricultural education students were able to help potential students and use the experience as a learning opportunity for future teaching. Thirty K-State undergraduate students evaluated nearly 40 applications that were submitted.

 

Agricultural education students provide feedback for FFA Proficiency Award contestants.

 

Abby Goins, an agricultural education major, stated, “This opportunity was special and unique. As someone unfamiliar with the proficiency award program, it helped me to understand what students learn and what is involved. It was a really great opportunity!”

 

 

K-State agricultural education students attend High Impact Learning Opportunity

By Deanna Reid, agricultural education and communication master’s student

Agricultural education student teaching interns spent two days on a corn-focused, high-impact learning experience in eastern Kansas, Feb. 28 to March 1.

Seventeen students and three K-State agricultural education professors traveled with the group. Visits included Midland Genetics, BNSF, East Kansas Agri-Energy, and Johnson County K-State Research and Extension, well as three high school agriculture programs: Ottawa, Spring Hill and Prairie View.

Mr. Lasley showing K-State students new learning spaces at Ottowa High school.

 

Students learn about safety, efficiency, and finances at BNSF.
K-State students learning about relationships and partnerships from Johnson County Extension agents.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Interns learned about corn seed genetics, production and marketing, trains and storage containers, and ethanol. The group also had the opportunity to interact with and learn about each school’s agricultural education programs and teaching methods from current agricultural education teachers and students.

The Kansas Corn Commission sponsored the experience.

 

Students learning about corn ethanol production at East Kansas Agri-Energy in Garnett, KS.

 

 

Agricultural education students awarded scholarships

By Deanna Reid, agricultural education and communication master’s student

K-State agricultural education students and faculty attended the annual Kansas Corn and the Kansas Association of Agricultural Educators symposiums in January.

The Kansas Corn Symposium celebrated the accomplishments of Kansas Corn and focused on topics including trade, ethanol, and research.

Katelyn Pinkston, Rachel Bellar, and Zachary Callaghan were awarded Kansas Corn Next Generation scholarships funded by the Kansas Corn Growers Association and Kansas Corn Commission to provide opportunities for college students of all majors to learn more about the corn industry, explore issues facing agriculture and embrace the ways they can influence the industry through career path choices. Students and faculty also participated in a poster session.

The symposium was on Jan. 23, 2019, at the K-State Alumni Center in Manhattan.

Agricultural education students also received scholarships at the Kansas Association of Agricultural Educators (KAAE) Symposium in Dodge City, Kansas, Jan. 24–26, 2019. In addition to new teacher and student intern meetings and tours of local agricultural businesses, Representative Roger Marshall spoke about the farm bill and status of agricultural trade. Seventeen K-State agricultural education students were awarded scholarships, as listed below.

Jim Patry Agricultural Education Scholarship

Katelyn Pinkston


Teach Ag

Zachary Callaghan

Trenton Smedley

 

Seitz Fundraising

Trent Johnson

Eric Koehlmoos

Matthew Schick

 

CHS FoundationThrough the Kansas FFA Foundation

Rachel Bellar

Nikole Cain

Hannah Fry

Christina Hoffman

Trent Johnson

Ashley Lauinger

 

Steven R. Harbstreit/Howard R. Bradley Teacher Education ScholarshipThrough the Kansas State University Foundation

Allyson Dorrell

 

Hofbaurer Scholarship

Eric Koehlmoos

 

Kansas Association of Agricultural Educators ScholarshipSponsored by KAAE

Sydney Cullison

Allison Dix

Tim Kennedy

Caitlyn Thompson
Mackenzie Tynon

 

KAAE, the Kansas FFA Foundation, the Kansas State University Foundation and Seitz Fruit sponsored scholarships for agricultural education students.

Agricultural Education Student Named National FFA Star in Agriscience

By Gaea Hock, ’03, ’08, associate professor of agricultural education

Eric Koehlmoos, senior in agricultural education, was named the 2018 National FFA Star in Agriscience.

As a high school student at South O’Brien in Paullina, Iowa, Koehlmoos used his home ATF-approved ethanol facility to research the processes used in a commercial ethanol plant. In high school, his research competed nationally and internationally. While at K-State, Koehlmoos has conducted research on teacher perceptions of the Kansas FFA Agriscience Fair.

https://www.ffa.org/the-feed/meet-eric-koehlmoos-2018-star-in-agriscience-finalist/

Agricultural Education students and faculty present at conferences, receive honors

By Linda Gilmore, editor, publishing unit

Undergraduate students and faculty in agricultural education were in Fargo, North Dakota, October 6–8 to participate in the North Central American Association for Agricultural Education conference.

Zachary Callaghan and Caitlin Dreher, both juniors in agricultural education, represented K-State extremely well at the conference. They competed against professors and graduate students in several areas. The two undergraduates received the following awards:

* First Runner-Up Research Presentation — Zachary Callaghan and Gaea Hock ’03, ’08, associate professor of agricultural education

* Outstanding Research Poster — Caitlin Dreher and Gaea Hock

* Outstanding Innovative Idea Poster — Zachary Callaghan, Gaea Hock and Brandie Disberger ’01,’03, agricultural education instructor.

 

Gaea Hock and Zachary Callaghan attended the International Conference on Educational Innovation in Agrarian Topics in Lima, Peru, Oct. 16–23. They presented the following posters:

  1. Meyers, C. Hock, G. & Redwine, T. Student perceptions of receiving video feedback on assignments.
  2. Hock, G., Disberger, B., & Ulmer, J. Lessons Learned from Corn-Focused High Impact Learning Opportunities (HILOs).
  3. Callaghan, Z. & Hock, G. (October 2018). Assessing a Water-Focused Youth Education Training Program.

 

Two undergraduates in the department were selected to the Quest Freshmen Honorary, a student organization that works to develop freshmen into leaders by exposing them to leaders, mentors, and opportunities across campus and the community.

  • Garrett Craig, agricultural education from Clay Center;
  • Noah Ochsner, agricultural communications and journalism from Tribune.

https://www.k-state.edu/media/newsreleases/2018-10/quest10918.html

Ag Ed Club Travels to Nebraska

By Allison Dix, agricultural education junior

 

Eric Koehlmoos, K-State Agricultural Education Club president, planned a fun and educational trip to visit high schools in Nebraska on October 12. Twenty club members toured Bryan High School, the only high school in the Omaha public school district with an agriculture and FFA program.

 

 

The group also stopped by Waverly High School and learned about their tradition-rich program. Finally, the club toured Norris High School and saw its 110-acre land lab, as well as its 50-acre range lab.