Alumnus Jay O’Brien (’13) did not begin his college career knowing he wanted to be an agricultural education major.
“I came from a family that homesteaded in the 1800s in the Cherryvale area, so I originally thought I might want to be a farmer or rancher, or even considered engineering,” O’Brien says. “I found a niche at K-State in the Agricultural Education Club and within my agriculture classes. From there, I started to be more involved with both.”
Each October, the Kansas State University agricultural education program selects students to travel to the National FFA Convention. These students represented the K-State Agricultural Education Club, the Department of Communications and Agricultural Education, and the entire College of Agriculture.
A recent campaign aims to bring attention to the nationwide shortage of agricultural educators. This shortage includes the state of Kansas, home to 176 agricultural education programs. Shannon Washburn, agricultural education professor explains schools that previously did not have programs have added them, increasing the demand for teachers.
The school year is off to a great start with events within and outside the classroom and plenty of students to attend them. The department began fall semester with a record-breaking number of 30 new students in the agricultural communications and journalism major: 7 transfers from other majors, 5 transfers from other institutions and 18 freshmen. Overall, there is now a historic high of 83 students in the major.
We know our alumni are doing great things because their names keep coming up at awards ceremonies. In case you have not heard the news, here is a list of recently honored alumni:
On the Education Side: In addition to recognizing teachers for their years of service, The Kansas Association of Agricultural Editors (KAAE) recognizes outstanding agriculture teachers. Congratulations to our agricultural education alumni honored this summer!
Laura Priest ’06, Lawrence Free State HS—KAAE Young Teacher of the Year