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.
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:
Meyers, C. Hock, G. & Redwine, T. Student perceptions of receiving video feedback on assignments.
Hock, G., Disberger, B., & Ulmer, J. Lessons Learned from Corn-Focused High Impact Learning Opportunities (HILOs).
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.
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.
By Deanna Reid, agricultural education and communications master’s student
Darcie Gallagher, a Missouri native, is pursuing a master’s in agricultural education and communications and conducting research on the involvement of talented and gifted students in agricultural education. Before coming to K-State, Gallagher earned an associate degree of applied science in agriculture business and management technology from Southeast Community College in Beatrice, Nebraska, and a bachelor’s degree in agriculture sciences from Northwest Missouri State University in Maryville, Missouri.
In August, Gallagher was hired as a precision agriculture instructor at Highland Community College in Wamego. She is working to expand the program and teach new technologies and farming methods.
When asked why she chose to attend K-State, Gallagher said, “I loved the atmosphere of the communications and agricultural education department and the opportunities that I knew I would experience throughout my time at KSU! I have never been happier in my choice of a master’s program and what the future holds.”
When she is not in the classroom, Gallagher enjoys running, gardening, and working on her family’s farm.
Jon Ulmer, associate professor of agricultural education, was selected by the national FFA program to receive the Honorary American FFA Degree. This award is given to those who advance agricultural education and FFA through outstanding personal commitment. The Honorary American FFA Degree recognizes those who have gone beyond valuable daily contributions to make an extraordinary long-term difference in the lives of students, inspiring confidence in a new generation of agriculturists. Ulmer will receive the award at the 2018 National FFA Convention and Expo during an onstage ceremony on Friday, Oct. 26, in Indianapolis. All recipients will receive a certificate and medal, and their names will be permanently recorded. Ulmer currently serves on the National FFA Board of Directors.
By Deanna Reid, agricultural education and communications master’s student
Nineteen agricultural education student teaching interns attended the Kansas Ag Growth Summit on August 23 at the Kansas Department of Agriculture in Manhattan, Kansas. This year’s summit was the largest ever, with more than 500 people attending to talk about growing agriculture in Kansas. Participants included farmers, ranchers, agribusiness owners, policy makers, city/county representatives, and leaders of agriculture organizations. The K-State student teachers not only learned about all aspects of Kansas agriculture but were active participants in the event.
The communications and agricultural education department hosted the “Tagged to Teach Ag” event on April 30. This event brought more than 250 FFA members from high schools across the state to the Manhattan campus to learn more about what it means to be an agricultural educator.
Current Kansas State University agricultural education students and faculty gave presentations about the program and future career options. Information about the agricultural education degree and other K-State programs was also available.
FFA members also enjoyed ice cream from Call Hall and fresh cookies from the grain science and industry department while they played interactive games, collected “ag swag” and prizes and took photos with Willie the Wildcat at the “Tagged to Teach Ag” photo booth.
“We would like to give special thanks to the ag ed students, FFA advisors and presenters for making this a great event,” said Instructor Brandie Disberger, one of the event organizers. “We hope everyone considers teaching ag as a career!”
Dr. Gaea (Wimmer) Hock (’03, ’06) assisted with the Western Kansas Youth Water Advocates Conference in Garden City, March 23–24.
This conference helps high school FFA members learn more about water issues and develop skills for advocating in their communities. Ten students from six FFA chapters participated in the event.
Dr. Hock taught sessions about considering the target audience and the basics of research. Melissa Poet (’17) and Russell Plaschka co-hosted this conference and served as mentors for students and sponsors for the event. Poet currently teaches agricultural education at Greeley County High School, and Plaschka serves as the Career and Workforce Development Specialist at the Kansas Department of Agriculture.
K-State agricultural education student teaching interns recently participated in two days of professional development for the Ag Ed Enhancing Pre-Service Instruction (EPIC) Experience sponsored by Kansas Corn Commission. Students were able to tour and talk with various production agricultural sectors in Garden City, Kansas.
During the tour, students:
visited Royal Farms Dairy and learned from Kyle Averhoff about the farm’s story, goals, and the role of corn in the dairy industry;
toured Bonanza Ethanol Plant, where Jeff Gilbert and colleagues spoke about the ethanol industry and their Garden City plant;
visited Reeve Cattle Co., where the Reeve family discussed their use of ethanol, feed distillers grains, and other corn feedstuffs in their cattle operation;
visited the K-State Research and Extension Southwest Research Station, where Dwane and Grace Roth, Mike Meyer, and Michael Kempke discussed water issues in southwest Kansas and emerging technologies for sustainable water use;
heard perspectives from individual corn producers, Russell Komlofske, Kyler Millershaski, and Jeff Mai;
visited Sublette High School agricultural education teacher, Will Johnson who shared advice for starting a new agricultural education program and beginning careers as educators;
and visited Cimarron High School agricultural education teacher Ryan Miller who spoke to students about the importance of positive community relationships to create successful agricultural education programs.
At the beginning of February, the AgEd Club hosted their annual KSU Speech Contest in Bluemont Hall. There were over 180 Kansas FFA members competing and 45 K-State students helping throughout the day.
Categories of speeches included freshman, sophomore, junior, senior, creed, and extemporaneous.