Our country was built on hard work and sweat equity. A little know-how and elbow grease will get you a long way down the road. We celebrated National Teach Ag Day earlier this week and it’s a reminder that our Ag teachers have been instilling those qualities in students for many years. However, it’s so much more than that.
You see, agricultural education isn’t just about teaching kids to farm—it’s about teaching our children the skills they need to succeed and molding the next generation of American leaders. Before “STEM” education—science, technology, engineering and math—became a popular term, ag teachers were already teaching it.
They’ve never just taught just farm management and agronomy, although those are definitely critical. In some schools, they teach welding, mechanics, or robotics. In all subjects, they are teaching innovation and problem-solving – skills that will last a lifetime. Agriculture teachers aren’t just important to farm kids. They are important to students everywhere—from all walks of life.
Whether it’s solving the supply chain problems in our country or training the next generation to take over the farm, we need our Ag educators to help our students get that jump start. It could be farming in Shelby County, welding in St. Joseph, heading up a major agri-business company, or even developing new technology to deploy in a field in North Missouri. No matter where they land, our students benefit greatly from America’s 11,000-plus agricultural educators. They’ve made an immeasurable difference in the lives of countless young Americans.
This week, I ask you to join me in thanking our agriculture teachers for all they do. In celebrating the 75th anniversary of the founding of the National Association of Agricultural Educators, let’s remember all our agriculture teachers do to help the next generation find success and move our country forward in the process.