Demand for agricultural teachers

Blair Fanny Texas A&M AgriLife Extension

Agricultural teachers are in high demand because a number of contributing factors make it difficult to fill workplaces throughout Texas and overseas, according to experts.

The University of Texas A&M Department of Agriculture, Education and Communication is continuing its legacy by preparing students for agricultural management, education and communication skills for real-life experiences and exposure to massive Texas agriculture.

“We have such a great need,” said Gary Brewers, who has seen many transitions in his life of teaching at A&M in Texas since 1980. “It’s hard to make people. Currently, public school teachers, and COVID-19 do not help anyone. It has been devastating in terms of filling vacancies.

Solve the shortage

A.D. By 2020, the majority of national agricultural teachers would have lost their jobs, resulting in a loss of 17.5%, according to the American Agricultural Education National Agricultural Education Supply and Demand Survey. However, there is a growing demand for more school district students in the suburbs to serve as teachers.

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Breers said he had seen this trend before but not so much.

“All of this is being built before Kovid is hit,” he said. “Once upon a time we had too many teachers. The problem today is that we have children who have many opportunities. They will be interviewed for a job and given a place on the job.

According to Bryce, the Texas suburban program area is the fastest growing, with Texas A&M students’ grandparents, uncles, or cousins ​​engaged in production, while other students are engaged in animal husbandry or working in agricultural associations.

“When they see that, they say, ‘I want to be part of that,’” says Bryce. “See Katie ISD. From the first working days, it went from two high schools to 10 higher science programs and 40 teachers in the district. They have two or three full-time veterinary applications. Students are coming in. You may not want to be a veterinarian, but you do love animals, dogs, cats, or you see opportunities to transfer knowledge to veterinary medicine.

“30 years ago, when it was relatively new in our public high schools,” says Breaker, he said.

“Now that has shifted to floral design, and the focus of the study has expanded. Like the late Dr. Joe Townsend, agriculture is more than just seed, cow and plow.

Real life experiences

The ALEC curriculum includes additional real-life experiences. When students graduate from the department, they are armed and ready to teach, Bryce said.

“But we tell them to use themselves to gain more skills,” he said. We are offering Saturday workshops to teach students in our prep program. For those who have not yet completed the trailer or attached the trailer, we will provide support for those trailers. In partnership with our own Ag Mechanics Laboratory, we have many opportunities at the RELLIS Campus Agricultural Human Resource Complex.

The Department of Animal Science and Poultry Science is providing employment opportunities with cattle, sheep, goats and poultry labs, Byers said.

Looking to the future, he said he hopes primary schools will continue to engage in other agricultural-related activities, such as establishing school gardens.

To do that, one has to be an AG instructor or a FFA Chapter Champion. “Over the years, we have learned that children grow up eating carrots and broccoli. If you are exposed to it, you can learn to love gardening if you have some experience and some educational background.

‘Premier Ag Program’

“Our Faculty of Agricultural Sciences and our staff is one of the strongest in the nation,” said Matt Baker, head of the department. “Under the leadership of the program, led by Dr. Tim Murphy, our school-based teachers are well prepared to enter the classroom to teach in this pandemic world.”

Baker said the new Agricultural and Human Resource Complex, located on the Texas A&M University RELLIS campus, will provide students with other tools and equipment.

“I’m really grateful for the support of our academic program, the best students, the network of collaborative teachers in the state, and the great statewide support of Texas agricultural teachers at our school. The Association and the Texas FFA Foundation,” Baker said.

Baker said graduates of agricultural sciences are often employed in high-paying jobs because they have the right technical know-how, practical experience and professional skills.

“We’ve been training agricultural instructors for over 100 years,” Breers said. “I think we are a Premier League program but we are part of a team at the state level.”

Other universities, such as Texas Tech, Tarletton State, Sam Houston State, Stephen F. Austin, West Texas A and M, Texas A and M-Commerce, Texas A and M-Kingsville, Sul Ross State, Angelo State and Texas, are part of this group. He said they were. And there is space everywhere.

“We are all talented and we believe we can do our best to teach agricultural education nationally and nationally,” he said. We are one of the great players here at Texas A&M, but there is a lot of space above, and we invite everyone to work with us and work with them. We all need our students.

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