With new conveniences such as amazon fresh and post mates that deliver food right to our door step, we don’t even need to step foot into a grocery store anymore! Making it easy to take for granted where our food comes from and even easier to take for granted the important job individuals teaching agriculture to the next generations have.
“I feel like nowadays technology is driving a lot of our society, therefor I think agriculture is becoming like a lost art. So for me, teaching the upcoming generations agriculture. I feel like it’s going to be a good tool for them to help our country in the future,” says future agriculture educator DeAndera Fritz.
“The youth needs to know that AG is a major part of our lives especially in Iowa since we are an AG centralized state. We need to be able to grow our future and grow what we know about ag today,” says Tyler Wingert, who’s majoring in agriculture education at Morningside college.
Iowa is one of many states across the nation facing a shortage of agriculture teachers. Several high schools in our area are applying new AG programs, but are struggling to find the staff to teach them.
The chair of the applied agriculture and food studies department at morning side college, Dr. Thomas Paulsen said, “For students to be able to successful in careers in agriculture they’ve got to have training and background information. So agriculture is business, agriculture is science, agriculture is technology, and agriculture is food and all of the aspects and careers that take place and many others.”
4 years ago, Morningside College filled a need in this community by adding its applied agriculture and food studies department. It’s a program that started with 8 students and has quickly developed into a 70 major and minors strong department. Of those majors, is its new AG education teacher program.
Dr. Paulsen says, “ so people have started to see the importance of agriculture in the K-12 systems and we’re seeing a lot of new programs develop, but yet we have a shortage of folks to teach those people in those settings as well”
“My shop teacher in high school always told us in high school that if you want to be a teacher, this is where to go because you can find a job anywhere in Iowa,” says Wingert.
According to National Association of Agricultural Teachers the 12 state Central FFA Region had 2,158 AG Programs Offered in 2016. In other words… its not a bad time to be studying agriculture education!