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July/August 2011 | Advocacy

“Advocacy is about ensuring that your opinion or position on an issue is heard and promoted. We often only think of it related to our elected officials but it comes in many forms and is important that we individually take the steps to ensure it is taking place. We can’t depend on others to advocate for us.”

-Steve DeWitt
Senior Director of Public Policy for ACTE

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President's Message:
Advocacy; What Is It to Me?

Greg Curlin, 2010-2011 NAAE President


Greg CurlinFor the longest time I have heard educators say “We must advocate!” But I often wondered “Who was responsible for that?” or even, “Who is going to tell me how do to my part?”  Come to find out, I was doing it naturally as I visited and partnered with my local, state and national legislative leaders. Read more»

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How Does Your State Advocate?


We put out a call for tips, best practices, advice and suggestions about how programs across the United States advocate for agricultural education. Here are the ideas that came back. Some are simple, some are complex - some might work for your state. Take a few minutes to read about what agricultural educators all across the U.S. are doing to highlight agricultural education. Read more»

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Advocacy is building relationships with a purpose ... and the purpose is influence.  This means more than having hundreds of Facebook friends!  It is about developing a meaningful two-way understanding between the advocate (such as an agricultural educator) and a decision maker (such as a local, state, or national legislator) so the advocate understands what motivates the decision maker and the decision maker understands the needs of the advocate.  

-Jay Jackman
NAAE Executive Director

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Wisconsin Agricultural Education Advocacy In Overdrive


WisconsinSince February 2011, Wisconsin has been a state in turmoil.  The governor’s plan to bust public unions drove public employees to the streets, but his budget plan that included approximately a one billion dollar cut to education is what motivated parents and many others who care about public education to get involved in the political process.  While the state political scene will be a mess for a long time to come, many agricultural educators have shifted their focus to local program advocacy. Read more»

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Washington Beat: Challenging Budgets Make Advocacy Even More Important


Lately, NAAE members have been asking questions such as:

“How can we expand our local programs when our schools’ budgets are in such distress?”

“How can we encourage individuals to choose to become agriculture teachers when teachers’ salaries are frozen and fringe benefits are being reduced?”  (as in states including Wisconsin)

“How can we stimulate support for federal programs authorized under the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act when the United States Congress is deadlocked along party lines and our national debt is out of control?”

Without question, these are difficult times for education … and for most other sectors as well.  But, my response to these questions is simply that we must double, triple, quadruple our efforts in advocacy.  Advocacy is all about building relationships in order to influence decision makers.  Read more»

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Connecting Classrooms and Community

New Advocacy Curriculum aims to Create Student Advocates, Get Teachers Thinking About Process


Advocacy is difficult.  It’s difficult to find the time, it’s difficult to know the right message.  One of the reasons advocacy often seems like such an uphill battle may be because as education professionals, often the first time we are asked to advocate on behalf of agricultural education is when something is wrong.  The rest of the time, it’ s just a thought in the background – I need to balance my checkbook, I need to clean out the tool cabinet, I need to advocate – whatever that means.

NAAE is trying to change the way our members think about advocacy by promoting a newly developed unit of lessons and instructional materials designed to introduce our best advocates – agricultural educators and the students they teach – to the ins and outs of advocacy. Read more»

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Ford announces Built Ford Tough—FFA Scholarships and NAAE Grant Awards


For 14 years, Ford has awarded $1,000 scholarships to FFA members on behalf of participating Ford dealers through the Built Ford ToughFFA Scholarships program. This year, 291 Ford dealers participated; including 39 for the first time.

A total of 530 scholarships were awarded from 2,100 applications this year. Ford’s financial support of National FFA through its scholarship program now stands at nearly $6.6 million since 1997.

For the first time, Ford also provided a $3,000 grant to one FFA chapter in each NAAE region.  Read more»

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2011 NAAE Convention Promises More Networking Opportunities, Professional Development


Network with ag teachers from all over the U.S. at the 2011 NAAE Convention. We'll have professional development workshops, opportunities to get involved in NAAE at the regional and national levels, and time to recognize and reward outstanding agricultural educators. Attend this convention and come away with a year's worth of ideas and tools for your program. Read more»

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Ideas Unlimited

Students Create Hydraulic Robots, Think Outside the Box


Jamie Chenevey, agriculture teacher at West Holmes High School in Millersburg, Ohio, was looking for a way to teach a unit about hydraulics to her eleventh and twelfth grade students in a way that was cleaner and simpler than working on large-scale equipment, so she developed the "Hydraulic Robots" unit. Read more>>

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Communities of Practice


Use this great free resource to plan your next class activity, chime in about an issue, or just connect with other agricultural educators. Current topics in Communities of Practice:

 

 

 

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Read More News & Views


You're just looking at the front page of our newsletter. Check out the table of contents at the top for a full listing of stories in this month's News & Views.

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