The National Association of Agricultural Educators, Inc.
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News & Views

Volume XLI No. 3 February/March 1999


President's Column

Convention Memories

Golden Anniversary Annual Report

Regional Updates

1998-99 NAAE Board of Directors

Delmar PNO Dinner


1999 NAAE Award Applications

Message from Marc Beitia

1999 Prof. Development Workshops

1997-98 NAAE Award Recipients

NFRBMEA Conference

Ideas Unlimited

Washington Beat

Grants & Resources

New Organizational Members

Teacher Spotlight

Dates and Events

1998 NAAE Convention Sponsors

For a complete listing (names and addresses of the NAAE convention sponsors, including Partnership Expo exhibitors, click here.

We Have Met the Enemy
and It is Us

Editor's Note: Following is the text of Tom Kremer's address at the 1998 NAAE Convention just after he was installed as the new NAAE president for 1998-99.

Photo of Tom Kremer As I enter another year of service to the NAAE and you, our membership, I find myself taking a serious look at my profession and teaching in general. As I make this assess ment, I find myself at odds with the attitude of some of my colleagues at home and around the country. Based on some of their casual comments and dialogue, it is difficult for me to understand why some have remained in this profession that I have made my life. In my mind it is high time that those of us who are in the business of trying to make a difference in the lives of America’s youth, cease to be our own worst enemies. We must “walk the talk and talk the walk.” This in brief leads me into the thoughts that I want to share with you. I trust that you will be able to agree with what I see is at the heart of the number one challenge facing agricultural education today.

All of agriculture education agrees that the most serious challenge we face as we approach the new millennium is that of teacher recruitment. We can all agree that teacher retirement and program growth are both at the root of this issue. But are these the only factors that we must address? I would suggest to all of you that we may have a more crucial concern to address. How many of us are true ambassadors and positive promoters of agricultural education and teaching young people?

Rather than dwell on the negative side of this question, I prefer, instead to challenge you to make the choice to exhibit a positive attitude about our jobs and about those “kids” we deal with everyday. I believe that some of us, at times, need to personally assess why we do what we do. In other words “Why are we here?” as our chapter presidents ask at each FFA meeting. I would grant that, teaching, as does any job for that matter, can involve negative and stressful times. But, I am committed to the concept that the positives far outweigh the negatives. If we do not believe this to be the case, how can we encourage young men and women to follow our footsteps? We must be the vocal, positive role models for all aspiring teaching prospects.

What is it about this job of teaching agriculture that makes it uniquely satisfying work? How can we not be moved emotionally when we see the fruits of our labors become successful in life? The lives that we touch are so important as we critically evaluate what is really important in our lives. There have been so many great moments in my career and they seem to continue to happen almost daily.

Can you relate to any of these events?

  • Seeing the eyes of a young first year member light up as they enter your classroom.
  • Seeing an outstanding FFA speaker “light up the room” and totally control and dominate a contest.
  • Continuously having former students return to show their appreciation for what you did for them.
(See Tom Kremer's Inaugural Address - page 12)


February/March 1999
NAAE News & Views
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