Council for Agricultural Education -- Getting Back
to the Business of Leading Ag Education
by Marshall Stewart,
President of the National Council of Agricultural
This is to update the ag ed profession about the
recent developments surrounding the National Council
for Agricultural Education. The Council board of
directors voted in March 2002 to restructure and
refocus its organization back to its original intent
of being the leadership entity for the ag ed community.
Since its inception in the early 1980s, The Council
has had a great impact on ag ed through its work
in curricular development, strategic planning, and
partnership. However, over the years the curricular
development segment has often become the primary
focus of the organization rather than focusing on
leadership for the ag ed program. The Council board
took action to move out of project management and
curricular development and to focus totally on leadership
for the profession. Here are the results of this
A. Other than completing current projects, The Council
is no longer pursuing curricular development projects.
Existing curriculum inventory has been bid out to
existing curricular centers. The bottom-line is
that The Council will no longer be managing curricular
projects after those that are in process are complete.
However, The Council will continue to develop a
listing of curriculum priorities, which will be
addressed by others involved in developing materials.
B. The Council, effective October 31, will no longer
have full-time staff positions. Historically, Council
staff have been involved heavily in project management.
Some examples include: aquaculture materials, Profession
Growth Series materials, and Reinventing Ag Ed for
2020. Under the new arrangement, The Council will
influence the management of future initiatives,
but will not provide staff to carry these out. The
day-to-day management of Council business and board
meetings will be handled by the National US Department
of Education ag ed leaders, Dr. Larry Case and Mr.
Coleman Harris. The Council has worked very diligently
to assist staff with severance packages that provided
a positive transition of staff to new positions.
The future financial functions of The Council will
be handled by an entity or individual yet to be
identified by The Council board.
C. The Council will operate on the contributions
of the ag ed community. After all curriculum projects
are complete, The Council will operate on a budget
of $76,000 per year. This will provide funding for
board meetings, task forces, and other Council initiatives.
The Council will continue to have the authority
to request special project funding for ag ed initiatives
(not curricular) through direct solicitations or
through the National FFA Foundation.
D. The Council is continuing to maintain a fiscal
office space in the Ag Ed National Headquarters
in Alexandria, Virginia. It is the desire of the
board to facilitate and partner in the continuation
of the Team Ag Ed initiative. The Council’s
president and other board members will be very active
in administrating and promoting The Council.
In the past few weeks, several individuals have
indicated to me that they had heard the rumor that
The Council was “out of business.” Hopefully,
this will help to remedy these misconceptions. The
Council is not “out of business.” Rather,
The Council is getting back to business…the
business of agricultural education! More detail
on how The Council will function will be provided
after the October board meeting.
If you have any questions please do not hesitate
to contact me or any of The Council board members.
We value and encourage your input and involvement.
A list of current Council board members can be found
on The Council’s website at http://www.teamaged.org.