The Outstanding Postsecondary/Adult Agricultural Education Program Award is sponsored by Syngenta.
Blue Mountain Community College
John Wood Community College
Red River Tech Center
East Laurens Adult Ag Programs
Northland Community and Tech College
Thief River Falls, Minnesota
The mission of the Blue Mountain Community College's (BMCC) agriculture department is "hands on agricultural education." Being one of only three postsecondary 2-year agriculture programs in Oregon, this program attracts students from all over the Northwest. The department offers three different Associates Degree programs: Applied Science in Production Agriculture, Applied Science in Agricultural Business, and Associate of Science Degree with concentration in agriculture.
The facilities available to support the "hands on" instruction include a 100 acre farm, livestock pavilion, animal nutrition center, farm shop, food processing center, and greenhouse. The BMCC faculty state that student involvement is the key element for delivering this hands on approach.
Being involved with their state ag teachers association, professional organizations, and institutional and national grants keeps the curriculum technically up-to-date and applicable to the current agriculture industry. A National Science Foundation grant provided them an opportunity to be a test site for new and improved curriculum.
The Red River Technology Center is a leader among Oklahoma's Career Technology Centers. The agriculture business management program at Red River is a well-rounded program that helps clients address their individual needs. The goal of the agriculture business management program is to assist any client or student in a way that they can more closely reach or achieve their personal objectives.
This ag-business program does not use the traditional classroom method of instruction. Instead, the instructor visits the clients at their operations, which helps them solve problems hands-on.
This program has partnerships with the Oklahoma Farm Bureau, the Cooperative Extension Service at Oklahoma State University, and with the local legislature. By increasing the program's communications network, they also reach out to members of the FFA, 4-H, and civic and farm organizations.
The Region III winner was Northland Community and Technical College in Thief River Falls, Minnesota. The instructors are Dean Robert E. Bollesen and 18 farm business management instructors.
The Northland Community and Technical College is outstanding on a number of levels. It has the largest Farm Business Management (FBM) program in Minnesota. Currently, 930 students are enrolled from 15 counties in the state. Because of rapid growth in this program, the instructors have developed the process, committees, and surveys evaluate and strengthen the program.
The backbone of the program includes student needs, individualized knowledge, and professional development. The FBM program is based on individual instruction using the student records and business goals to determine the topics of instruction. This allows for the instruction to be student-based, rather than the more traditional instructor-based. All of the instructors are actively involved in local, state, and national professional development activities. In order to help each instructor gain the most from these activities, the program calls for the instructors to have monthly meetings to discuss recent developments and future plans.
With five full-time teaching faculty, a dozen associate faculty, and three support staff, the John Wood Community College (JWCC) agriculture program has excelled for student success. 668 students were first enrolled at JWCC in 1975; by 2001, this number had more than doubled. One reason for the growth is the "open-door policy" that has been adopted. All high school graduates and GED students are eligible for the program. The program also attracts students because of its hands-on instruction. Students participate in small group discussions, team projects, and field trips, which help tie the lessons to real-life experiences.
The JWCC faculty have adopted a motivational and positive teaching philosophy: to provide the students with a complete and well-rounded growth experience. A recent survey confirmed that 100 percent of all graduates would recommend this program to a close friend or relative.
The Laurens County Young Farmer Program is the center of knowledge for farmers and ranchers in south central Georgia. "Programs of continuing education, such as the Young Farmers, are a vital part of keeping agriculture in our country strong," stated Avery.
This adult education program covers everything from production to
marketing issues. Some recent topics that Avery taught include risk
management, options and futures market, and artificial insemination.
Avery holds high expectations for himself and his teaching methods. He feels that it is his responsibility as a teacher to stay abreast of the ever-changing technology in agriculture. To implement the most recent technology, he incorporates the computer and the Internet into his teaching. Avery learns new ideas and concepts from participating in the Georgia Farm Bureau, USDA Farm Service Agency, Georgia Vocational Agriculture Teachers Association, and the NAAE.
The Berlin Brothersvalley Young Farmer Program was started in 1957. Since then, classes have been held weekly during the months of January through April. Currently, this program has 76 members lead by Doyle E. Paul. Mr. Paul believes that ALL students are capable of achieving academic excellence with positive reinforcement from the teacher.
To keep the students positive and faithful to their work, Doyle repeatedly tells his students "autograph your work with excellence" and "you never have a second chance to make a first impression." These beliefs keep the program alive and growing.
All students in this program are full time agriculturalists realizing 100 percent of their total farm income from their animal and crop enterprises. Many farmers in this region hire Brothersvalley FFA members with a supervised agricultural experience agreement.