Most careers in modern agriculture and related sciences require education beyond secondary school. Outstanding agriscience and agribusiness educational programs beyond the high school level of instruction are more important today than ever before.
The Outstanding Postsecondary/Adult Agricultural Education Program Award is sponsored by Syngenta.
Provo High School Adult Agricultural Education Program
Parkland Junior College
Bruce Henrikson, Don Bergfield
Noah Freeman, Kaizad Irani, Ryan Robb
Caddo Kiowa Technology Center Agricultural Business Management
Fort Cobb, Oklahoma
Franklin County Young Farmers
Franklin County High School
Owen Thomason, Gary Minyard, and Wayne Randall
Northeast Iowa Community College
Midd West Young Farmer Chapter
Charles Bigo works to bring the ever-expanding field of Ornamental Horticulture to students and teachers alike. Realizing that there was a void in Ornamental Education at the secondary level, which in turn created a void in post high school agriculture programs, Bigo became a liaison between the university horticulture program, the university agriculture teacher-training program and the Utah horticultural industry.
Bigo provides in-services for agriculture teachers for professional development and continuing education. In addition to classes on horticulture topics, Bigo organizes on-site industry tours for teachers in order for them to understand of what it takes to be successful in the horticulture industry. In response to teacher demand, Bigo has created a yearlong course that high school teachers can use in the classroom on Floral Design.
The Agricultural Business Management program at Caddo Kiowa provides the local community of small farmers an outlet for education on management and business aspects for their farms. From record keeping and financial analysis to information on government farm programs and taxes, the program provides adult students pertinent information for running their farming businesses.
Instructor Dale Beerwinkle, works hard to ensure that information is presented so that his students can see how the subject applies to their situation. Knowing that the education level of his students ranges from a high school diploma to MBA's, Beerwinkle works to make his teaching style flexible to meet the wide variety of needs of his students.
With diverse options in the Agriculture Management, Sales and Service Program, Northeast Iowa Community College (NICC) is able to meet the needs of its students. Options range from Precision Agriculture and John Deere Agricultural Sales to articulated transfer programs to Iowa State University in Agricultural Education and Agriculture Studies to name a few.
Instructor Tad Mueller works hard to ensure that his students have cutting edge training in a variety of agricultural fields. Mueller has incorporated Global Positioning Systems (GPS) and Global Information Systems (GIS) into the coursework and provides outreach lessons to local high school students on the technology.
Articulation and dual enrollment options allow high school students to enter NICC with credits to apply towards their degree. In addition, NICC graduates are able to transfer to state universities to complete their bachelor's degree in two years.
At Parkland, "student development is our primary concern," says Bruce Henrikson, instructor in the Agriculture Program at PJC. With small classes and experienced instructors, students attending PJC receive hands-on experience in practical experience in their chosen fields of study.
The Agriculture Program at PJC not only cares for the interests of their students, but also the surrounding community. Partnerships with county Farm Bureau's have led to scholarship for students to attend PJC, as well as advertising for courses. In partnership with the Champaign County Farm Bureau, PJC faculty assists with Earth Partners, an agriculture literacy program. Faculty spend hours organizing and hosting workshops and summer agriculture institutes to help train k-12 teachers to include agriculture as part of their classroom instruction.
The Franklin County Young Farmers chapter works to provide its members with learning opportunities in order to make sound financial and business decisions. Members attend informational meetings on topics ranging from governmental regulations to new procedures in agricultural production.
Owen Thomason, the main Young Farmer instructor, travels daily to give one-on-one instruction to members. Thomason helps to coordinate a $400,000 Federal School-to-Work grant to establish aquaculture industries in the area. Working with the local agricultural education department at the high school as well as the North Georgian Technical College, a series of nine adult courses in aquaculture are currently being offered to the community.
The Franklin Young Farmers also offer support to the local FFA chapter, donating over $15,000 a year to sponsor student activities and awards. The Young Farmers have purchased livestock trailers and equipment, helping students complete Supervised Agricultural Experience (SAE) projects, as well as providing scholarships to students attending college.
Schultz believes that "showing a sincere interest in the adult students and their operations will help trust to grow." As the advisor to the Midd West Young Farmer Chapter for the past 3 years, Schultz works with the executive committee to set up a calendar of events for the year. Schultz works hard to get expert guest speakers from industry to provide new information of interest to the members. Knowing that he cannot be a master of all trades for his students, the guest speakers allow him to put together interactive meetings based on the needs of his students.
The chapter recently had a regional winner in the Pennsylvania Young Farmers Association "Outstanding Young Farmer over 30" award category, the first time in over ten years that the chapter has sent an application to the state level.