TIFTON–Jack Bazemore, a junior agricultural education major at Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College, is one of 14 students nationwide selected as a National Teach Ag Ambassador for the 2020-21 year.
A native of Roswell, Bazemore graduated from Roswell High School before he began attending ABAC. His family now lives in Rutledge. Bazemore is the first student from a college or university in Georgia selected for the honor in the history of the National Teach Ag Ambassadors’ program.
“Agricultural education has afforded me the opportunity to combine my passions for teaching and the outdoors to help mold and shape the future of our industry and our nation,” Bazemore said. “I am extremely excited to represent ABAC this year as a Teach Ag Ambassador.”
The 14 ambassadors will begin their training this summer to become advocates for agricultural education at the 93rd National FFA Convention in Indianapolis on Oct. 28-31. These students will represent the National Teach Ag Campaign at the convention as they encourage high school students who stop by the Teach Ag booth to consider careers as agriculture teachers.
The ambassadors will engage with students, teachers, and stakeholders who visit the booth to develop a cohort of current and future agriculture teachers. The ambassadors will stay in contact with these individuals throughout their year of service through electronic communications to inspire the next generation of leaders, problem solvers, and agriculturalists.
Active in the ABAC Collegiate FFA, Bazemore is also a member of the ABAC Horseman’s Association, the City of Tifton Volunteer Fire Department, and the First Presbyterian Church of Tifton. After graduation from ABAC, Bazemore wants to work in Extension to gain valuable field experience while earning his master’s degree and Ph.D. before beginning his teaching career.
Bazemore is also a tour guide for Okefenokee Adventures in Folkston and will depart this summer to Ely, Minn., where he will serve as a wilderness canoe guide for the Scouts BSA. An Eagle Scout, Bazemore found his love for teaching by serving as a mentor to younger scouts and by serving on the camp staff at Woodruff Scout Camp in Blairsville and Swamp Base in Lafayette, La.
At Roswell High School, Bazemore was a four-year Army JROTC Cadet and captain of the RHS Varsity Rifle Team. He earned awards for marksmanship and leadership during his high school years and finished second in the district in the American Legion oratory contest.
By a twist of fate Bazemore found his way to ABAC and discovered his true passion for teaching.
“We did not have FFA or 4-H in my county at the time,” Bazemore said. “I had to drive to Cherokee County just to be in 4-H. But I did have the Scouts, and I feel the lessons I learned and the experience I have gained from scouting will serve me well as an ambassador and as an educator.”
The National Teach Ag Ambassador Program was developed as an effort to address the current, nationwide high demand for agriculture teachers. The need for agriculture teachers in the United States is the result of retirements, current program growth, new programs opening, and current teachers who leave the profession to explore other opportunities. The ambassadors work to promote the need for high-quality and diverse agriculture teachers while at the National FFA Convention and throughout the following year at the state and local levels.
ABAC continues to be one of the top producers of graduates with bachelor’s degrees in agricultural education in the entire United States.