TIFTON—National Teach Ag Day is Sept. 15, and Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College students have solid reasons to celebrate.
For the fourth consecutive year at the spring term commencement ceremony when 34 agricultural education graduates walked across the stage, ABAC produced more graduates with a bachelor’s degree in agricultural education than any other college or university east of the Mississippi River.
“These graduates will help with the severe nationwide shortage of Agricultural Education teachers that has existed for over 40 years,” Dr. Andrew Thoron, Head of the Department of Agricultural Education and Communication at ABAC, said.
ABAC currently has over 230 agricultural education majors enrolled for the 2022 fall semester. Forty of those students will be student teaching in classrooms across the nation this spring.
“Being an agriculture teacher is a life-changing career choice,” Ellen Poeschl, Director of the National Association of Agricultural Educators (NAAE), said. “Agriculture teachers have the opportunity to make a difference every day, mentoring and inspiring young people.
“The demand for agriculture teachers remains strong, and the National Teach Ag Day is critical to the NAAE mission of ensuring a quality and diverse supply of agriculture teachers. The Ag Ed program at ABAC is a great example of building the pipeline of extraordinary agriculture teachers who will impact the communities they serve.”
To prepare students for the classroom, ABAC faculty work diligently to instill effective pedagogy, technical knowledge, and leadership skills. Graduates are prepared to teach both middle and high school Ag Ed courses.
In 2021, an elementary agricultural education teacher program was established at ABAC, the first of its kind in America. ABAC also established a partnership with Murray State University to encourage graduates to continue their education in a master’s degree program.
With its specialized curriculum in the School of Agriculture and Natural Resources, ABAC is in a unique position to offer Ag Ed students coursework in selected areas such as animal science, horticulture, and agricultural mechanics.
Thoron said Ag Ed graduates find a job market which is quite receptive to their skills.
“While our goal is to have students enter the teaching profession in agriculture, students and industry employers find this degree meets many needs,” Thoron said. “We develop students who are founded in agriculture content knowledge and have the teaching and people skills that make them a valuable leader and a model employee across the industry.”
Prospective students who seek more information about the Bachelor of Science degree in Agricultural Education at ABAC can contact the ABAC admissions office at firstname.lastname@example.org . Spring semester classes begin at ABAC on Jan. 9, 2023.