Pictured above – Cumberland County students Isabella Cross and Lexi Christian listen to Tech student Sophie Helton while attending the recent Future Farmers of America conference at Tennessee Tech.

Tech also hosted 45 high school juniors and seniors from all over Tennessee who attended workshops for students interested in running for regional or state offices within FFA

Cookeville – Tennessee Tech University recently hosted two large events for the National FFA Organization (FFA), a group dedicated to promoting agricultural education to middle and high school students. One event was geared toward first through third-year agricultural teachers from across Tennessee in partnership with the Tennessee Association of Agricultural Educators and the Tennessee Department of Agriculture National FFA Organization staff.

Funding from the STAR Grant from the National Association of Agricultural Educators enabled the conference to offer sessions such as “Who is Who in TN Ag Ed,” “Communications Bootcamp,” “How to Manage Your Spring,” “Teacher Roundtable” and more.

“New teachers have been a focus of the Tennessee STAR Grant as we have over 50% of Tennessee’s agriculture teachers with less than five years of teaching experience,” said Laura Moss, FFA adviser and Henry County high school agriculture teacher. We wanted these new teachers to understand that they have a huge support system that wants to see them succeed in all facets of their career,” she added. “Research has shown that new teacher morale wanes heavily from Nov. through Jan., so the timing of this conference was focused on giving teachers a boost as they went into the spring semester.”

Tech also hosted 45 high school juniors and seniors from all over Tennessee. They attended workshops geared toward students interested in running for regional or state offices within FFA.

Students elected to these positions gain access to valuable leadership training experiences, such as meeting with industry leaders, the Tennessee General Assembly members and the governor. They also visit FFA chapters across the state, assist with the summer camping program at Camp Clements and organize and lead the annual state convention in Gatlinburg, Tennessee.

“We were blessed to have so many bright, motivated and skilled FFA members on our campus for a day of workshops, speakers and presentations,” said Dennis Duncan, professor of agricultural education at Tech. “It is a wonderful way to connect with each FFA member and form new relationships between Tech faculty, Tech students and the FFA members who attend the event.”

Photo courtesy of Tennessee Tech.

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