At the 2016 Minnesota Association of Agricultural Educators (MAAE) Conference, held in St. Cloud July 5 to 8, Mary Hoffmann and the Sleepy Eye Ag. Program were recognized.

At the 2016 Minnesota Association of Agricultural Educators (MAAE) Conference, held in St. Cloud July 5 to 8, Mary Hoffmann and the Sleepy Eye Ag. Program were recognized.

Sleepy Eye was named the Outstanding Middle/Secondary Ag. Program of the Year for the State of Minnesota. The Ag. program encompasses both the classroom and FFA organization. Hoffmann states, “My goal is to provide students with a base of agriculture knowledge as well as skills for the future. I want students to try new things, to break out of their comfort zone and to learn along the way. With the numerous activities and programs that the students take part in, I want to instill in them that they should take every opportunity to help others, teach others and to serve others.”

Hoffmann was also named Outstanding Teacher Mentor in Minnesota for 2016. Hoffmann’s work with student teachers, new teachers in the region and state and summer interns, led to her receiving this award. “It was so great to have so many supporters in attendance at the Awards Banquet. From previous chapter presidents to current students and officers, our summer intern, advisory board committee members and family, there was a true celebration of the Sleepy Eye Ag. Program. It is so great when my own students, Elizabeth Johnson, Nathan McMullen and Harley Braun, have pursued Ag. Education as a career.” Hoffmann commented.

These two award applications have been forwarded to the National Association of Agricultural Educators for Region III competition.

The four day professional development conference in St. Cloud was attended by 196 Agricultural Instructors from across the state of Minnesota and included teachers at the high school, post-secondary and farm business management levels. While at the conference Hoffmann attended professional development workshops and region meetings and received updates from the Minnesota Department of Education and National FFA.

Hoffmann was recognized at the conference for her year of service and dedication to the MAAE for serving as Past President of MAAE for the past year. Throughout the year she was an officer on the State Leadership Team and served as an MAAE representative on the Minnesota FFA Foundation Board. Hoffmann also served as the Committee Chair of the State SAE (Supervised Agricultural Experience) Committee, which held one of its meetings during the conference.

Hoffmann said, “It has been an honor to help lead the MAAE organization and to serve on the State MAAE Leadership Board for the past four years. This organization is essential to Minnesota Ag. Teachers. The profession of Agricultural Education is facing a huge challenge—a shortage of Ag. teachers.”

Hoffmann will continue her leadership role in MAAE and her passion for the profession with participation on the State Teach Ag. Results (STAR) Committee. This committee is helping with recruitment and retention of Ag. teachers on many different levels.