Ag teachers at Sleepy Eye High School are always encouraging their students to think about a career in Ag Education.

Thursday, Sept. 19, was a day of national recognition for the Agricultural Education profession. It was National Teach Ag Day.

The Ag teachers at Sleepy Eye High School are always encouraging their students to think about a career in Ag Education. Fifteen Sleepy Eye students were TAGGED by Ag teachers and FFA Advisors, Mary Hoffmann, Adam Manderfeld, and Hunter Klontz. These eighth through 12th graders were given a TAGGED to Teach Ag t-shirt that Hoffmann designed.

Last year, 95 Ag Education positions were available across Region 3, which includes Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska, Iowa, and Wisconsin. The average base starting salary of an Ag teacher in the area was about $50,321. Fourteen new agricultural education positions, and 19 new agricultural education programs, were added in Region 3 over the past year due to the interest by students and schools. Ag teachers had an average of 32 extended/summer contract days in 2018.

A new aspect to the National Teach Ag Day this year was a celebration at Southwest Minnesota State University (SMSU) in Marshall. Three Sleepy Eye FFA members — Mike Ludewig, Brennen Meyer, Jack Schroepfer — attended, along with advisor Mary Hoffmann. The day included Minnesota Teach Ag Ambassadors and SMSU students, Ashley Eisenbraun and Hailey Nierling, taking the lead. They discussed the role of an Ag teacher and the great advantages of this career. Students also had a campus tour and attended the Ag club lunch.

There is a clear need for more students who are passionate about agriculture to pursue Ag Education as a career. National Teach Ag Day draws more attention to the shortage issue and hopes to inspire students around the country to become Ag teachers.

“Love what you do. Do what you love. Teach Ag!” Mrs. Hoffmann, Mr. Manderfeld, and Ms. Klontz, say to their students.