Sleepy Eye High School hosting Agricultural Education Intern

James Mathiowetz, Summer Ag Intern at Sleepy Eye High School, taught welding to a small group of FFA members -- one of the mini hands on courses offered for summer FFA/Ag.

Mary Hoffmann of Sleepy Eye High School is hosting H. James Mathiowetz as an Agricultural Education Intern. The internship is an opportunity offered by the Minnesota Agricultural Education Leadership Council (MAELC) to support future agriculture teachers. Mathiowetz is originally from New Prague and is studying Agricultural Education at the University of Minnesota-Crookston.

During the internship, Mathiowetz will be working closely with Hoffmann to help local students and community members engage in agricultural education throughout the summer months.

“I have always been drawn to Agricultural Education because those two words are two of my biggest passions. I love agriculture, and I love education and teaching,” said Mathiowetz. “Whether it is helping students discover and advance their passions within agriculture, or simply being a part of the agriculture community that's so incredibly supportive, agriculture and Agricultural Education are where I want to be.”

“Sleepy Eye is so excited to host James this summer as our intern. He will be helping teach summer Ag mini-courses, doing SAE Visits, helping with summer officer workshops, organizing CDE Materials, writing curriculum for Food Chemistry, and more,” said Hoffmann. “We are very lucky to have this opportunity to have James be a part of our summer programming in Sleepy Eye.”

The purpose of the Agricultural Education Internship is to spark an interest in current undergraduate students to consider entering the teaching profession and to provide hands-on experience as an agriculture teacher. The internship will look different this summer compared to previous years due to the COVID-19 pandemic, however, interns will still safely experience summer programming related to the three components of the Agricultural Education model: classroom instruction, leadership development, and career readiness. They will also have virtual opportunities for professional development and networking.

Overall, five students majoring in Agricultural Education at Southwest Minnesota State University, the University of Minnesota-Crookston, the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities and South Dakota State University, with the intent to teach agricultural education in Minnesota, have been selected and paired with current Minnesota agriculture teachers for the summer.

This internship was made possible by generous donations from AgriBank, AgCountry Farm Credit Services, Christensen Farms, CHS Foundation, Compeer Financial, and MAELC.