Mary Hoffmann honored as Minnesota Agricultural Educator of the Year

Special to the Herald-Dispatch

The Sleepy Eye Ag. teachers, Mary Hoffmann, McKenzie Cselovszki, and Katie Emmett, along with summer intern, Taylor Peck, attended the annual Minnesota Association of Agricultural Educators (MAAE) Conference in Moorhead, Minnesota July 6-9.

The four day professional development conference in Moorhead was attended by over 200 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, teachers attended many different professional development workshops, region meetings, and received updates from the Minnesota Department of Education, National FFA, and many others.

As a member of the MAAE State Fair Committee and National Agricultural Education Council, Hoffmann gave updates to the those in attendance on the work of the two committees.

Numerous supporters made the trip to Moorhead for the MAAE Banquet where Mary Hoffmann received the Outstanding Ag. Ed. Teacher of the Year Award. Front from left: Carmen Lendt, Chapter Secretary; Morgan Hoffmann, Mary's daughter and Chapter President; Mary Hoffmann, Sleepy Eye Ag. Teacher; Cassidy Hoffmann, Mary's daughter and FFA member. Back: Taylor Peck, Summer Intern; John Cselovszki, School Superintendent; Katie Emmett, Sleepy Eye Ag. Teacher; McKenzie Cselovszki, Sleepy Eye Ag. Teacher; Dan Hoffmann, husband; Elizabeth Johnson, former student and Tracy Area Ag. Teacher; Harley Braun former student and Highland Park Ag. Teacher; and Keith Lendt, Sleepy Eye Ag. Advisory Board Member.

During the MAAE Banquet, Hoffmann received the Minnesota Agricultural Educator of the Year Award. Hoffmann was selected as the winner of this award through her efforts in many different areas including: Teaching Philosophy, Instruction, Experiential Learning, Leadership Development, Partnerships, Marketing, and Professional Growth.

Hoffmann’s work in her classrooms and shop, helping FFA members to succeed and achieve their goals, success in writing grants for the Sleepy Eye Program as well as Minnesota Ag. teachers, and level of commitment and involvement to Minnesota and the National Ag. Teacher Organizations led to her being selected for this honor.

The Outstanding Ag. Ed. Teacher Award distinguishes MAAE members who are conducting the highest quality agricultural education programs. The award recognizes leadership in civic, community, agriculture/agribusiness and professional activities. Outstanding agricultural educators are innovators and catalysts for student success in agricultural education. 

Mary Hoffmann, Sleepy Eye Ag. Teacher, is pictured with the Outstanding Ag. Ed. Teacher of the Year Trophy.

“This has been quite a year for so many reasons!" Hoffmann said. "In a year when so many struggled, I chose to be flexible and kept finding ways to keep my students and FFA members engaged and helping in the community. I feel so blessed to have earned the trifecta of awards this year — being inducted into the FFA Hall of Fame, winning the WEM Outstanding Educator of the Year, and now this Ag. Ed. Teacher of the Year Award! The best part is, I am just truly doing what I love every day!”

“It was also super cool that Elizabeth Johnson won the Outstanding Early Career Teacher Award this year and that Harley and McKenzie, all previous students, were at the conference as Ag. Teachers!” added Hoffmann.

Hoffmann is only the second female Ag. teacher in Minnesota to receive this award. The award application has been forwarded on to Regional Competition in the National Association of Agricultural Educators. Region III NAAE judging will take place virtually this summer. If Hoffmann wins the Region Award, she will be attending the NAAE Conference in New Orleans, Louisiana to receive that award.