By: Bill Kellogg, STAR Team Member
At the World Ag Expo in Tulare this year, members of the California State Teach Ag Results (STAR) team, under the leadership of our statewide Recruitment and Retention Coordinator for the California Teach Ag Campaign, Bonnie Baxter, will be trying an innovative approach to encourage people in the Ag industry to become secondary level Ag mechanics teachers. The goal of this project is to reach out specifically to men to encourage them to consider teaching as a profession.
Praxair Distribution Inc. is a leading supplier of welding gasses and supplies for secondary Ag programs throughout the state of California. Bill Bright, Director of Business Development and Productivity at Praxair, has graciously allowed the STAR team to occupy a space of “prime real estate” in their display tent at the World Ag Expo this week. Thousands of guests visit the Praxair tent every year. Our hope is to interact with men who might consider a change in their profession.
The Metabo Corporation, under the leadership of Jeff Horton, West Coast End User Specialist, has donated premium hand-held grinders for the team to give-a-way each day of the show as another way to encourage guests to stop and visit with STAR team members. CATA members ought to remember Jeff as the one who presented an excellent professional workshop, and who attended the Farm Show at last year’s CATA Summer Conference. Metabo has been a great partner and supporter of Ag Education in California.
STAR team leadership has been researching credentialing options for people in the Ag industry who want to become teachers. The San Diego County Office of Education has a robust, solely online, Designated Subject (DS) credential program that works with school districts throughout the state. The Director of the San Diego County Office of Education DS program, Dr. Sheiveh Jones, has agreed to work with STAR team members at the booth at the World Ag Expo to answer questions people may have about earning a DS credential.
With Ag mechanics as the area with the highest enrollment of secondary Ag students, and a need to attract men into the Ag teaching profession, STAR team members are hoping to meet the need for additional teachers and to affect the gender balance of high school Ag teachers. CATA members who visit the World Ag Expo are encouraged to stop by the Praxair tent and provide an endorsement to the value of our profession to students and the Ag industry. See you in Tulare!
For more information about the California Agricultural Teachers’ Association, visit http://calagteachers.org/