MACOMB, IL – The Western Illinois University School of Agriculture was acknowledged as a high nationwide program in the course of the National Association of Agricultural Educators (NAAE) conference Nov. 30-Dec. 4 in New Orleans, LA.
School of Agriculture Director Andy Baker was offered with the 2021 NAAE Outstanding Postsecondary Agriculture Program award in the course of the conference.
The award, sponsored by Bayer, is offered to postsecondary packages which “emphasize lasting educating strategies, improve scholar motivation and exemplify nice experiential studying.”
The WIU agriculture program was honored as a result of of robust leads to coaching and putting new agriculture lecturers. Over the final 21 years, this system has an 87 % placement price, and a 66 % retention price.
“The success could be discovered on the coronary heart of WIU, Dr. Baker,” based on an NAAE information launch. “Dr. Baker has led this system since 1999, thus offering continuity of focus for all issues. Baker has the first duty for coordinating and delivering the ag schooling curriculum, supervising school and assist workers, and coordinating all actions related to the University farm.”
The NAAE pointed to a number of WIU programs which have helped the University develop into a pacesetter in agricultural schooling, together with the Summer Experience in Ag Education, the place college students are interviewed for scholar instructor placements. They additionally praised the WIU program for establishing partnerships all through the state, together with working with St. Paul School in Macomb to show youthful kids concerning the agriculture trade, and with the Illinois Farm Bureau to sponsor the Collegiate FFA Greenhand Motivational Conference.
Baker mentioned it’s a true honor to have the University’s agricultural schooling program acknowledged by the nationwide group.
“This honor actually displays the laborious work and dedication of our graduates in securing educating positions, and their capacity to retain these positions, plus safe tenure,” mentioned Baker. “It can be a privilege and honor to be nominated by your friends throughout the state of Illinois to qualify for a Region IV award. It is a precedence of mine to make sure that our graduates take delight of their institutional selection, in addition to attempt to be the most effective educators they are often, and that their determination to develop into agricultural educators is by selection and never by probability.”
In addition to the WIU award, 2015 University alumnus Trent Taber, the agriculture instructor and FFA advisor at Cambridge School District, was additionally honored by the NAAE. Taber and the Cambridge High School agriculture program had been one of six agricultural education schemes nationwide to obtain the 2021 NAAE Outstanding Secondary/Middle School Program award in the course of the nationwide conference.
More than 50 % of the scholars at Cambridge High School are enrolled in an agriculture class, the place the Three-Circle-Model of Agriculture Education is applied.
“Mr. Trent Taber has organized and managed the Cambridge agriculture program to be nationally-recognized in a range of actions, and is greater than deserving of his Region IV award,” mentioned Baker.
The NAAE mentioned by way of Taber’s work as FFA chapter advisor at Cambridge High School, he stresses the significance of management improvement for all college students and encourages their participation and involvement of their chapter.
“This award recognition is a direct reflection of the laborious work that the scholars, faculty workers, administration, alumni and group have put in to develop the longer term of agriculture in Cambridge,” mentioned Taber. “We are so blessed as a small faculty to have stakeholders who see the worth in agricultural schooling.”
NAAE, with workplaces in Lexington, KY, is the skilled group for agricultural educators, with over 8,000 members nationwide. It offers skilled networking and improvement alternatives, skilled legal responsibility protection and in depth awards and recognition packages to its members. The mission of NAAE is “professionals offering agricultural schooling for the worldwide group by way of visionary management, advocacy and repair.”
For extra details about the WIU School of Agriculture, go to wiu.edu/agriculture.