Why did I choose to pursue an Agricultural Education Degree? I can tell you that it wasn’t a career choice I had always pictured. When I started college in the fall of 2013, at Connors State, I had every intent on going for Pre Vet. However, I had chosen this career because of the monetary value. I went down the row of the highest paid jobs in agriculture, each one offering some great benefits and some not so great disadvantages. I was so confused on what to choose.I remember seeing Agriculture Education on the list and thinking about if that would be something I might enjoy. First off, I absolutely love working with the younger generation. Second off, anytime I can talk about agriculture I get so excited. So to be able to mentor a class of kids that are interested in agriculture would be the greatest thing in the world for me. Teachers don’t make a lot of money. I think some teachers will bluntly tell you that, and they will tell you that not all students want to learn. There will be kids that will make you question if teaching was the right choice, and they will do everything in their power to try to run you off. Also, parents can sometimes not be so nice. There are parents out there that want their kid to be the star, and if they aren’t the parent will be vocal with the teachers to make sure they know how they feel about it. Those are some pretty crazy things to think about, when thinking about Agriculture Education. Why deal with all of that? Well for me the pros will always outweigh the cons. I want to be able to inspire young minds to be the next greatest thing in the agriculture industry. I want to make my students know that I believe in them, and to some that is the only time they will hear that. There are kids out there that want someone to stand there and cheer them on, but at the same time they want criticism. They want someone to care. I want to be the one to hand them that blue and gold jacket and watch their faces light up when they open the box. I want to be the one to take them to State and National Convention and watch them get excited about official dress, and be amazed by how many fellow FFA members there are. I want to help these kids travel the world, pulling a livestock trailer, writing down notes for judging competitions, and constantly reminding them that in that jacket, they can go anywhere they set their hearts to. To me Agriculture Education Teachers are molding some of the best and brightest students around. These teachers are always on call, and their job doesn’t stop when summer arrives. So this is for the people who are scared to go into Agriculture Education, because of the monetary value. Materialistic things won’t ever match the feeling of having a student tell you, “Thank you for being there when no one else was. I found my love for agriculture because of you.”
No, I’m not currently an Agriculture Educator. I am a Junior this year at Oklahoma State University. I will be graduating in 2017. These thoughts and feelings help me get through the day. Yes writing that research paper is tough, but when I walk across that stage it will be worth it. I look forward to the day when I can be known as Mr. Dawson, and for the day I can spread the knowledge, I worked so hard to gain, with kids that may or may not want to choose the agriculture career. Regardless, I want them to walk out of my classroom as better students.
To the Agriculture Educators out there, thank you. Thank you for the long hours spent searching for the perfect animal, for the time spent in the welding shop, for forcing us all to speak up in the class. You are all making such a difference in the world, and we always need more positive in the agriculture industry.
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