GAINESVILLE, Fla. — A University of Florida College of Agricultural and Life Sciences student will spend the next school year as one of 12 National Teach Ag Ambassadors, spreading the word about the importance of agricultural education and learning more about how to teach the subject.
Tyler D’Angelo will be a senior in agricultural education and communication in the fall and hopes to pursue his master’s degree in the same department after he graduates. After that, he hopes to teach agriculture.
“It is truly an honor to represent the profession that I love,” D’Angelo said. “I hope that through my ambassadorship that I will be able to bring more of a presence to the Teach Ag campaign to Florida. I also hope to encourage those interested in teaching agriculture to pursue a degree in agricultural education.”
Agricultural education and communication is an academic department within the UF Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, and Brian Myers, a professor in the department, nominated D’Angelo to be an ambassador.
“Tyler will be an outstanding Teach Ag Ambassador,” Myers said. “He has a passion and excitement for agricultural education that is evident the moment you meet him. He has a tremendous skill set that will allow him to tell the story about being an agricultural educator in meaningful and impactful ways. He will be a great representative of the agriculture teaching profession and of the University of Florida.”
The National Teach Ag Campaign recently selected 12 future agriculture teachers from across the nation to serve as Teach Ag Ambassadors during the next year. The students were chosen from a nationwide pool of applicants.
Ambassadors will promote agricultural education to address the national shortage of agriculture teachers, said Ellen Thompson, director of the National Teach Ag Campaign. Specifically, the ambassadors will represent the National Teach Ag Campaign at the 2016 National Future Farmers of America Convention in Indianapolis, Indiana, Oct. 19 to Oct. 21.
The ambassadors will also work with local and state leaders in agricultural education to encourage students to pursue a major in agricultural education.
“Ambassadors spend their year of service developing a cohort of future and current agriculture teachers who will inspire the next generation of leaders, problem solvers, entrepreneurs and agriculturalists,” Thompson said.
With nearly 700 agriculture teachers expected to retire within the next three years, and new programs opening each year, there is a demand for high-quality and diverse agriculture teachers all across the nation, Thompson said.
“One of our primary concerns right now is encouraging others to become agriculture teachers,” she said. “The ambassador program allows us the opportunity to reach high school and college students who would be great agriculture teachers one day. The ambassadors can use their stories and motivations to help others see the importance of agricultural education and why becoming an agriculture teacher is so rewarding.”
In return for their work and service to the profession, the ambassadors will receive more than 20 hours of specialized training and professional development from the National Teach Ag Campaign.
By: Brad Buck, 352-294-3303, firstname.lastname@example.org
Sources: Tyler D’Angelo, email@example.com
Brian Myers, 352-273-2567, firstname.lastname@example.org