Lincoln, Neb. — The idea for the 1st Annual Ag Ed Program Roadshow came from senior Agricultural Leadership, Education and Communication student, Miranda Hornung. “Last year during COVID, there was a question floating around about how to create programming to provide more experiences for pre-service agricultural teachers in the Ag Education Teaching program (ALEC). I thought back to when I was a freshman and what things might have been helpful to know or see, and the top two things were fostering relationships with other pre-service and current agriculture teachers, and seeing a variety of programs and their facilities; hence the "Ag Ed Program Roadshow" was born!” she said. A group of UNL ALEC students took a trip out of Lincoln, Nebraska for the 1st Annual “Ag Ed Program Roadshow” event on Friday, October 1, 2021.
During this day-long adventure, 24 pre-service teachers and multiple UNL faculty visited four local agricultural education programs which included Raymond Central, Centennial, York, and McCool Junction High Schools. At each stop, UNL students had the opportunity to interact with current agricultural instructors and ask them questions about their day-to-day life, Ag Educational program demographics, and advice for future teachers. There was even a chance to meet with school administrators to hear about creating positive relationships within schools and communities. Beyond these connections, pre-service teachers also met and built on their relationships with each other as they carpooled to each location.
One of the key goals for this event was to expose UNL undergraduate students with a variety of facilities that local agricultural programs operate. Students toured animal labs, greenhouses, woods and welding shops, and various classroom setups. For many students, this was the first time they had seen some of these types of facilities and their offerings, such as animal labs with snakes and skunks, and classrooms with flexible seating like couches and recliners.
The event was sponsored by funding from the State Teach Ag Results (STAR) and funds through the National Teach Ag Campaign, which designates funding for recruitment and retention efforts of Agricultural Educators.