Filling Ag teaching positions is becoming more and more difficult for school districts not just across the Northwest, but nationally as well.  And it’s not an issue of pay, or location, but a lack of young people pursuing a career as an Ag teacher.  But Washington State University is working to address that need, and ideally start to fill the gap.  Anna Warner, Assistant Professor of Agricultural Education, said in the past, Ag educators have not done a good job promoting their own profession.


“In agriculture we've promoted a lot of other careers within agriculture, and so it's just been more recently that we've gotten much better.  We now have a national teach ag day in the state of Washington, we've just created an agricultural education career development event for students to compete in that promotes the profession and helps them build skill sets that would be useful in that career.”


Last month WSU students and faculty teamed up with FFA student to address the shortage by visiting high schools across the state.  Warner added WSU has additional plans to better serve the Ag education community.  She noted the school is in the planning phases of a new building that will house Ag education and Agricultural Technology and Management, better known as AgTM.


“And this will provide more space for both of the programs.   It will provide updated facilities and equipment and really enable us to serve a growing population of students.  So we'll have a home together that we can collaborate with and then we'll be able to offer our services and our majors to more students.” 



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