Willmar, Minnesota – August 12, 2016
The 2016 Ag Ed Immersion Camp was held in early August for nine high school sophomores, juniors and seniors to discover what a career in Agricultural Education might look like.
Minnesota currently has a shortage of agricultural educators. The Ag Ed Immersion camp was established in 2015 to help address the shortage of educators, and inspire students to complete a degree in agriculture education. The Southern Minnesota Center of Agriculture and AgCentric partnered to host the Camp, along with support from Minnesota Agricultural Education Leadership Council (MAELC) in Willmar, Minnesota.
The camp featured hands-on lesson planning, one-on-one time with colleges in Minnesota, South Dakota, and Wisconsin offering agricultural education degrees, an agriculture educator panel, as well as tours of Riverview’s Meadow Star Dairy, New London-Spicer’s agriculture department, and Ridgewater College.
“We want to give these students an opportunity to learn about what it is like to be an agriculture teacher from resources available to time commitments to lesson planning, we cover it all as part of this camp. Agriculture is the 2nd largest employer in Minnesota, and we need teachers to spark the next generation’s interest in agriculture,” said Sara Hewitt, Project Coordinator for the Southern Minnesota Center of Agriculture.
The goal is to increase the number of candidates pursuing degrees in agricultural education every year, to help meet the needs of job positions going unfilled throughout Minnesota. In the past year, two new agriculture education licensure programs have been established at the University of Minnesota – Crookston, and at Southwest Minnesota State University in Marshall, in addition to current licensure and 2+2 licensure opportunities though the Minnesota State and University of Minnesota systems. Questions about the camp can be directed to Sara Hewitt at 507-389-7276 at the Southern MN Center of Agriculture.