Sleepy Eye FFA member attends Ag Ed Immersion Camp

MINNETONKA – Twelve high school students from across Minnesota, including Harley Braun of Sleepy Eye, took part in a three-day Agricultural Education Immersion Camp to determine if the career is right for them.

With a shortage of agricultural education teachers throughout Minnesota and much of the nation, an effort is underway to recruit young people to enter the field through the Minnesota State Teach Ag Results (STAR) Team.

Mary Hoffmann, Sleepy Eye Ag Teacher, is a member of this team who helped come up with multiple strategies for helping solve the Ag. Teacher shortage here in Minnesota.

Minnesota was one of 11 states selected to participate in the STAR program in 2014, its first year. The STAR program is a component of the National Teach Ag Campaign aimed at addressing the shortage of agricultural education teachers.

Minnesota’s Agricultural Education Immersion Camp was geared toward incoming high school juniors and seniors who have considered becoming an agricultural education teacher.

“I really appreciated the opportunity to go to the Agricultural Education Immersion Camp because it gave me more insight into the Ag Ed field and made me realize would love a career in agriculture education,” said Braun, an incoming senior at Sleepy Eye Public High School.

Other students attending the camp came from Le Center, St. Charles, Willmar, Medford, Faribault, Grand Rapids, Staples-Motley and Mountain Lake.

Camp activities included preparing and presenting a 15-minute lesson with hands-on activities, touring agricultural education departments, listening to a panel of an experienced, beginning and aspiring agricultural education teachers and visiting with college recruiters.

Jack Roessler, the Sleepy Eye Ag Program Summer Intern, attended the camp as a group leader as part of the internship requirements.

Nathan McMullen, a former Sleepy Eye Public Student and FFA member, was at the camp representing the SDSU Ag. Ed. Department.