Dakota Farmer

Teacher inspires students by sharing story of agricultureTeacher inspires students by sharing story of agriculture

FFA advisor in North Dakota creates and hosts podcast to showcase careers within the industry.

Sarah McNaughton

February 26, 2021

2 Min Read
Bailey Hawbaker
PASSIONATE AGRICULTURALIST: Bailey Hawbaker is the Stanley FFA advisor, agriculture teacher and now the host of Agriculture’s Top Hands podcast. Courtesy of Bailey Hawbaker

After listening to multiple ag-themed podcasts, Bailey Hawbaker joked with a colleague about wanting to start one of her own. She finally brought her dream to fruition with Agriculture’s Top Hands in January.

Hawbaker is the Stanley, N.D., agriculture teacher and FFA advisor, and has a long history of being passionate about FFA, agriculture and education. She has been involved in the industry through 4-H and FFA in high school. At North Dakota State University, she was active in Saddle and Sirloin and NDSU’s livestock judging team, as well as other activities. She graduated with a double major in agriculture economics and agriculture education from NDSU in 2018 — and has been teaching agriculture ever since.

Hawbaker’s goal with her podcast is to help inspire her students about the future of the agriculture industry, showcase career opportunities and spotlight those whom she looks up to in agriculture. Her guests have included educators, ranchers, agriculture education professors and other FFA advisors. She started with her personal favorites, but received requests from others interested in sharing their stories for the podcast.

Making it all work

Juggling a weekly podcast and being a full-time agriculture teacher can be stressful. However, Hawbaker relies on planning and time management, all skills she developed through 4-H, FFA and college. She says one of her favorite parts of her job as an FFA advisor and agriculture teacher is the sheer variety of what she teaches students.

“Just in one day, I’ll have students flower arranging in my classroom, and then working on an ag mechanics project, and basically everything in-between,” Hawbaker shares.

You can follow the agriculture teacher side of Bailey’s life on Stanley FFA's Facebook and Instagram pages, and her podcast journey on Agriculture's Top Hands on Facebook and Instagram, and new episodes are available on Apple podcasts and Spotify.

If you’re interested in being a guest on the show or know someone who would be ideal to interview, reach out through a direct message on social media, or email at [email protected].





About the Author(s)

Sarah McNaughton

Editor, Dakota Farmer, Farm Progress

Sarah McNaughton is a graduate of North Dakota State University, with a bachelor’s degree in agriculture communications, along with minors in animal science and Extension education. She is working on completing her master’s degree in Extension education and youth development, also at NDSU. In her undergraduate program, she discovered a love for the agriculture industry and the people who work in it through her courses and involvement in professional and student organizations.

After graduating college, Sarah worked at KFGO Radio out of Fargo, N.D., as a farm and ranch reporter. She covered agriculture and agribusiness news for North Dakota, South Dakota and Minnesota. Most recently she was a 4-H Extension agent in Cass County, N.D., teaching, coordinating and facilitating youth programming in various project areas.

She is involved in agriculture in both her professional and personal life, serving on the executive board for North Dakota Agri-Women, and as a member in American Agri-Women, Sigma Alpha Professional Agriculture Sorority Alumni and Professional Women in Agri-business. As a life-long 4-H’er, she is a regular volunteer for North Dakota 4-H programs and events.

In her free time, she is an avid backpacker and hiker, enjoys running with her cattle dog Ripley, and can be found most summer weekends at rodeos around the Midwest.

Sarah is originally from Grand Forks, N.D., and currently resides in Fargo.

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