Farm Progress

Mountain Home High School takes Outstanding Ag Education Program

December 28, 2017

2 Min Read
Arkansas Farm Bureau Vice President Rich Hillman, left, and President Randy Veach, right, present the Outstanding Ag in the Classroom Award to Brandy Jones of Ft. Smith, Ark.

Arkansas Farm Bureau recognized Brandy Jones as the state’s Ag in the Classroom Outstanding Teacher Award. McCrory High School teacher Robert Hurford earned the Outstanding Ag Educator Award. Bradley High School’s Ryan Blackwell earned the Outstanding New Ag Educator Award, and Mountain Home High School grabbed the top spot as the Outstanding Ag Education Program. All were recognized at Farm Bureau’s eighty-third Annual Convention Nov. 30 at the Statehouse Convention Center in Little Rock.

Jones is a fifth-grade social studies and writing teacher. As part of their unit on agriculture, her students use Farm Bureau materials to research the farm products they choose to produce and are then challenged to build their own virtual farms. The students have to write about their farm products and develop presentations and small books to describe the farm to their classmates.

The Outstanding Ag Educator Award recognizes a high school agriculture education instructor for efforts in teaching young people about agriculture, leadership and involvement in FFA. The McCrory High School program includes 121 students in ag education and FFA. “I have attempted to inspire students to develop their agriculture career skills in the classroom by developing lessons tailored to meet the needs of mostly economically disadvantaged students in the Arkansas Delta,” Hurford explained.

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Blackwell earned to top New Ag Educator Award for his work at Bradley High School where he has 112 students involved. Blackwell says “motivating students that had no desire to gain any type of education to go on and obtain something” is his most satisfying success in the classroom.

Mountain Home High School was recognized for its powerhouse ag education program that has 600 student participants. The program teachers include Josh Baker, Jacquie Albright, Brandon Lewis, Owen Carpenter and Richard Grissum. All five instructors are Mountain Home High School graduates. Three have earned Masters degrees and two have attained National Board Certification in Career Technical Education. The students have responded well to the challenging program the teachers have developed.

Source: Arkansas Farm Bureau

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