While some schools struggle to find new ag teachers to fill positions, two veteran ag teachers announced their retirement at the end of the 2016 school year.
They join the ranks of more than a half dozen ag teachers who have recently retired in Indiana. Previous articles featured Joe McCain, Greenfield Central, and Dan Webb, Tri High, who also retired this year.
Here is a closer look at the latest retirees.
Gary Mosbaugh, Southmont High School
Mosbaugh steps away from a career that spans more than three decades at Southmont High School in southern Montgomery County. As the FFA advisor, he coached numerous state-winning teams, including at least three state champion soils judging teams, several state champion crops judging teams and winning teams in floriculture.
His students also excelled in other leadership contests and activities over the years. But his career wasn’t all about producing winning teams.
“We tried to make sure the FFA was active in the community in a number of ways,” Mosbaugh says. "The FFA was always involved in the county fair and in many school activities.”
While he is retiring from teaching, Mosbaugh may still help youths in various ways in the future. Don’t be surprised if you find him around soil judging pits this fall.
David Reese, Mount Vernon High School
Reese also accomplished many things advising his students over his long career at Mount Vernon High School. He’s proud of his past and recent students, both in ag classes and the FFA program.
One of the challenges in his area was dealing with a decreasing enrollment, and not just in ag classes, but across the school as a whole. Reese says the number of students at Mount Vernon has dropped drastically in recent years, primarily due to changes in the business community. He’s hoping new industry that may be coming to the area will help turn that trend around.
Mount Vernon isn’t the only rural community in Indiana where student enrollment has decreased over time. A similar trend has taken place at Benton Central High School in Benton County. Meanwhile, enrollment continues to grow at some schools with ag programs located closer to suburban areas.
“The great thing is that our administration is strongly behind FFA here,” Reese says. “We’ve had administrators at National FFA Convention, and they really believe in the program.”