Indiana’s FFA and ag students aren’t the only ones who compete nationally and win honors. Kraig Bowers, ag teacher at Fairfield High School in southern Elkhart County, recently received national recognition for an idea he came up with and implemented. It's a page on Facebook called the Ag Ed Discussion Lab.
Scott Johnson, ag teacher and FFA advisor for North Decatur High School near Greensburg, says this medium allows ag teachers throughout the nation to interact. He uses it and says it is a way for ag teachers to ask questions and share ideas with one another. They can also share lesson plans.
Bowers created the page in August 2015. By July 1, 2016, over 4,000 subscribers nationwide were using the site.
Johnson, executive director for the Indiana Association of Agricultural Educators, says Bowers’ idea captured first place in the Ideas Unlimited contest for Region IV of the National Association of Agricultural Educators. The region includes six states.
The Ag Ed Discussion Lab was chosen as the best idea in the region, Johnson notes. Bowers will present his idea to ag teachers everywhere at the NAAE Convention in Las Vegas in November.
His discussion idea isn’t the only thing that has put Bowers in the news lately. In May, his 4-H soil judging team captured first place in the 4-H division of the national land judging contest in Oklahoma. His team won both the land judging and home-site divisions.
Bowers is also directing expansion of the ag facility at Fairfield High School. It will include a state-of-the-art room for veterinary work on animals. The new ag complex will be usable this fall, he notes, although the veterinary room won’t be fully equipped for instruction until a later date.
Fairfield High School is located near Goshen.