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Universities sign letters of intent to teach Ag Ed

by Ben Nuelle

Universities sign letters of intent to teach Agriculture. Four colleges signed letters of intent to teach Agriculture Education at the Iowa FFA Leadership Conference Monday.

Iowa FFA State Advisor Dale Gruis.

“The colleges represented were Iowa State University, Northwest Missouri State University, South Dakota State University, and Southwest Minnesota State University.”

Gruis says agriculture education matters.

“Agriculture is a significant portion of Iowa’s economy and all of the world’s economy. We’re fortunate in Iowa to have the World Food Prize Foundation in Iowa. When you really do the research, that the majority of the world’s wars and conflicts start because of food insecurity. Yeah agriculture is pretty critical to life.”

Gruis says the number of college students pursuing degrees to teach K-12 is down 30%.

He says in Iowa, Agricultural Education (grades 5-12) currently has about 20 unfilled teaching positions.  Southern states have had Ag Ed instructor shortages for many years, but 2015-16 is Iowa’s first official year of Ag Ed instructor shortages.  Additionally, 25% of high school Ag Ed instructors are eligible to retire by 2018.