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Youth News

Oklahoma Teacher Selected as National Agri-Science Teacher of the Year by FFA

Tue, 26 Oct 2010 6:09:54 CDT

Oklahoma Teacher Selected as National Agri-Science Teacher of the Year by FFA After 21 years of teaching, Alan Smith recognized that he was going to have to make some changes in his classroom if he wanted to save his agriscience program. By securing grant funding and getting his curriculum approved as science lab credit, the Cushing, Okla. teacher has not only increased his enrollment and brought recognition to his students, but he has now also won top national honors.
Smith was named Agriscience Teacher of the Year on Oct. 22 at the 83rd National FFA Convention during an onstage ceremony.

After being recognized on stage- we had the opportunity to visit with Alan about his program in Cushing. Click on the LISTEN BAR below to hear that conversation about his efforts to tie Botany into Ag Education successfully.

The Agriscience Teacher of the Year award recognizes outstanding agriculture teachers who emphasize agriscience technology in their curriculum. Finalists have developed innovative programs in food, environmental, animal, plant, soil and mechanical/engineering sciences. The program is sponsored by PotashCorp as a special project of the National FFA Foundation.

   For the last three years, Smith has dramatically changed the way he teaches agriscience. After learning that a student was struggling with the biology portion of the American College Test (ACT), he began incorporating more science into his agriculture teaching, beginning with the parts of the plant cell. Smith has now aligned his botany course to the standards of the horticulture industry. His students grow and sell plants from their greenhouse, as well as conduct experiments that require them to collect, analyze and publish data on a weekly basis.

In addition to learning more about botany than in previous years, Smith has also encouraged his students to become more involved with award recognition programs and in 2009 a member of the Cushing FFA chapter was selected as a finalist for the National Agriscience Student of the year. Additionally, three of Smith’s students competed in the National Agriscience Student Fair during the national FFA Convention.

Our coverage of the Oklahoma FFA members at the 2010 National FFA Convention is a service of the Oklahoma FFA Alumni Association- click here for details about the Alumni Association and the Oklahoma FFA Association.


Ron Hays talks with Alan Smith of Cushing about being named the Agri Science Teacher of the Year.
right-click to download mp3


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