#TeachAg support succeeds in Michigan

Michigan FFA’s state advisor says the Challenge 24 Teacher Academy is addressing educator shortages.

Mark Forbush tells Brownfield National Teach Ag Campaign’s State Teach Ag Results (STAR) program in Michigan workshops with high school students who are serious about the profession.

“We’re now having more and more students,” he says. “We have the largest group of kids we’ve had in a long time. We’ll have nine student teachers out next year. That’s a really nice number.”

He says having a steady pipeline of graduating agriscience educators supports program growth.

“If we can get a group of that size, we have an adequate supply of teachers, which helps grow programs because no superintendents are going to call if we don’t have teacher candidates,” he explains. “When I say yes, we do have teacher candidates, that moves new programs forward too.”

FFA State President William Barnum tells Brownfield ag teachers, like his own dad, also benefit when there are more graduates.

“I’ve got to watch my dad be stretched pretty thin, and so when we can get more ag teachers, that just provides more and more resources to students,” he says.

Michigan is one of 30 states with a STAR program to help retain and attract agriscience teachers and FFA advisors.  There are currently 150 agriscience teachers in Michigan.

Photo courtesy of the Michigan FFA Foundation.

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