Click on a name from the list below to open a new testimonial from an Ag teacher.

Kim Portz - Marissa HS

“I chose to teach agriculture because I love working with today’s youth
– it keeps me feeling young!  I truly enjoy seeing my students grow as they go through my program and excel in different areas. I truly enjoy my career because it’s always fun and different; Ag teachers never have a boring day! I wake up in the morning and I can’t wait to get to school.”

. . Kim Portz
. . Marissa High School
. . Agriculture Teacher

Mark Steber - East Richland HS

“My career goal was to either work with young people or in the agriculture industry.  Teaching agriculture education gave me the opportunity to do both!   Most days I have so much fun I can't believe that we get paid to do our so called job.”

. . Mark Steber
. . Richland County High School
. . Agriculture Teacher

Miles Allen - Illini Central HS

"I got into teaching agriculture because of the my passion to see students achieve their goals in agriculture education. There is no greater award for a teacher than to see students succeed and reach their goals."

. . Miles Allen
. . Illini Central High School
. . Agriculture Teacher

Kevin Price - Milford HS

"I became a teacher thanks to the influence of a Professor at Western Illinois University. He simply gave me the confidence to pursue the career. I had always believed I would have a good connection with high school students. Once I finished student teaching, I was hooked. One of the best parts of teaching is watching my students succeed in the learning process. Whether it is an award at a CDE, or just watching a student “get it” while their in class.”

. . Kevin Price
. . Milford High School
. . Agriculture Teacher

Heather Belden - Marengo HS

“I stayed at the University of IL for another year to get my master’s degree in Ag Ed.
I’ve always thought everything happens for a reason and it did - this was the best decision of my life. I’m involved in a career where I get to utilize my passion for agriculture while motivating and impacting young people’s lives. It’s an incredibly rewarding feeling and I’m so lucky I ended up here.”

. . Heather Belden
. . Marengo High School
. . Agriculture Teacher

John Kabat - Mt. Vernon HS

"I was told by one of my college teacher's that I was good with people, half way smart, and I liked to talk to others. I was told that I could make a positive difference in the lives of many young people. I decided that this was my calling in life to help our young people and to save people from starving in our country and other countries. I have and continue to love what I do with young people. I have been able to travel and see the world because I have taken a positive attitude and leadership in our professional teaching association.”

. . John Kabat
. . Mt. Vernon High School

Diana Loschen - Tri-Point HS

“I became an agriculture teacher because it gave me an opportunity to combine two things I had been raised with--agriculture and education. I am a third generation teacher and I had a blast in FFA when I was a student. This seemed like the perfect blend of things that I cared about. Twenty one years later--I still think it is. I also like that there are NEVER two days that are the same and it gives me the chance to work closely with some incredible young people.”

. . Diana Loschen
. . Tri-Point High School
. . Agriculture Teacher

Angie Bane - Tremont HS

“I grew up involved in 4H and my family's farm, but my high school did not have agriculture classes or FFA. I saw the opportunities that some of my friends in FFA from other schools had, and I wanted to go to college to teach agriculture and start a program somewhere. I was blessed in the fact that I was able to go back to my home high school and start a program there. I am now able to provide those opportunities to the students in Tremont!“

. . Angie Bane
. . Tremont High School
. .

Toni Gabriel - Somonauk HS

“Teaching agriculture is was a great way to combine a love of agriculture with a passion for teaching others.
I wanted to give others an opportunity to see how FFA can change their life, while a career in agriculture is a viable option.”

. . Toni Gabriel
. . Somonauk High School
. . Agriculture Teacher

Doug Thurnau - St. Elmo HS

“I love my job, because I inflict positive change in the youth I work with. I have been teaching for seven years and I have been fortunate to see how beneficial I have been towards several of my past students. I was the catalyst for their change, and I could not ask for a better way of life.”

. . Doug Thurnau
. . St. Elmo High School
. . Agricultural Teacher

Darin E. Blunier - Midland HS

“I chose a career in Agriculture Education because of the influence my high school and college advisors had on me.
  I had no idea that I would enjoy teenagers as much as I do.  I am always ready to go to work and enjoy teaching every day.  The success that I see in every student provides great satisfaction.”

. . Darin E. Blunier
. . Midland High School
. . Agriculture Teacher
Jay Solomonson - Orion HS

“I chose to become an agricultural education  teacher because I enjoy working with students and I know that I can make a positive difference in my students' lives. I enjoy teaching everyday because I get to see my students succeed and strive to reach their full potential.  I get to work with students and adults who are enthusiastic and passionate about the agricultural industry, agricultural education, and the FFA." 

. . Jay Solomonson
. . Orion High School
. . Agriculture Teacher

Jeffery A. Wood - ISU

“Teaching agriculture was an extremely rewarding career. The deeper I got into my career, the more I loved it. It gave me a chance to share my knowledge with others in a creative and effective way. I continued my career at the college level because I felt the need to broaden my influence through teaching agriculture there. As a university faculty member in agriculture, I have been given opportunities I could have never dreamt possible.”

Jeffrey A. Wood
Professor and Dean of Applied Science & Technology
Illinois State University

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