Agriculture teachers in short supply, high demand


Agricultural education is a job market in need of employees.  In fact, there’s a great need for people to teach agriculture. The problem exists in many states.

“We have a huge shortage within the state and nation of ag teachers and so that’s something that we’re trying to correct,” said Kathy Novotney, who is with Facilitating Coordination in Ag Education, an organization in Illinois that, among other things, recruits and retains agriculture teachers.

Last year, Illinois alone had 60 agriculture teacher openings, said Novotney.

“At the same time, we only had 12 students that graduated from college that were certified to teach ag last year,” said Novotney, talking to Brownfield Ag News at the Illinois State FFA Convention in Springfield.  “Of those 12, only six were actually seeking positions; the other six had taken jobs within the ag industry.”

Novotney says this is a good time to get into the agriculture teaching profession.  She says that if a candidate is willing to relocate, there are jobs to be had.  The organization she’s with is trying to identify funding sources that can be put toward filling empty teaching positions.

AUDIO: Kathy Novotney (8 min. MP3)

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