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News and Updates

#WAAELearns – Happy Farmer’s Day!
February 10, 2016

Linda Sattler, Laconia agriculture teacher, shares how her students are giving thanks to local farmers through the Happy Farmer’s Day project. The class project is tied to a unit on Wisconsin agriculture and its importance to our economy. Read more below.

Happy Farmer’s Day!
Submitted by Linda Sattler, Laconia Agriculture Teacher
Some of you may have received a “Happy Farmer’s Day” card in the mail in the last few years. Did you ever wonder where it came from, or why you received it? Mrs. Sattler’s agriculture students have been creating cards as part of a unit studying Wisconsin agriculture and its importance to the economy. As part of the unit students create a public service announcement in appreciation of Wisconsin agriculture and as a capstone to the unit students create a “Happy Farmer’s Day” card and send it to a Fond du Lac area farmer, agricultural business, or farm family.

Beginning in 2011 we have been working our way through a list of 357 names. The list was created by the Fond du Lac County UW-Extension office and is used to distribute newsletters. This February we mailed our last cards and are now ready for a new challenge. Do you know a farmer or farm family? Would you like to nominate them to receive a card? Please send his or her name and address to Linda Sattler in the Laconia High School Agriculture Department.
On a personal note I would like to thank all farmers and those in the agriculture community for everything you do. We have received several responses to our cards. Individuals and families have sent back cards, notes, facebook posts, and email messages. I have been stopped at various events with inquiries and words of thanks It means a lot that our cards are so well received.

“There are two ways of spreading light: to be the candle or the mirror that reflects it.” – Edith Wharton

Photo Caption: -- Just a sample of the one of responses received from this project.

Meet the WAAE Interns
February 10, 2016

WAAE is please to announce Nathaniel Nolden, UW-River Falls, as its association intern, assisting with preparing for and onsite for the Professional Development Conference (PDC). He will start in mid-April. Shawna Henke, UW-River Falls, and Jacob Radtke, UW-Platteville will serve as PDC interns, helping coordinate conference activities onsite during the week of PDC.

WAAE Intern: Nathaniel Nolden, Lodi, University of Wisconsin - River Falls (December 2016)

Why Teach Ag? From a young age I decided that I wanted to teach, after taking an agriculture class and joining FFA in 7th grade I decided that I wanted to become an agricultural teacher. Since that point I have known that I want to teach agriculture. Since I began my career at UWRF, my interest in becoming an agricultural teacher has been emphasized through the different agriculture courses, teacher education courses, and professional development events that I have taken and participated in.

Who’s served as a mentor or a role model for you as a future ag educator? My mentor throughout my entire experience in agricultural education has been my agricultural teacher, Glenda Crook. There have been many other people who have served as role models during my education, they include numerous professors and classmates.

What are you looking forward to with your internship? I am looking forward to learning more about WAAE and the different resources that it provides to agricultural teachers. I am also looking forward to working with agricultural teachers throughout the state during the Professional Development Conference in June.

What’s one of your favorite experiences as an ag education student at college or as a FFA member/high school ag education student? One of my favorite experiences as an agricultural education student while at college has been working with both the Minnesota and Wisconsin FFA by participating in the career development events that are hosted at UWRF. These opportunities have allowed to me gain a better understanding of both MN and WI FFA while learning more about the different CDE events.

Ag/food/natural resources experience
• Farm hand on my family’s dairy farm, Lodi WI
• Field scout at Henry Farms LLC, Dane WI
• Farm hand at The Tree Farm, Cross Plains WI
• Intern grower at Bailey Nurseries, Cottage Grove MN

Something unique about you: I love cows and cats.

PDC Intern
Name: Shawna Henke, Amery, University of Wisconsin River Falls (Fall of 2017)

Why Teach Ag? One of the main reasons I want to teach agriculture because my ag teacher inspired me and I want to do the same for other students. Also I know how important it is to teach the next generation about agriculture and the opportunities in agriculture.

Who’s served as a mentor or a role model for you as a future ag educator?
My Ag Teacher/FFA Advisors Derrick Meyer and my parents Marvin and Rita Henke

What are you looking forward to with your internship?
I’m excited help organize the conference and see the conference for the first time.

What’s one of your favorite experiences as an ag education student at college or as a FFA member/high school ag education student?
There are so many great experiences that I have had with FFA and Ag Education but one that sticks out is going to the Washington Leadership Conference.

Ag/food/natural resources experience
Minglewood Inc. Farm
Greenhouse hand at Amery High School

Share something unique about yourself:
I am currently the UWRF Parliamentary Procedure Coordinator

PDC Intern: Jacob Radtke, Suamico, WI, University of Wisconsin Platteville (Spring or Fall of 2018)

Why Teach Ag? I want to be able to introduce agriculture to as many students as possible. My goal is to show students ways they can get involved in agriculture even if they are not from a farming family or live on a farm, like raising backyard chickens for example. I FIRMLY believe if students get involved in raising and taking care of animals it will have an extremely beneficial impact on their lives.

Who’s served as a mentor or a role model for you as a future ag educator?
My high school science teacher Mr. Stubbe, who really taught me that the key to being an excellent teacher is showing respect for the students. Out of the two years in his classroom he never once raised his voice in the class and he never had a student act disrespectfully towards him or anyone in the class.

What are you looking forward to with your internship?
Talking with other agriculture education teachers.

What’s one of your favorite experiences as an ag education student at college or as a FFA member/high school ag education student?
In my high school aquaculture class we raised tilapia in a fish tank and fillet the fish at the end of the year for a fish fry.

Ag/food/natural resources experience
• Jagiello Dairy Farm
• Holtz Dairy Farm
• Personal Ag Experiences: Raised chickens, turkeys, ducks, rabbits, pigs, goats, lambs

Share something unique about yourself:
Growing up I had no one who introduced me to Agriculture, and both of my parents had no farming background. Just before my freshman year of high school I decided I wanted to get chickens for some reason, even though I was so raw on agriculture that I didn’t even know that a hen could lay an egg without a rooster. This started my love for agriculture where I have now raised just about everything that I possibly can. I want to help other students who may not have had agriculture exposure like myself and show them the joy of agriculture!

DuPont Ag Inquiry Institute at the 2016 Professional Development Conference
January 05, 2016
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Nothing will change your way of thinking related to teaching the youth of today more than a hands-on experience with inquiry education.

Applications for the DuPont Ag Inquiry Institute at the 2016 WAAE Professional Development Conference are due Friday, Jan. 8 at 11:59 p.m. Our goal is to have participants notified by Feb. 1 so teachers can begin planning for this wonderful experience. Twenty teachers will be accepted into the program this summer.

This year the apps will be judged by a team of five people: one from Wisconsin and four more that are put forth by NAAE.

Please remember that this is a commitment whereby participants will be with the facilitators for each of the workshop sessions at PDC with a different focus on a career pathway each time. Participants will need to arrive in Appleton early and stay late for the full experience.

Please contact Rachel Sauvola at if you have questions. The application link is above.

Here’s what last year's participants said about the program:

“WIAGI2 excited me to want to look at what I am doing in the classroom and challenge the students to think for themselves."

"If you have hit a slump in your teaching, this is a great way to rejuvenate the way you teach."

"This was the best week ever doing the Best. Job. Ever.!"

"So much great information, my mind hurts."

"This professional development is the highest level of thinking that can be applied to all curriculum in our school and is tested."

"If you are experiencing a teaching rut, this is the institute for you! Plan on a jam packed, highly intense, 5 days facilitated by an outstanding, energetic group of your peers."

Call for NAAE Committee Members due Dec. 15
December 01, 2015

Get involved nationally, without leaving your community. Region III is seeking new NAAE Committee member reps for 2016-19 positions. These positions are filled by those who apply rather than appointment.

How to Apply: Submit a letter of intent, resume and MOU by Dec. 15 on each respective committee spaces on NAAE Communities of Practice

More information: Visit the Communities of Practice site’s committee spaces

Current Committee Members: New chairs and secretaries will be elected at the January virtual committee meetings. Candidates must a letter of intent, resume and MOU.

2016 Region III Conference Information
October 12, 2015
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The NAAE Region III Conference will be June 21-23 in St. Cloud, Minn.

Please see the PDF flyer for more information and hotel information.