The Department of Agricultural Communication, Education, and Leadership (ACEL) at The Ohio State University recognizes this week, February 16-23, 2019, as National FFA Week. This celebratory week was founded in 1947 and embraces more than 91 years of FFA traditions. Nationwide, nearly 670,000 FFA members will participating in activities at local, state and national levels. These members have a passion for agriculture.
ACEL is connected to the National FFA Organization, as it one of three universities in Ohio to prepare undergraduate and graduate students to teach agricultural science in secondary high schools and serve as advisors of local FFA chapters.
“Ohio State has been connected to the FFA since its founding in 1928, and in particular with the Ohio FFA Association as the state association was founded February 7-8, 1929 at University Hall on our campus,” said Dr. Tracy Kitchel, professor of agricultural education and chair of ACEL. “We continue a strong partnership with Ohio FFA through many ways, including our most important role: preparing our students to become the best agricultural educators and FFA advisors once they leave our campus. As an FFA alum and now college instructor of future FFA advisors, this week annually reignites my passion for an organization that has built, is building and continues to build success for its members.”
Agricultural education programs prepare students for successful careers and a lifetime of informed choices in the global agriculture, food, fiber and natural resources systems. Agricultural education instruction is delivered through three major components: classroom/laboratory instruction (contextual learning), Supervised Agricultural Experience programs (work-based, experiential learning) and student leadership development (National FFA Organization).
The agriscience education major at Ohio State provides students with a rigorous series of courses in technical agriculture, education psychology, instructional methods and youth development. Ohio State currently has approximately 100 students majoring in agriscience education. During the current Spring Semester, 15 students are completing the student teaching experience in classrooms around Ohio.
ACEL was founded in 1917, mere months after the passage of the Smith-Hughes Act that federally funded vocational agriculture programs (now known as agricultural education programs) across the country.