For the second straight year, the dairy farm families of Wisconsin helped underscore the important contributions that agricultural educators make to secondary and post-secondary education throughout the state. At the Wisconsin Association of Agricultural Educators (WAAE) 2012 Annual Professional Development Conference held in Green Bay earlier this summer, the Wisconsin Milk Marketing Board, Wisconsin dairy farmers' promotion and education organization, sponsored four recognition awards.
"Agriculture and dairy are not only an important part of our past here in Wisconsin, the industry contributes more than $51 billion each year to our state's economy and offers our next generation more than 300 different career paths," said Laura Wilford of WMMB and who heads up the Wisconsin Dairy Council.
"As we enter another school year, it's not only important to share information with our children about the healthful advantages of dairy products and daily exercise, it's also critical that we recognize and support the ag education efforts of our dedicated teachers and instructors."
The four WAAE award recipients included:
Outstanding Agricultural Educator Adam Wehling, Mondovi High School Adam started teaching at Mondovi High School in 2007 and has continued to challenge his students to gain valuable career skills. Besides teaching agriculture, Adam also serves as the high school coordinator for the district's work release program and has taught numerous adult education classes. He has partnered with 35 area businesses to start a career fair with four schools that brings together over 300 students.
Outstanding Young Member Candice Olson, Badger High School, Lake Geneva Candice teaches agricultural education at Badger High School in Lake Geneva. In addition to serving as an advisor for the FFA and environmental club, she also developed a chapter exchange program with an FFA advisor in Oklahoma. Candice has been an active member and presenter at the WAAE and National Association of Agricultural Educators conventions and has served as a National Agri-Science Teacher Ambassador.
Outstanding Post-Secondary/Adult Ag Education Program Blackhawk Technical College, Monroe Campus The Agribusiness Specialist program at Blackhawk Technical College started in 2008 with Dustin Williams as the instructor. The rigorous program is a unique one-year technical diploma program designed to coordinate with area high schools and feed into a two- or four- year program either at Southwest Technical College or UW-Platteville. The program boasts a 30-member advisory committee that works with the instructor to ensure curriculum is relevant to industry. There is a high student success rate in attaining internships and full-time employment upon their graduation from the program.
Ideas Unlimited Program Jim Melby, Winneconne High School Jim was recognized for his contribution to the Ideas Unlimited contest, a national competition which is designed to give members an opportunity to exchange classroom, supervised agriculture experience (SAE), leadership, and other teaching ideas.
The Wisconsin Milk Marketing Board, Inc. is a nonprofit organization funded by Wisconsin dairy farmers to promote the consumption of milk, cheese and other dairy products made in America's Dairyland. The WMMB Board of Directors is comprised of 25 dairy farmers elected to three-year terms by their peers.