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Student Teachers, Spring 2014
February 3, 2014

This spring the Litton Agriculture Campus is fortunate to have two student teachers at our facility from the University of Missouri-Columbia. The two student teachers are Laura Mooney and Chris Hudson. Each of the student teachers will be responsible for teaching classes at the Litton Agriculture Campus, as well as attending and planning Chillicothe FFA activities.

Laura Mooney is from Fredericktown, Missouri. She was raised on a farm in Southeast Missouri where they raised Angus cattle and a few sheep. She graduated from the University of Missouri in May 2012 with a Bachelor of Science in Animal Science. Currently she is pursuing a graduate degree in Agriculture Education from the University of Missouri.

Christopher Hudson is from Middletown, Missouri. He grew up on a farm where they raised row crops and also Registered Angus Cattle. He is currently a senior at the University of Missouri, majoring in Agriculture Education.

The student teacher experience consists of shadowing the cooperating teacher for about one week, eventually gaining more responsibility in teaching the class as the days and weeks progress. Eventually, the student teacher will assume most of the teaching responsibilities for the class including class management, lesson planning, assessment, and grading. Thus, the student teacher is able to more fully experience the role of the teacher as the classroom teacher takes on the observation role in the class. Along with the classroom experience, these two individual will also be responsible for the FFA aspect as well. Some of those aspects include assisting students with state degrees and proficiency awards, preparing students for career development events, planning FFA meetings and activities, working with the officer team, and any other FFA item that arises.

The student teachers arrived in Chillicothe the first week of January and will be here until the last week of April. Two local families have generously opened there homes to Laura and Chris for the time that they are here, which we are thankful to them for. Please help the Chillicothe R-II School District make these two young people feel welcome in our community to help insure their experience here is positive.


GRTS Ag Department Earns High Honor
August 8, 2013

The agriculture program at Grand River Technical School has been selected as the 2013 Missouri Outstanding Middle/Secondary School Agricultural Education Program. This award, given by the National Association of Agricultural Educators, recognizes the nation's most successful agricultural education programs by highlighting the local programs and teachers that achieve success. Winners are educators who have developed an outstanding agricultural education program at either the middle school or high school level. Applicants are judged on a variety of criteria, including teaching philosophy, effective classroom and experiential instruction, development of partnerships, and professional growth.

GRTS Ag Instructor Rusty Black said the NAAE award is an honored distinction for the technical school. "The opportunity for our ag department to be recognized by this state to compete at national level shines the light on Chillicothe and the Grand River Technical School," Black said. Black said one of the primary strengths of GRTS is the school's ability to provide students with the skills to be successful in whichever field of work they choose. "We have an advisory committee of 12-13 people from the local area. They either come from different segments in the ag industry in our community or have some affiliation with FFA and the ag department," Black explained. "We try to listen to them and focus on things they think are important for our students to make them better employees for our society. The number one focus they have is leadership development. They want kids that will show up and work on time. They want kids who can verbally communicate. We try to give kids the opportunity to practice these skills."

The GRTS agriculture program competed against Outstanding Middle/Secondary School Agricultural Education Program award winners from surrounding states for the opportunity to be named the 2013 Region IV NAAE Outstanding Middle/Secondary School Agricultural Education Program. Regional winners will receive a plaque and expense paid trip to attend the 2013 NAAE convention. The Outstanding Middle/Secondary School Agricultural Education Program award is partially sponsored by Monsanto as a special project of the National FFA Foundation.


Chillicothe Agriculture Teacher Selected National Agricultural Education Award
November 18, 2011

ST. LOUIS, MO - Rusty Black of Chillicothe, Missouri, is one of only six individuals nationwide who received the National Association of Agricultural Educators (NAAE) Outstanding Service Citation on November 18, 2011 at the NAAE annual convention in St. Louis.

(Click on photo to enlarge.)

Black is the agriculture teacher at Grand River Tech School and has been teaching for 27 years. In that time he has served as an area, district and state officer in the Missouri Vocational Agriculture Teachers Association (MVATA). He has also served as the Missouri Association for Career and Technical Education (MACTE) Legislative Committee Chair. In both organizations, Black has kept himself informed of current issues and organized legislative efforts for MVATA and MACTE to implement in response to those issues. Black works to plan efforts that allow fellow MVATA and MACTE to take action when needed and resolve issues effectively in a positive manner.

Black is one of the FFA advisors to the 270-member Chillicothe FFA chapter, a strong FFA chapter whose success is known around the state of Missouri. He has also written articles for publication such as the Ag Ed Magazine and Missouri Ag Ed Bulletin. Black has received countless awards and honors such as the Honorary Missouri State FFA Degree and the Honorary American FFA Degree for his continual efforts to enhance Missouri agricultural education.

Each of the six regional Outstanding Service Citation Award winners received a plaque at the NAAE convention in St Louis. NAAE is the professional association for agricultural educators. Its mission is "professionals providing agricultural education for the global community through visionary leadership, advocacy and service."

The National Association of Agricultural Educators, Inc., 300 Garrigus Building, Lexington, KY, 40546-0215,

Rusty Black Selected for National Agricultural Education Service Citation
August, 2011

LEXINGTON, Ky. - Rusty Black, agricultural educator from Chillicothe, Missouri, has been selected as the 2011 Missouri winner of the Outstanding Service Citation Award given by the National Association of Agricultural Educators (NAAE).

Outstanding Service Citation Award winners are agricultural educators who have made significant contributions to agricultural education. Award criteria include services provided to agricultural educators, programs or student organizations, previous service awards, and membership in professional organizations.

Black competed against Outstanding Service Citation Award winners from surrounding states for the opportunity to be named the 2011 NAAE Outstanding Service Citation Award winner for Region IV. Regional winners will be recognized at the 2011 NAAE convention in St. Louis.

NAAE is the professional association for agricultural educators. The mission of NAAE is "professionals providing agricultural education for the global community through visionary leadership, advocacy and service." The NAAE office is located in Lexington, Kentucky.

For More Information: 
Julie Fritsch, Communications/Marketing Coordinator
Phone: (800) 509-0204
The National Association of Agricultural Educators, Inc.
300 Garrigus Building
Lexington, KY 40546-0215


Honorary American FFA Degree
October 21, 2011

Leda Schreiner of Chillicothe, MO was selected to receive the Honorary American FFA Degree - Teacher. The award is given to those who advance agriculture education and FFA through outstanding personal commitment.

The National FFA Organization works to enhance the lives of youth through agriculture education. Without the efforts of highly dedicated individuals, thousands of young people would not be able to achieve success that, in turn, contributes directly to the overall wellbeing of the nation. The Honorary American FFA Degree is an opportunity to recognize those who have gone beyond the valuable daily contributions to make an extraordinary long-term difference in the lives of students, inspiring confidence in a new generation of agriculturists. Recipients in the teacher category are selected on the basis of their contributions in the following seven areas: classroom/laboratory instruction, experiential learning of students, National FFA Organization, building partnerships, agricultural education program marketing, agricultural education program development and evaluation and professional development of agricultural education teachers. In addition, teachers must have taught for a minimum of 10 years and their agriculture education program must have 85 percent membership in the past year.

Members of the National FFA Board of Directors approved the nomination. Leda traveled to Indianapolis to receive the honor during an onstage presentation at the 84th National FFA Convention on October 21, 2011. All recipients received a certificate and medal and their names will be permanently recorded.

The National FFA Organization, formerly known as the Future Farmers of America, is a national youth organization of 523,309 student members - all preparing for leadership and careers in the science, business and technology of agriculture - as part of 7,487 local FFA chapters in all 50 states, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands. The National FFA Organization changed to its present name in 1988, in recognition of the growth and diversity of agriculture and agricultural education. The 84th National FFA Convention draws 50,000 plus FFA members, advisors and guests from across the country. The FFA mission is to make a positive difference in the lives of students by developing their potential fro premier leadership, personal growth, and career success through agriculture education.

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