Texas FFA News  
Why I Teach Ag: Beth Zuilhof    
Friday, November 15, 2019 | Author: Texas FFA News

What ag education classes do you teach?
Principles of Agriculture, Food, and Natural Resources (Middle School Level)

Why do you teach ag?
I teach ag because my high school ag teachers made such a huge impact on my life. I have always said if I can impact the life of one student the way my teachers influenced mine, I would be happy. Going into high school I didn't even know what FFA was, but I am so grateful I ended up in an ag class and that my teachers encouraged me to become involved in FFA. If not for Dean Fuchs, John Ford, David Fleming, and Amanda Kacal, who knows where I would be today!

What is your favorite classroom memory?
That is such a difficult question, so I could never choose just one. I personally just enjoy working with quirky middle school students!

What is your favorite FFA memory?
That is another difficult question, but I can narrow this one down to three memories. First would have to be one of my students winning the state Junior Prepared Public Speaking Contest as a 7th grader. Second would be the time I had a student win a $10,000 scholarship from the San Antonio Livestock Show's public speaking contest. Lastly, having a group of four students that I began my wildlife CDE career with as 8th graders place 5th at the state contest their senior year. 

It is so fulfilling to see students be rewarded for all their hard work. Their efforts being rewarded is the absolute best feeling as an ag teacher!

What advice would you give yourself as a first-year teacher?
It does get easier!

Why do you believe that ag education is so important?
Society so far removed from production agriculture that that they often misunderstand and mischaracterize it. I feel it is essential for students to learn where their food comes from and how connected their lives are to agriculture. In addition, the FFA aspect of ag education is so important too. I know personally that my life would look vastly different without it!

Do you have advice on balancing work/home life?
I'll be honest; this is not one of my strong suits. Since I don’t have children of my own, I have often said that, "I'm married to my job and have 175 kids!" However, as I am progressing in my career I am learning. It is important to, as difficult as it may be, go home before the sun sets, leave some weekends open, and make sure to take some time for yourself or your family!

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