Texas FFA News  
Why I Teach Ag: Gary Graham    
Sunday, November 15, 2020 | Author: Texas FFA News

What ag education classes do you teach?

I have taught pretty much everything over the years, but I currently teach Agriculture Leadership and Agriculture Mechanics.

Why do you teach ag?
I have always been involved in agriculture. I grew up on a small cattle ranch and farm, and during high school and college, we truck farmed watermelons. I have also done custom hay baling for many years. Students in ag classes are, for the most part, there because they chose to be there and are interested in the class which makes it more enjoyable for everyone. We must encourage our young people to pursue careers in agriculture. Our population continues to grow and the number of acres for agriculture keeps getting smaller. We need bright young people to discover ways to feed this growing population.

What is your favorite classroom memory?
We have been fortunate enough to win the National Invitational Quiz contest, place Reserve National Champion in the Land CDE and compete at nationals several times. The smiles and excitement from those students after all the work it takes to compete at that level is something I'll always remember. Anytime students are successful in the classroom is special. I love the smiles from the satisfaction of success and accomplishment.

What is your favorite FFA memory?
After 44 years there are a lot of good memories; contests, conventions, stock shows, the list goes on. My son and daughter in law teach ag in Onalaska, which is in our district, so we compete against each other, as well as work with each other, which I love. The most special memory was a young lady that was an officer in our chapter and very active in FFA. She went on to graduate from SHSU with a degree in agriculture. When it came time for her wedding, she asked me to walk her down the aisle and give her away. That was very special to me and I was truly honored; a memory I will always treasure.

What advice would you give yourself as a first-year teacher?
FFA is too big to do everything that it has to offer. Work on being a good classroom teacher first and select a few activities to work on and learn, then add to them as time goes on. There are a lot of good experienced teachers out there that will be glad to help, don't be afraid to ask them.

Why do you believe that ag education is so important?
I believe we must get young people motivated to pursue a career in agriculture in order to have farmers and ranchers to produce food and fiber for everyone else.

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