Texas FFA News  
Why I Teach Ag: Ginger Holton    
Monday, February 15, 2021 | Author: Texas FFA News

What ag education classes do you teach?
I teach Principles of Ag, Floral Design, Horticulture, and Advanced Animal Science.

Why do you teach ag?
I have always wanted to be an ag teacher. I can't remember ever wanting to do anything else. My dad, Bob Andrew, taught ag for 49 years, 46 in Valley View where I grew up. I was fortunate to be able to tag along with my dad to all kinds of FFA events and activities. I loved spending time with him, and as I got older, I began to notice the impact he made on students and in our community. I always hoped to have that same influence in my own program and community. 

We raised and showed swine growing up and I had a lot of hands-on agricultural experience at home and as an FFA member. I had a very well rounded experience as an FFA member and I know the impact it had on me personally. I truly believe kids are still good and there is something for every student in the FFA program. I believe students can find their place to shine in the FFA. I also feel a responsibility to advocate for the agriculture industry, especially in the day and time in which we live. What better place to promote ag, but in the Agriculture classroom. I love teaching ag, and it is rewarding on a daily basis.

What is your favorite classroom memory?

I have so many good memories, it is hard to decide. I had a young man with autism come into the ag program several years back who would sit at a desk outside of the classroom because being in class was too overwhelming. This went on for an entire semester. The next school year, he came in on the first day, and I had his desk waiting.  He looked in the classroom and thought he might try to come in. At the time, I had a really good set of seniors in that Animal Science class. They were very kind to him and made him feel at ease. 

This young man didn’t have many nice things. The next week those seniors brought him a new backpack with his name on it and a brand new pair of shoes. From that day on, he was one of them. He went on to judge in a CDE and went to a youth group with those kids. I have never seen so much change in a person. One act of kindness changed that student's life. He is doing well on his own to this day.  

What is your favorite FFA memory?
I have millions of memories of student successes and fun both in and out of the classroom. I think one of the happiest days was last year at our local show when we cut the ribbon on our new barn. We had waited for a very long time to build a project center.  It snowed that day, but the barn was warm and full of our local FFA and 4-H members, parents, and what seemed like the entire community. People came to enjoy the show, support the kids, and support the program. The project center in my home town was like the hub of the community. That day, ours served the same purpose.

Why do you believe that ag education is so important?
Now more than ever we have to advocate for our industry. We don't want to lose our way of life as we know it. Kids need support and guidance, and I think we as ag teachers have a great opportunity to not only teach young people about the ag industry and the importance of sustaining it but also to provide a positive influence in the lives of young people. 

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