Texas FFA News  
Why I Teach Ag: Michael Rainey    
Tuesday, September 15, 2020 | Author: Texas FFA News

What ag education classes do you teach?

Agricultural Metal, Facilities Design and Power and Wildlife Management

Why do you teach ag?
After returning home from the Army, I had no idea what I wanted to do for a career. I volunteered to coach little league baseball and enjoyed working with the kids and knew that it would be great to teach. As for the subject area, I chose agriculture since I was raised in production agriculture, and I could help pass on the knowledge instilled in me by my role models.

What is your favorite classroom memory?
I have many favorite memories, but I enjoy seeing the "light" come on when a student finally gets what you have trying to teach them. It may take several different ways and many hours to get the point across, but the work is worth it when they finally understand.

What is your favorite FFA memory?
Most of my favorite memories included watching nervous kids at results, not hearing their name or team being called until the very end. But two occasions come to memory as unique. The first was my Floriculture team in 2017. I enjoyed hauling these girls all over the state, because I knew they wanted to do their best each time and they never failed to amaze me. It was not until the day after they won the state Floriculture event that I learned of their commitment.

They sat down with me and told me about the study sessions that happened after midnight on many nights after they finished all their other school work. I asked them why they did this and in secret and their answer was, "We did not want to let our teammates or coach down." I never had a team so dedicated and when all four are in the top ten at state, the results showed their hard work. The second favorite memory occurred the same year. My daughters, Micah and Shaelyn, competed together all year on my Wildlife Management team. It was great to have both travel with me, but the highlight was the state contest in which both were top ten individuals. I still have a photo of my girls holding their high individual and the state placing plaques as my phone background photo today.

Why do you believe that ag education is so important?
Even though teaching students how to provide food and fiber for the future is vital, I feel the other aspects are equal or more significant.  Where else will our kids learn how to be the leaders in our changing world? I tell every class I teach on the first day of school that my goal for each student is for them to be a better person the day they leave my class at the end of the year than the day they entered my class. Hopefully, I have done my job, and they will be the leaders we need in our society in the future.

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