Independence Ag Ed Program Recognized in National Publication

January 22, 2015 (Independence, IA) – The National Association of Agricultural Educators (NAAE) is made up of 7,800 members spread across the United States. Many of those members contribute, review and take into consideration the stories and experiences shared in the organization’s nationally distributed publication; The Agricultural Education Magazine. The mission of the publication is to unify the forces of agricultural education in the country; to serve as a means of exchanging and highlighting of professional news.

The theme of the most recent edition of The Agricultural Education Magazine was “Utilizing School Laboratories”. In addition to the November/December issue highlighting many accomplishments of Agriculture Education Programs across the state and country; the Independence Agriculture Education Program was recognized. “Independence serves as such a unique and impressive example for other Ag programs across the country,” said Dr. Thomas Paulsen, Iowa State University Assistant Professor who served as this issue’s theme editor.

Highlighted throughout the article is an account of the many resources available to Independence Junior Senior High School students that create the opportunity for multiple experiential and hands-on learning experiences. Just a couple examples include students’ work in studying pest pressures and the growth stages of the soybeans planted in the 50-acre crop plot. By taking soil samples following harvest, students were able to analyze soil and nutrient conditions. Coming this spring, Independence students will be able to work in the program’s greenhouse and plant the nearly two-acre garden in partnership with the Farm to School Program. Courses also include several science application labs and industry speakers to increase relevancy for students.

Plans to continue the utilization of these resources for students next year have already begun. The support of community members, school board members and district administration has been pivotal in these accomplishments. Independence Agriculture Education Instructor and FFA Advisor, Rachael Emig, commented, “I was very proud to have the opportunity to contribute to the national Ag Ed Magazine. Being able to highlight the great things that have been accomplished so far with this program is a clear sign of how much can be accomplished as we move forward and grow as a program.”

For more information on the Independence Ag Ed Program or the FFA Program, contact Rachael Emig at (319) 334-7405 or

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