Fellow teachers,
 
As you know, the demand for qualified agriculture teachers has never been greater.  For the past several years the number of teaching vacancies has far exceeded the number of traditionally prepared (Agricultural Education majors that have completed a term of apprentice teaching) teachers available to fill those vacancies.  Of the 45 first year agriculture teachers we have in Georgia this year, only 14 were traditionally prepared. 
 
Since it appears that number of vacancies will continue at or near current levels, it is imperative that we recruit the brightest and best students available to become career agriculture teachers.  No one can do a better job of telling our story and attracting new teachers than those of us committed to the profession.  The initial step in increasing the number of Agricultural Education majors begins in your classroom. 
 
Attached is a lesson plan developed to be used by each agriculture teacher in Georgia.  Every teacher is asked to use the attached lesson plan in their classrooms sometime during the last two weeks of February. As a follow-up to teaching the lesson, recruitment events are planned at both the UGA Tfiton and UGA Athens campuses.  An announcement of these events are contained in the Georgia FFA insert in the last issue of New Horizions.  The Tifton date is March 28 and the Athens date is April 4.  Students and their parents may reserve a place at either location by contacting the Georgia FFA Office (706.542.8990 or [log in to unmask]) or by emailing me at [log in to unmask].   The recruitment days are planned for high school juniors and seniors.
 
I encourage you to take an active role in encouraging your students to consider a career in agricultural education. 
 
DJ Sheppard

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D. J. Sheppard
Recruitment and Retention Coordinator
Georgia Agricultural Education
P. O. Box 10
White Plains, GA 30678
706.453.6879