Talking Shop: The Growing Need for Farm Mechanics in the Early Years of Agricultural Education

Before the 1900s, the repairs and maintenance of farm equipment were quite simple. The engineering of farm equipment did not have the complexity of modern day farm equipment, which made servicing an easier task. The early 1900s was a time when homesteads and farms used candles for lighting, small plows for tilling, manual labor for planting, and a sickle for harvesting. There were a few schools teaching vocational subjects, where young boys learned mechanical work and young girls’ learned homemaking. According to Willard Wolf (1969), 50 of the 225 township schools in the state of Ohio in 1908 were offering agricultural education as part of their science courses. Communities recognize the need to teach youth the basics of agricultural sciences. The passing of the Smith-Hughes Act of 1917 helped agricultural education gain its momentum in the 1920s. This act provided more funding for high school instruction in agricultural sciences.  

What agricultural sciences did vocational education programs teach? Agricultural education experienced rapid change with the increasing adoption of the tractor.  Mechanical work on the farm shifted from simple tools like plows and rakes to tractors and electricity. Because of this modernization, everyday tasks on the farm in the 1920s changed dramatically.  Farmers in the 1920s transitioned to overhauling an engine, repairing worn mechanical parts, and wiring the farm shop. Modern day farming in the 1920s allowed farm machinery to reduce labor cost, increase food production, and improve farm management practices. Mechanization changed the job description of a farmer. Farmers became more than just producers; they became a farm mechanics. Because of the growth in mechanization and production agriculture, the industry faced the challenge of not having farmers who were mechanically skilled. This led to teaching more farm mechanics in Vocational Agriculture Programs. 

FFA Members Learning about Electrical Circuits (Photo Credits: Ohio FFA Archives)

With farm mechanics and shop experiencing this major shift, there was a concern with whether or not teachers were teaching skills that match the demands of farmers and industry. A.C. Kennedy, a graduate of the Department of Agricultural Education at The Ohio State University with a master’s degree 1926, explored this inquiry by performing a study on the needs for training in farm mechanics in Ohio. This study was vital to developing effective instruction in farm mechanics. Kennedy studied the following problems: 

  1. What kinds of mechanical jobs do farmers perform? 
  1. What is the ratio of the amount of construction and repair work done? 
  1. What, in the opinion of the farmer, is the relative importance of the difference phases of mechanical work done on the average farm? 
  1. Would farmers do a greater variety of jobs if they were trained to do them? 

By the 1920s, people were wiring their homes, using tractors to plow and plant their fields, and combines to harvest their crop. The classic blacksmithing, harness making, and carpentry work were skills that vanished quickly because of mechanization and modern technology. This change generated a need to train young farmers the necessary skills to maintain and operate an efficient farm. Kennedy studied this need and found that new construction in woodwork, farm machinery repair, harness repair, and painting were the most important tasks performed on the farm.  Consequently, vocational agriculture education taught these skills more effectively.  

A Study of the Needs for Training in Farm Mechanics in Ohio” by A.C. Kennedy. This map shows by countries, the location of the farms where the Farm Mechanics Surveys were taken.

It was easy to convince farmers and young boys to participate in farm shop programs because young farmers took pride in their mechanical skills, were eager to get their hands dirty and learn new technologies. Farmers saw farm construction and woodworking jobs for livestock, crops, gardening, shop, and household appliances as the most important job task for young farmers to prepared for. They also needed to learn metalworking, farm machinery repair, concrete work, painting, plumbing, tool sharpening, rope work, and harness repair. Along with the traditional farm mechanics, farmers wanted to install modern conveniences like electricity, water system, sewage disposal system, hot water, and heating plant. Kennedy studied determined that farmers were interested installing these modern day conveniences, but they did not know how to do the work themselves. Even though agricultural education was on the rise, there was an uncertain with what teachers should be teaching in the classroom. Indeed, they knew that teaching farm mechanics and business management was a vital skill that these young farmers needed to know. 

Agriculture Teacher providing instruction on the farm tractor (Photo Credits: Ohio FFA Archives)


Students Learning about Machine Maintenance (Photo Credits: Ohio FFA Archive)


Agriscience education student Cody McClain researched and compiled the information in this post.

This post is part of a series on our blog. To read all of the posts on the history of agricultural mechanics throughout the last 100 years, visit our archives.


Talking Shop: Agricultural mechanics throughout 100 years

We’re starting a new series on our blog, which will be shared on the second Tuesday of each month. The posts for “Talking Shop“, written by Cody McClain, a junior in agriscience education, will discuss the history of farm shop and farm mechanics as related to the history of the Department and the agricultural education profession.

In the Department, we’re celebrating 100 years of cultivating educators, communicators and leaders. Cody has led much of the historical research for our celebration and we can’t wait to share information, facts and photos from our first 100 years!

Take a minute and get to know Cody, then come back to check out our first post!

I’m Cody McClain, and a student at The Ohio State University studying agriscience education. Since I was in the fifth grade, I aimed to be a high school math teacher, but my final experiences in an agricultural education program inspired me to pursue a career in teaching agriculture.

My passion for agriculture stems from a deep pride of being raised on a grain farm in Wyandot County, where I learned the joys and discomforts of agriculture life and developed a passion for agriculture. The experiences of growing and harvesting corn and soybeans, scouting fields for weeds, servicing tractors and plows, and much more farming task have cultivated my passion for the agricultural industry and most importantly, I have a passion for agricultural education.

By studying agriscience education at Ohio State, I have had the opportunity to discover and deepen my interest and skills in learning and teaching science, math, and technical knowledge in agriculture. Taking a small engines course at Ohio State ATI sparked my interest studying agricultural mechanics and technology and preparing myself to teach this subject.

People and passion have guided my purpose in pursuing a career in agricultural education, and my career goal is focused on making a difference in students’ lives through education. I am looking forward to teaching and sharing my passion for agricultural mechanics and technology and provide them with opportunities for successful futures.

As a student in the Department of Agricultural Communication, Education, and Leadership (ACEL), I have had opportunity to research and organize the history of department and agricultural education for the centennial celebration. Along with the departmental research, I have focused on researching the history of farm shop and mechanics in agricultural education. Agricultural mechanics has rich history of traditions, challenges, and advancements, which have impacted the futures of young agriculturist and improved farming practices for many community farmers.


McClain instructs students in a small engines lesson during his early field experience.

This post is the first in a series on our blog. To read all of the posts on the history of agricultural mechanics throughout the last 100 years, visit our archives.


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OABA Industry Conference highlights

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Alumni Spotlight: Louis Damschroder ’76, ’78 MS

Louis Damschroder graduated with his bachelors in agricultural education in 1976, and in 1978 he completed a masters degree, also in agricultural education. Damschroder retired as the agricultural science teacher from Oak Harbor High School, a satellite program of Penta Career Center, and is currently working as an assistant for Crosser Funeral Home, also in Oak Harbor.

[ACEL]: Hi Louis! Why did you select to major in agricultural education, and also elect to get a master’s degree?
[Damschroder]: I started as an agricultural engineering major, but switched to agricultural education early in my college career.  I followed a dual major program in undergraduate school with agricultural education and animal sciences, graduating in 1976.  I enrolled in graduate school and received my master’s degree in agricultural education in 1978.

Why did you choose to attend Ohio State University?
Ohio State was the only school to offer the agricultural engineering and agricultural education degree programs in Ohio.  I applied to Ohio State after I learned I was in the top ten list to be drafted and sent to Vietnam, unless accepted in a college program. I received a Class H deferment until I finished my degree program, and by then the war had ended.

How did your education at Ohio State influence your choice of career and your career path?
I was hired the first day after receiving BS degree in 1976 by Oak Harbor High School as the production agriculture teacher.  I was a second teacher in the program with my mentor being Larry Heintz. We worked together for 17 years and it was a great working relationship. I continued to work in this program for 18 more years with other teaching partners including: Dan Schroer, Keith Thorbahn, Joe Miller, Mark Starkey, Noah Neiderhouse, and Krysteena Brown Lawrence, and was also honored to serve as mentor to nine student teachers sent from Ohio State.

What were you involved in as an Ohio State student?
I was a member of the Agricultural Education Society, but very limited in activities.  I was a very active member of Delta Theta Sigma fraternity, being an officer for three years and participated in many campus and off campus activities. I worked in the Meat Lab on campus for one quarter, while a student in Animal Science 453 class.

What classes did you enjoy the most while at Ohio State?
I really enjoyed teaching methods and student teaching.  My student teaching experience at Lakota High School changed my outlook on life. The students were very receptive and respectful to me and was the first time in my life that I really felt that I made a difference.  I also enjoyed animal nutrition with Drs. Cline and Tyznik, Agricultural Education 100 with Dr. LH Newcomb, and Meat Lab Animal Science 453 with Ned Parrett.

What professor, faculty or staff member had an impact on your education/career?
I really enjoyed Dr. LH Newcomb, Dr. Leon Boucher, Dr. Lowell Hedges, Dick Hummel- supervisor, Dr. Vern Cahill, and countless others all believed in me, even when I did not believe in myself.  The agricultural college was like a family, which took care of each other. I know I was a handful as an undergraduate student and after receiving my bachelor degree in 1976, was told that the ag program at Oak Harbor would fold within 3 years with my attitude.  What a GREAT inspiration!

What is my favorite memory related to your time at Ohio State?
Best memories are of my DTS fraternity brothers. I loved the time spent with them and continue to be in contact with them today. I also fondly remember helping with the Little Internationals, Rose Bowl Trips in 1975 and 1976, all ag playoffs between all the fraternities in football, basketball and softball.

What was your first job following your education at Ohio State?
I started as production agriculture teacher on July 1, 1976 at Oak Harbor High School and retired from that position on June 1, 2011 – a 35 year career, which I enjoyed immensely! I would start over again in a heartbeat.

What positions have you held throughout your career, both professionally and in your profession and community?

Oak Harbor FFA & YF Advisor – 1976-2011

Honorary State FFA Degree winner – 1992 & 2011

Honorary American FFA Degree winner – 1992

Guest lecturer at Ohio State about grief counseling students – 1999-2001

Oak Harbor Education Association officer – 6 years

NW Ohio Education Association Leadership seminars – 3 years

National Education Association member – 1976-2011

OVATA District officer 12 years, (Chairman, Vice, Sec. Treasurer)

OVATA State Officer – Secretary, 1991

OVATA Outstanding program award – 1987

OAAE Outstanding Adult program – 2009

OAE Pacesetter award winner – 1991 & 2009

Ohio YF State Tour host – 2007

Deltha Theta Sigma Board of Directors- 3 years

St. John Lutheran Church – member, Sunday School Teacher, dirtball, officer, council-1991-present

Oak Harbor Girls Softball Association President – 6 years

Ottawa County OSU Alumni member, officer, fundraiser committee-1991-present

Ohio Hunter Education and Trapper Certification instructor – 25 years.

Ohio State Buckeye Club Donor – 1991 – present

BCS Education Foundation committee – 6 years

Ottawa Soil Water Conservation Teacher of Year – 2010

Oak Harbor Lions Teacher of Year – 2011

Oak Harbor Community Service “Dorothy Heiks” award winner – 2011

Grand Marshall of Apple Festival Parade – Oak Harbor – 2011

Quality Assurance instructor for Ottawa County – 2005-2012

As of today, what is your favorite career highlight? 

First – witness to students receiving awards that they worked hard to achieve.

Second – witness the work of student teachers to excel in classroom and with FFA Activities while working with the students at Oak Harbor High School.

Third – spending a week each summer at FFA Camp Muskingum with 10-25 students.

Fourth – witness to student achievements during Ottawa County Fair week.

What advice would you give a current student?

  1. Never close any doors of opportunity
  2. Be serious in class and work like your life depends upon your results
  3. Be open to the point of view of others, that you respect
  4. Participate in as many activities as possible

What did ACEL cultivate in you?
The agriculture college was its own little campus.  All staff looked out for us, whether or not deserving of attention. The College gave us best opportunities to excel in various activities.  I loved my time on campus and the people that were there in the place of role models and staff. THANK YOU for giving me a chance to live a very production and comfortable adult life.

One of the future ag teachers, Laura Stacklin Ringler, Damschroder mentored during her student teaching at Oak Harbor.

Alumni Spotlight: Brent Stammen ’14

Brent Stammen is from North Star, Ohio and graduated with his bachelors degree in agricultural communication in 2014. He is now a marketing manager for Cintas, living in Cincinnati, Ohio.

Why did you select your major?
Because of my family’s farm implement business, I always had a strong connection to the agricultural industry and knew I wanted to choose a major that utilized the experiences I had in the industry. In high school, I also had a growing passion for design and video production, so when it came time to choose a major, agricultural communication seemed to be the right choice for my experiences and passions.

Why did you choose to attend The Ohio State University?
I chose to attend Ohio State because it offered the best agricultural program for my career interests and goals.

How did your education at Ohio State influence your choice of career or your career path?
As an agricultural communication major, the courses I was able to enroll in helped further develop my passion for video production and design. I was able to expand my skill set and learn more about these areas of marketing communications.

What were you involved in as an Ohio State student?
I was involved in FarmHouse Fraternity, the CFAES Ambassador program, Agricultural Communicators of Tomorrow, Campus Crusade for Christ, CFAES Banquet Committee and Scarlet and Gray Ag Day.

What classes did you enjoy the most while at Ohio State?
I really enjoyed the design courses as well as the AgriNaturalist capstone class. However, my favorite class was Tom Stewart’s public relations course. The class provided real-life hands on experience in providing marketing solutions for a select client. I loved being able to utilize all the skills we gained in our coursework to develop and execute a marketing plan.

Did a professor or faculty member leave an impact on your education or future career?
Throughout my time at Ohio State, I had a tremendous opportunity to learn and grow from many staff members. My advisor, Dr. Emily Buck, was the first faculty member who help guide me during my time at Ohio State. She was an incredible advisor, mentor and professor. I always appreciated her encouragement and the opportunities she provided that helped me pursue my career interests.

What is your favorite memory related to your time at Ohio State?
My favorite memory from my time at Ohio State was my involvement in FarmHouse Fraternity. Winning CFAES AgLympics, participating in float build and Mirror Lake jump were some my most memorable experiences as a member of the fraternity. 

What was your first job following your education at Ohio State?
My first job after Ohio State was with AGCO Corporation as a Marketing Representative.


As of today, what is your favorite career highlight?
The highlight of my short career has been being able to develop and lead the video content strategy at AGCO. I have not only had the opportunity to edit and produce videos but also manage the production of videos with our external agency.

What advice would you give to a current student?
Your college career is what you make it. It’s one of the best opportunities you have to learn, grow and discover who you are. No other time in your life gives you access to countless friends, incredible experiences or an opportunity to learn from your peers and professors.

What did ACEL cultivate in you?
ACEL cultivated in me a desire to be curious, try something new and never be afraid to ask questions.

Buckeyethon 2018


In just a few days, a number of students from the Department of Agricultural Communication, Education, and Leadership will participate in BuckeyeThon’s 24 hour dance marathon.

BuckeyeThon members, Ohio State students, faculty/staff, and the community of Columbus residents participate in events throughout the year which culminate in a Dance Marathon to both monetarily and emotionally support our BuckeyeThon families. Through BuckeyeThon, Ohio State students have the opportunity to Pay It Forward and to change forever the lives of kids fighting cancer.

BuckeyeThon’s Dance Marathon is an annual celebration of the fundraising that Ohio State has done for the year in support of Nationwide Children’s Hospital. The mission of BuckeyeThon is to create awareness and raise funds for children with cancer. In 2017, BuckeyeThon partnered with The Ohio State University Foundation, Alumni Association, and the James Cancer Research Hospital for the first time, and raised $1,510,036.39 For The Kids!

Over the past 18 years, BuckeyeThon has raised over $6.5 million in total. BuckeyeThon has set it’s largest goal to date for the 2018, with a goal of raising $2 million.

Like the Dance Marathon’s name suggests, there will be lots of dancing as we celebrate the lives of children everywhere. We wish the ACEL students luck, as they dance the night away!

You can support these dancers fundraising goal by clicking on the link at the end of their summaries.

Meghann Winters

I am participating in BuckeyeThon to raise funds and bring joy to children who are battling cancer at Nationwide Children’s Hospital.  Everyone has the opportunity to make a difference every day of their life, whether it be a small or large one.  That’s why I felt the need to participate in this philanthropy in order to make a difference in the lives of those who are battling cancer.  I have hope for all of those affected by cancer and anticipate that my fundraising efforts will positively impact the lives of those affected.

Donate to Meghann’s Goal















Meredith Oglesby 

One of my favorite memories of first year as a student at The Ohio State University was Buckeyethon. Buckeyethon is a 24-hour dance marathon where students raise money and interact with patients from Nationwide Children’s Hospital. During the dance, I met one little girl whose name was Regan. Regan was diagnosed in February of 2014 with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia. Regan battled through each treatment with a positive attitude and completed treatment in April of 2016.  During Buckeyethon Reagan and I made tutus, danced, and talked about all her favorite things. Regan taught me the importance of staying strong and living life to the fullest. She is now a strong, happy, and healthy six-year-old who loves ballet, the color pink, and singing. Because of donations to Nationwide Children’s Hospital children like Regan are encouraged to be strong and are given the treatment to ensure they will be able to live a healthy happy life. I would like to continue to make an impact in the lives of these children this year as I participate in Buckeyethon in 2018.

Donate to Meredith’s Goal


























Industry in the News


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The Future of Ag, Happening Today

Family Farms and Food System Transparency for Change


Avoiding tragedy on the farm: UNMC professor receives $100,000 grant to update safety resources

Community farm aiming to get residents growing their own food


Cattle expert Temple Grandin to speak in Redding in February

Upcoming “Healthy Farms Conference” Connects Foodies with Farmers


Cargill invests in Irish maker of facial recognition tech for cows

Ethiopia: Attempt to Up Livestock, Fishery Sector

Alumni Spotlight: Dr. Rosemarie Rossetti ’75, ’79 MS

Rosemarie crowned Ms. Wheelchair Ohio 2004

Dr. Rosemarie Rossetti is from Columbus and completed her bachelor, master and doctoral degrees at Ohio State. She is currently self-employed as the president of Rossetti Enterprises Inc.

Why did you select your major or graduate program?
I selected a dual major in agricultural education and horticulture for my undergraduate program. I had always enjoyed school as a student and wanted to become a teacher. In high school I took a horticulture class my senior year and knew that I wanted to learn more about plants and focus on this subject in college

Why did you choose to attend The Ohio State University?
I choose Ohio State because it was close to my home so I could live at home and commute. Ohio State had the majors I was interested in and was affordable.

How did your education at Ohio State influence your choice of career or your career path?
I attended Ohio State for my B.S. (1975), M.S. (1979) and Ph.D. (1982) degrees. I chose agricultural education for all my degrees. My first job when I graduated was teaching horticulture at the Delaware Career Center. After three years of teaching, I returned to Ohio State for my graduate education. In 1986, I was hired on the faculty in the Department of Agricultural Education and continued teaching there until 1997.

What campus activities were you involved in as an Ohio State student?
As a graduate student I was the president of the Graduate Student Association in the Department of Agricultural Education for a year. I was hired by the Department as a graduate teaching assistant and research assistant.

What classes did you enjoy the most while at Ohio State?
The classes I enjoyed the most were the teaching methods classes taught by Dr. L.H. Newcomb. I found these classes to be totally relevant since my career path was to be a teacher. Newcomb made the classes lively, interesting, and interactive. He was a master teacher showing how people learned and how to teach.

What faculty member played an important role to you during your education?
Dr. L.H. Newcomb. He was a graduate teaching assistant when I enrolled in my first agricultural education class as an undergraduate student. He was a wonderful instructor and taught me what I needed to do in order to teach. He encouraged me to take my first job teaching horticulture.

When I enrolled in the department as a graduate student, he was my faculty advisor and taught the teaching methods class. He was also the leading faculty member for my dissertation. Again I learned from him. He was a role model to me. I was fascinated in how clearly he communicated. As a speaker he was eloquent and chose his words wisely.

In 1986, when there was an opening for a new faculty member to be hired in the department, I interviewed with Newcomb and many others. Newcomb called me at home to invite me to start working at the Department. He became my boss. I continued to learn from him.

What is your favorite memory related to your time at Ohio State?
Being a part of the Department as a graduate student was an exciting time for me. I became friends with many fellow students and the faculty. I enjoyed being a teaching assistant for the communications and teaching methods classes. The other graduate students who had offices in the Department were my best friends. They took the same classes as me and we studied together. Social events were always a fun break including being on the water polo team with them. 

What was your first job following your education at Ohio State?
My first job when I graduated was teaching horticulture at the Delaware Career Center.

Share the positions you have held throughout your career.

Rossetti Enterprises Inc., Columbus, OH
Speaker, consultant, author
President, January 1997 – Present

Fortuna Press, Columbus, OH
Publisher and author of “Take Back Your Life! Regaining your footing after life throws you a curve
President, April 2003 – Present

Rosewell Publishing Inc., Columbus, OH
Publisher and co-author of “The Healthy Indoor Plant
President, October 1991 – September 2000

The Ohio State University, Columbus, OH
Assistant Professor, July 1990-January 1997
Vocational Education Consultant, October 1987-June 1990
Instructor, September 1986-September 1987
Graduate Teaching Associate, September 1978-June 1982

Stanford Interior Gardens, Inc., Columbus, OH
Vice President of Sales and Marketing, July 1978 – September 1986

Delaware Career Center,  Delaware, OH
Horticulture Instructor, August 1975 – July 1978

During your career, honors or awards have you been presented?

Instructor of the Year – Columbus Realtors – April 2016
Tourism Partner of the Year – Gahanna Convention & Visitors Bureau – March 2016
Proclamation from the Ohio Senate – December 2014
Unsung Hero Humanitarian Award – People of Distinction Foundation – October 2014
Twenty Outstanding Women You Should Know – 2008
National “Roll Model” Discovery Through Design – 2005
Wheelchair Ohio – 2004
Winter Olympic Torchbearer – 2002
Remarkable Women Award – 2002
National Speakers Association, Ohio Chapter Award – 2002
Woman Business Entrepreneur of the Year- 1999
Women in New Growth Stages – Women Honoree Award – 1999
Franklin Park Conservatory – Recognition of Service Award – Board of Trustees – 1999
The Ohio State University College of Agriculture Teaching Award – 1995

As of today, what is your favorite career highlight?
I am most proud of working with my husband, Mark Leder as we led a national design team, served as the general contractors, and built our home, the Universal Design Living Laboratory.

This is a national demonstration home and garden that showcases universal design, accessible design, and green building practices. Because of my spinal cord injury on June 13, 1998, I needed a home that would provide me independence since I use a wheelchair. This home project spanned a 10 year journey for Mark and me. Much of my current speaking, writing and consulting are centered on our home. 

What advice would you give to a current student?
You were attracted to your major because of many experiences in your life and a vision for what you want to do and who you want to become. Realize that learning is a lifelong process. Continue to pursue advanced degrees, new areas of study, and seek out certifications in your field of study.

What did ACEL cultivate in you?
The ACEL Department cultivated friendships with the faculty, students and staff in the Department, in other Departments, and in the College. When I think back on the decades that I have spent in the Department, I think of the people I worked for, worked with, and had as students in my classes. I cherish and continue to nurture these life-long friendships.

Rosemarie and her husband, Mark Leder, in their home the Universal Design Living Laboratory

Rosemarie speaking at her client’s Leaders Conference.

100 years of Agricultural Education

On July 1, 2017, our department, the Department of Agricultural Communication, Education, and Leadership, celebrated our centennial – 100 years!

Throughout the past eight months, we have been celebrating in a variety of ways – spotlighting alumni, luncheons and happy hours for alumni, professional development day, a student ice cream social and a large banquet during Ohio State’s Homecoming Weekend.

As a result of our department’s founding, vocational agriculture programs around Ohio were created in the following months. Vocational agriculture enjoyed great acceptance from schools and communities from the very beginning. The new educational concept of “learning by doing” was practical and effective. The teachers’ interest and participation in the activities of the community were appreciated. The “ag room” soon became a popular place in the community and the program grew. Some programs were known as the “Smith-Hughes class” or were excited for the “Smith-Hughes” teacher to arrive to the school to start teaching.

Ohio was an early innovator. Nineteen Ohio communities had incorporated vocational agriculture into their school system by January 1, 1918. Below is a document that shows the original 19 vocational agriculture programs in Ohio. While some of these schools did not host a program for long, many of these communities still have an active agricultural education program in place today.
This list is notable for not just the schools but for the names of so many that would play a large role in the college who started out as vocational agriculture teachers.

A. C. Kennedy was a vocational agriculture teacher for 19 years and then went on to join the faculty at Ohio State in agricultural engineering. He was a professor with that department from 1937 until his retirement as professor emeritus in 1954.

William Montgomery was a vocational agriculture teacher for two years and then went on to become the first county extension agent in Fayette County. He was also the longest-serving extension agent in Fayette County, serving for 40 years.

Herschel Nisonger was a vocational agriculture teacher for two years before becoming an assistant professor with the Department of Agriculture (now ACEL). Nisonger served as advisor to some of the first master’s theses and eventually left the department to become the first junior dean of the College, specifically to help with advising. Nisonger was passionate about special education and went on to help head up the special education program with the College of Education. The Nisonger Center at Ohio State, which is dedicated to improving the lives of adults with disabilities, is named in his honor. Nisonger is also featured on the cover of Agricultural Education magazine in an article celebrating the in the 50th Anniversary of Smith-Hughes.

Harry Atwood was a vocational agriculture teacher for four years (and the instructor at the Hilliard Training Center for two years) before accepting a position with the USDA.

We hope those schools who celebrate 100 years of an agricultural education program (formerly known as vocational agriculture), take the opportunity to celebrate this milestone achievement!