Alumni Spotlight: Ken Parrott ’89


Ken Parrott lives in Lexington, Ohio and is currently the agricultural education teacher at Northmor High School in Northern Morrow county.

Why did you select your major or graduate program?
Back in the 1980’s you could dual major so my degree was ag education/animal science. I originally wanted to be a veterinarian, but my family background of education, especially in ag education, rubbed off on me.  My family is full of teachers and my grandfather, Ralph Howard, was a key part of starting FFA in Ohio serving as both executive secretary and Sstate advisor in the infancy of Ohio FFA.  My active involvement in the FFA in high school influenced me to become an ag teacher.

Why did you choose to attend The Ohio State University?
Several reasons influenced my decision.  My father was a graduate of Ohio State.  The rest of my older siblings all went to Muskingum, but knowing that I wanted to pursue a degree in agriculture made Ohio State an easy choice.

How did your education at Ohio State influence your career path?
I had some great professors and great experiences at the Ohio State University in both the ag education and animal sciences departments.  But, when this new guy named Dr. Jamie Cano arrived to the Department of Agricultural Education and I had a few classes with him, I knew that I was making a right choice in my career decision.

What were you involved in as an Ohio State student?
I was very involved in the Alpha Gamma Sigma fraternity, Agriculture Education Society and Saddle and Sirloin. My first year and a half of college I worked on the slaughter floor at the OSU Meat Lab and then the last couple of years I lived and worked at the Sheep Center and worked for Ron Guenther.

What classes did you enjoy the most while at Ohio State?
That is a tough one cause I had so many great instructors in both ag education and animal science.  My love for livestock made many of my animal courses some of my favorites. Anyone that ever had Dr. Tyznik for any nutrition classes could never forget his presence and influence.  I always enjoyed my advanced animal science classes with Dr. Steve Baertsche.  I had some memorable experiences with Dr. Lowel Hedges in the ag ed department and I had the nicest advisor in the world, Dr. Jan Henderson.  But without a doubt, the professor that influenced me the most and I enjoyed thoroughly attending his classes was Dr. Jamie Cano.

Dr. Cano had the biggest influence on me. He was brand new to Ohio State and was trying hard to make an impression. He recognized a talent of teaching in me and pushed me hard to excel. His instruction greatly influenced who I am today.

What is your favorite memory related to your time at Ohio State
There are a lot of them and it would be hard to picked my favorite. Probably most of stories I share revolve around my experiences with Alpha Gamma Sigma. We had a lot of fun back then and I experienced college with a lot of great people.

What was your first job following your education at Ohio State?
When I graduated in 1989, ag teaching openings at the time were pretty scarce.  I took the first job I interviewed for and that was a teaching position at Lincolnview High School near Van Wert, Ohio. A year later I moved closer to home at Highland High School. The following year, my home school, Northmor High School, called me home and I have been here for the last twenty-seven years.

As of today, what is your favorite career highlight?
I have been fortunate to helped a lot of students achieve their FFA dreams.  I have coached many successful FFA teams at the state level as well.  I have also been blessed to have my own three kids in my program and without a doubt, my son Zach winning the State FFA Sheep Proficiency Award has to be right up there as one of my favorite career highlights.

What advice would you give to a current student?
Take advantage of ALL that Ohio State has to offer.  Your education is important but the university experience is just as important. Get involved in as many things as you can handle whether it be the greek system or student clubs and organizations.

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