National Association of Agricultural Educators (NAAE) Convention


Written by: Carley Snider
Felicity, Ohio
Agriscience Education

On November 28th, I travelled to Las Vegas, Nevada to attend the National Association of Agricultural Educators (NAAE) Convention as a member of the “Future Agriscience Teacher” Symposium. Along with 23 other undergraduate students from around the country, I attended various professional development meetings and workshops to better myself as a future educator. I was happy to represent Ohio State and the Department of Agricultural Communication, Education, and Leadership as a part of this program.


Photo credit: @j_hole_nwmsu on twitter

The first day of the program focused on teaching us about inquiry-based learning and how to incorporate it into our classrooms through various teaching techniques, activities and laboratories. Inquiry-based learning is a great tool in reaching all students in the classroom. We also engaged in a session about the CASE Institute to learn about how we can utilize that curriculum to increase learning opportunities for our students.

I attended various workshops geared towards increasing my content knowledge, classroom management skills and abilities to successfully advise an FFA chapter.

Two of the sessions I attended were hosted by Lincoln Electric. One focused on activities to use when teaching welding in the classroom and the other on successfully teaching mig welding. These were really helpful workshops, as I’ll be teaching welding next semester during my student teaching.

I also attended a great session discussing the inclusion of LGBTQ community members in agricultural education classes. It was great to hear about how agricultural education and the FFA are working towards being more inclusive to all students. I aspire to run an agricultural education program and FFA chapter that is welcoming to all students in my school.

Thanks to CHS, DuPont Pioneer and Growth Energy for sponsoring my time at the NAAE Convention. I’m grateful for opportunities to grow as a pre-service educator!


Photo credit: @RCMcLean on twitter

ACEL to Sponsor EXTENSION Africa Conference

The Center for African Studies (CAS) and partnering departments will host an international conference October 20th and 21st, 2014 on Agricultural Extension and Food Security in Africa.  The conference will feature paper presentations on food security, extension, gender, environment/climate change, private sector, information technology, youth and related issues on African development. The conference will be hosted at the Nationwide and Ohio Farm Bureau 4-H Center (Day 1) and the Fisher College of Business (Day 2).

Keynote Speakers will include
* Mr. Benedict S. Kanu, Lead Agricultural Expert, OSAN, African Development Bank, Abidjan, Cote D’Ivoire. Topic: “Prosects and Challenges of achieving Food Security in Africa”
* Dr. Keith Smith, Associate Vice President Agricultural Administration and Director, Ohio State University Extension. Topic: “100 Years of Cooperative Extension Service in the United States: Lessons for African Countries”
* Dr. Silim Nahdy, Executive Director, African Forum for Agricultural Advisory Services (AFAS), Kampala Uganda. Topic:  “The Future of Agricultural Extension in Africa”

Why the conference? Smallholder farm families account for more than 70 percent of Africa’s one billion population. Therefore, any hopes of increasing agricultural production and achieving food security must focus on this smallholders farming sector. Extension workers constitute the main source of information on modern farming methods for these farmers. Therefore, the greatest challenge, facing African leaders is making extension more effective. However, obstacles to extension effectiveness in Africa include: salaries, benefits and transportation but more significantly, the training of extension workers. Rondinelli argues that the process of agricultural and rural development programs in Africa is becoming increasingly complex yet extension workers lack the sophistication to cope effectively with this increasing complexity. What training do extension workers need? Is a common extension model for Africa possible? How can the effectiveness of extension be measured? The College of Food, Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, especially the Department of Agricultural Communication, Education and Leadership, which seeks to provide technical assistance to African countries on extension must address these critical issues.  This conference, organized by the Center for African Studies and the Office of International Programs in Agriculture, provides a forum for examining the future of extension in Africa’s agricultural transformation agenda. It is hoped that the conference will lead to policy changes, curriculum reform and field experimentation on extension effectiveness.

The conference will also feature paper presentations on research topics on food security, extension, and related issues.

Conference Sponsors include the Office of Diversity and Inclusion,the International Studies Program, the Mershon Center for International Security Studies, the Middle East Studies Center, OSU Extension, and Department of  Agricultural Communication, Education and Leadership. For more information on the conference please contact Laura Joseph, Assistant Director of the Center for African Studies or Robert Agunga, Director at: (614) 292-8169 or by email at