BRFHS Ag Ed Named Outstanding Program
The Outstanding Ag Ed Program is a culmination of hard work, cooperation, community support, success of students in the FFA organization and professional development. In 2014, the Black River Falls Agriculture Education program is recognized as Wisconsin’s Outstanding with Brad Markhardt as instructor, at their annual Professional Development Conference in Middleton on June 18, 2014.
The first line of the National Agriculture Teacher’s Creed states ‘I am an agricultural educator by choice not by chance’ the Wisconsin agriculture community is a better place because this gentleman has made the choice to build an outstanding program. Markhardt views himself as a facilitator leading his student to excellence. Whether it is through experimentation, classroom demonstrations, role-play scenarios, or a variety of processing activities students in this program continuously live the FFA motto ‘doing to learn.’ This year’s outstanding program winner deals daily in diversity, combining an urban school in a rural setting, developing the potential in learners with challenges beyond their control, and a variety of backgrounds.
Markhardt navigates these obstacles with ease or at least he makes it look easy. He has taken full advantage of professional trainings such as state and national conferences, as well as, becoming a DuPoint Agri-Science Ambassador. With these experiences Markhardt has shown his students how to be connected with the agriculture industry regardless of the fact that only 10% of his students have farm backgrounds. To accomplish this he utilizes a 1.2 acre land lab for individual SAE plots along with growing sweet corn, and having a vineyard, orchard, and apiary. In addition, this program has an 8 acre agronomic test plot that is managed by a student-run cooperative. The cooperative has lead to positive partnerships throughout the community and student recognition for achievements. Because of the program’s emphasis on hands-on learningnstudents have been able to demonstrate their talents through speaking contests, career development events and numerous other activities.WAAE congratulates 2014 Outstanding Program Winner Black River Falls.
Picture: Brad Markhardt, Black River Falls High School accepting award from Don Joskos, award sponsor.