Wisconsin agricultural educators attend National Agricultural Education Convention in New Orleans

Now Media Group


The Wisconsin delegation of agricultural educators attended the 67th annual convention of the National Association of Agricultural Educators.

National award winners from Wisconsin included the following:

• National Agriscience Teacher of the Year - Region III: Candice Franks, Badger (Lake Geneva) High School

• Outstanding Young Member - Region III: Jacob Cramer, Beaver Dam High School

• Outstanding Agricultural Education Teacher - Region III: Paul Larson, Freedom High School

• Lifetime Achievement - Region III: Keith Gundlach, Randolph

• Outstanding Cooperation - Region III: Pam Jahnke, Wisconsin Farm Report

• Outstanding Service Citation - Region III: Dr. Rick Bockhop, University of Wisconsin-Platteville

• Teacher Turn the Key Region - III: Walter Taylor, Plymouth High School

The Wisconsin Association of Agricultural Educators (WAAE), the state organization affiliated with NAAE also earned the following honors:

• Largest Student Membership Award – Region III, includes agricultural education students from the University of Wisconsin-River Falls and the University of Wisconsin-Platteville

• Distinguished Professional State Association – Region III

Wisconsin representation at the convention also included:

• NAAE Region III Vice President: Glenda Crook, Lodi High School

• DuPont Agriscience Institute Ambassadors: Shari Graffunder, River Valley (Spring Green) High School, Nathan King, Cashton High School

• Professional Development Session Presenters: Darren Swartz, Bloomer High School; Arica Kirkham, Augusta High School; Rachel Sauvola, New Richmond High School; Amy Gerhardt, Neillsville High School; Becky Wirkus, Stratford High School; Kim Houser, Wisconsin Heights (Mazomanie) High School

• NAAE Committee Leadership: Linda Sattler, Laconia (Rosendale) High School; Roger King, Holman High School

• Voting Delegates: Sattler, King, Wirkus, Dan Ziegler, New Glarus High School; Kirk Kramp, Campbellsport High School; Troy Talford, Sauk Prairie High School; Kevin Hoffman, Verona

• Other attending include Jeanna James, Chippewa Falls High School; Katie Christenson, Ellsworth High School; Rhonda Knapp, Waunakee; and Leslie Svacina, WAAE executive director

Wisconsin attendees spent time working with other agricultural educator associations in their region, learning about initiatives that have had success in other states, and collaborating to shape the direction of the national association for the upcoming year. They also participated in professional development focused on agriculture; sessions on building partnerships between agricultural educators, agribusiness leaders and policy makers; and professional recognition awards.

These educators are also members of WAAE, which is affiliate with the NAAE, the professional organization in the United States for agricultural educators. It provides its nearly 8,000 members with professional networking and development opportunities, professional liability coverage, and extensive awards and recognition programs. The mission of NAAE is 'professionals providing agricultural education for the global community through visionary leadership, advocacy and service.' To learn more about WAAE and agricultural education, visit