naaeWe've collected the (reprintable) recollections of those who attended the NAAE Convention this past December in Las Vegas.  We hope you find benefit from what they share!

Peter Lindstrom, Roseburg HS

"The most informative and beneficial workshop I attended at the ACTE convention was the Safe Tractor and Machinery Operation workshop that covered planning and implementing a program that meets the USDOL requirements to certify youth under the age of 16 for the operation of tractors and farm machinery.

"The workshop discussed how youth safety training in the operation of tractors and machinery in agriculture operations can be accomplished using the National Safe Tractor and Machinery Operation Program (NSTMOP) materials and procedures. This training was developed under a USDA Youth Farm Safety Grant and is designed to meet the USDOL requirements for the employment of youth under the age of 16 in production agriculture where operation of tractors and machinery is required.

naae2010group"The workshop helped me understand the USDOL requirements and the NSTMOP which allows agriculture and extension educators to act as the certifying agent. Agriculture educators can access the instructional materials and also have the opportunity to become a registered instructor (I took advantage of this opportunity and am now a registered instructor with NSTMOP).

"In addition to receiving the NSTMOP instructors manual at the workshop, I now have access to all of the NSTMOP instructional materials through their online website. This will allow me to utilize a new generation of training materials in a task sheet format developed by Penn State to assist in delivering effective training. This exceptional curriculum will be incorporated into the Agriculture Mechanics class at RHS which has always allowed students the opportunity to receive a tractor driver certification with no cost to the district."

Brook Rice, Madras HS
naae2010hannah"I had the opportunity to attend the 2010 ACTE/NAAE Conference in Las Vegas. It, as always, was a great experience. This year, however, I had the opportunity to take one of my administrators along. She is new to our school this year and has become a full-fledged supporter of not only my program but all CTE programs in the high school. I think what most impressed both of us was the career/vendor show. We had tremendous opportunity to discuss curriculum and equipment with a variety of vendors. In fact, we have ordered or will be ordering a variety of items that we looked at the conference. I highly recommend attending ACTE/NAAE in the future. Watching Reba McEntire sing the National Anthem at the opening night of the NFR wasn't half bad, either."

Ben Kercher, Glide HS
"Attending the NAAE/ACTE conference is expensive, takes time away from school, gives other teachers a reason to gossip and.... worth every bit of every sacrifice. "Late night networking" is a favorite past time and important but my favorite part of conference is connecting with resources and tools that I've been searching for. I was able to connect with vendor and obtain resources that will be used in class and make teaching easier and more effective. That's both a win-win and saw sharpening event for you Steven Covey followers!"

Dan McNary, Crook County HS
"I had the opportunity to travel to the NAAE Conference with one of my Assistant Principles, a Counselor, and one of our Math Teachers. There were several workshops that demonstrated how Ag programs had successfully incorporated math into their curriculum, and in turn, been allowed to offer Math credit. This was a very appealing aspect of the conference for us. After sitting through the workshops, we came home with many tools needed to be able to offer Math Credit through the AST Program at Crook County, and will hopefully be offering that opportunity to students come next fall."

Johnie Ferro, Silverton HS

johnieferro"The longer I teach the more I realize the importance of professional development. As agriculture teachers and FFA advisors we pile on so much that some days all we can do is try and stay afloat. It’s easy to get caught up in all of the details that correspond with our day to day responsibilities and to lose sight of what’s important or how we can improve our programs. Professional development is a chance to reflect on what works and what doesn’t in our programs, to gather new techniques to make our classrooms more effective and meaningful, and a chance to interact with the best teachers our profession has to offer. Sometimes it is so reassuring to here that we are not alone in our struggles and to know that our professional organization is there to support us. The NAAE conference was truly an eye opening experience where I met amazing teachers from around the country and came back to my school excited, energized and ready to conquer whatever obstacle was thrown my way. The camaraderie and teamwork that was shared with the Oregon delegation made me extremely proud and thankful to be an Oregon AG teacher"

Some key highlights:

  1. Use the NAAE Communities of Practice website! There are so many resources available and people who are willing to share their “trade secrets”.
  2. The “Agtivities” Handbook- Looking for a way to spice up your everyday lesson? If so check out these techniques to make learning FUN!
  3. Be active in the legislative process! We have to advocate for our programs and students. For tools to help, visit the NAAE Legislative Action Center on the NAAE website under advocacy.
  4. The CASE and DuPont programs are tremendous resources to integrate science and technology into your curriculum.
  5. Actively participate and get involved with OVATA conferences/meetings! We are stronger together and a lot of fun :)

Seth Stoddard, Woodburn HS

Since I teach in a science & technology academy, I attended workshops that would enhance my teaching in those areas. While at NAAE, I learned about Mapwing (, which uses the same technology as virtual home tours for real estate. I can use this to create "virtual field trips" for my students so that they can see an agriscience industry/phenomenon without loading into a bus, missing school, etc. There are also existing Mapwings of agricultural (and non-ag) areas. For example, you can "visit" an Egyptian agricultural school--something that most of us would never be able to do in real life.

Another application of Mapwing would be as an SAE or other project for students. They can use this to show somewhere that they have visited OR to document their SAE, thus creating a "home visit" for you and your class to enjoy.