Arkansas Tech University student Tabitha Hudspeth has received the 2016 National Association of Agricultural Educators (NAAE) Teach Ag Campaign internship.
Hudspeth, a freshman at Arkansas Tech and graduate of Nettleton High School in Jonesboro, will be stationed in the NAAE national office in Lexington, Ky., during summer 2016.
There, she will have the opportunity to share her story as an agricultural education student with NAAE members, her fellow agricultural education students and potentially high school students.
“I hope to be able to learn more about agriculture education programs at both high school and college campuses across the nation,” said Hudspeth. “I would then like to bring ideas back to Arkansas Tech and possibly implement those methods which would benefit our school. I also want to gain more experience with public relations and graphic design to be able to use to continuously promote agriculture on a local, state and even national level.”
According to its website, NAAE consists of 8,000 professionals “providing agricultural education for the global community through visionary leadership, advocacy and service.”
NAAE states that the National Teach Ag Campaign is “designed to raise awareness of the need to recruit and retain quality and diverse agriculture teachers, encourage others to consider a career teaching agriculture and celebrate the positive contributions that agriculture teachers make in their schools and communities.”
Sponsoring organizations for the National Teach Ag Campaign include the National Council for Agricultural Education, the National Association of Agricultural Educators, the CHS Foundation, DuPont Pioneer and Growth Energy as a special project of the National FFA.
“I think one the major strengths of the agriculture education program at Tech is that the whole agriculture department is invested in each student’s education and career,” said Hudspeth. “Although I am only a freshman, I feel comfortable with all the professors in the agriculture department and they truly care about my future. They know what is going on in students’ lives and make sure that we feel welcome and comfortable to come to them when we need help. Another strength is how much the professors encourage students to step outside their comfort zone and try new things. They promote internships and volunteer opportunities that they think will advance our careers and diversify us.”