TFB offers student teaching scholarship for ag education majors


By Julie Tomascik

College students pursuing a degree in Agricultural Education now have an additional scholarship opportunity available through Texas Farm Bureau.

The state’s largest farm and ranch organization has created the Student Teaching Award, which will provide scholarships valued at $2,500 to four senior Agricultural Education students during the spring semester of off-campus student teaching.

“Student teaching is an invaluable part of the learning experience for future agricultural science teachers,” Mia Balko, TFB director of Youth and Urban Outreach, said. “The semester of off-campus student teaching allows students to be in the classroom full-time and work side-by-side with a veteran ag teacher, learning hands-on how a classroom operates.”

During the student teaching experience, the college senior is not able to have a job and is not always placed at a school district in close proximity to home or their university.

“This scholarship aims to alleviate some of the financial burden for these students who are preparing for careers in agricultural education,” Balko said.

There are currently about 2,400 full time agricultural science teachers in Texas and 1,100 active FFA chapters. There are about 10 new FFA chapters chartered each year, leading to more teaching positions opening across the state.

“Agricultural science teachers are in demand, and Texas Farm Bureau wants to do our part helping students prepare to fill those roles,” Balko said. “They help educate students of today and tomorrow, highlighting agriculture to students who are the future leaders of tomorrow.”

The new scholarship application is now available online.

Applications must be submitted on or before midnight Nov. 1.

The scholarship application includes a written essay and letter of recommendation from a college or university supervisor.

The student must be part of a TFB member-family to qualify and that membership must be maintained for the duration of the scholarship.

More information and eligibility requirements are available online at www.texafarmbureau.org/youth/youth-opportunities.

Scholarship winners will be announced by Jan. 7, 2019.

Four scholarships will also be awarded in the fall of 2019 to seniors majoring in Agricultural Education and going into their student teaching semester. Details on those scholarships will be released next year.

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