Elsberry Schools has recently received notification by the National Association of Agricultural Educators that the Elsberry’s Agricultural Education Program has been chosen as an Outstanding Program in the Nation. Elsberry’s Ag program and FFA Chapter is led by educators, Jason Vandivort and Sarah Ray.
To begin the selection process Elsberry was chosen as a top program in the State of Missouri. The next hurdle completed for the chapter was being selected as a Region IV Outstanding Program. This selection moved them forward giving them the national selection.
This award would normally have been presented in December, but like so many events having been cancelled, the advisors are waiting for information of how it will now be presented.
Excited about the award, Ray explained, “This award program recognizes the importance of every aspect of an Agricultural Education program, which adds to the prestige of this honor. This honor truly shows that the right support system can help a program and its member flourish to their fullest potential.”
This award is based on several aspects of the program, including (but not limited to) location/logistics of the county, program mission, Supervised Agricultural Experience (SAE Projects), curriculum and standards, teaching methods, leadership development, partnerships, marketing, and professional growth of the teachers, equipment offered in the classrooms include, greenhouses, food science lab, small engines lab, metal shop, wood shop and a school farm.
The program also prides itself on its partnership with other organizations. Such as, Elsberry Elementary School, St. Jude´s Hospital, Salvation Army, Mississippi Valley Regional Blood Center, Lincoln County Farm Bureau, NE District FFA Expo, National Wild Turkey Federation, Dog Trials Groups, Lincoln-Pike Cattlemen’s, Missouri Department of Conservation, Lincoln County Democrats and Republican Clubs, MFA, Sydenstricker Nobbe Partners/Ennis Implement, Lincoln County First Responders (Elsberry Fire & Police, LC Ambulance), and Elsberry FFA Alumni & Parent Association.
Teachers Vandivort and Ray spend countless hours not only working on the Ag program, but working with students so they can be successful.
Both advisors acknowledge that many of their projects could not be completed without the help of George Nieters.
When asked what he thought about such an honor, Vandort said, “This is a great honor and we are humbled. It is amazing that through the help of everyone in the community we have been able to build a program to give so many opportunities to our members throughout the years. This is more than an award, this is an achievement of what can happen when a community works together to combine the tools for student success.”