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Agriculture Education Interview

Interview with Kelly Pritchett Mullins, President of the Alabama Association of Agricultural Education

We were fortunate to be able to interview Kelly Pritchett Mullins, President of the Alabama Association of Agricultural Education (AAGED). She shared the highlights of working as an agriscience instructor, as well as advice for future teachers.

agriculture teacherSome of our readers might not be familiar with what your subject, agricultural science or ‘agriscience’, entails – can you enlighten us?

Agriscience is a blend of traditional agriculture, the production of crops, livestock and poultry, and science where students use scientific skills they learn in the classroom and apply them to hands-on activities

You initially concentrated in agribusiness, before earning your MS in Agriculture Education and Extension. Can you share with us the factors that influenced your decision to concentrate in Agriculture Education?

I was working for Alabama Power Company as soon as I got out of college because there wasn’t any jobs available, that I qualified for, in the ag industry. After some time, I wanted to move back closer to my family so I talked to my mom about possible job openings here in Troy. She suggested I interview for the Ag teachers job at her high school. I got the job and have been teaching for 8 years. In late 2006 I made the decision to pursue my Masters in Ag Ed because it would help me develop my teaching skills and organization.

Technology is driving efficiency in almost all aspects of agricultural science. How do you prepare students to use and understand technology in the classroom?

In every class I teach, I incorporate use of laptops almost every week in to my lessons. From having students research topics discussed in class to completing webquests as lesson enrichment activities. I also have all of my students complete at least one PowerPoint project to present to the class.

What aspects of teaching agricultural science do you enjoy the most?

Getting to work outside and get my hands dirty! I enjoy interacting with the students in hands on projects. I am able to fine tune my skills as well as teach them new things that apply to everyday life.

If you weren’t teaching agricultural science today, what other subject(s) do you think you might teach?

I wouldn’t be a teacher anymore if I couldn’t teach ag. I would go into the field of ag legislation which has always been a passion of mine.

Do you have any advice to share with aspiring educators thinking about concentrating in Agriculture Education?

If you want a challenging, non-boring, rewarding career with limitless opportunities for personal growth, then Ag Ed is for you!