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The Transition of FFA to College

  Being goal oriented often means asking the question of what’s next after accomplishments. Receiving my American degree has been six years of hard work and a wonderful experience that has afforded me so many opportunities. There’s often a time of reflection and relief after you wrap up a chapter in your life. My FFA chapter has been truly amazing, and being able to finish it with such a high honor with my twin sister was so special. My parents were there to support us which made the memory even more dear to my heart. I cannot thank my hometown community, my three impactful advisors, or the Cambridge FFA Chapter enough for making this door in my life the most bittersweet to close. I will forever be an advocate for youth development organizations because of the opportunities to succeed they offer to youth. The week at the National FFA Convention continued to solidify my passion of sharing the story of agriculturalists around our nation. I am thankful for the College of Agricultural and

Returning to the Classroom

  Constantly striving to grow and improve is what motivated professor and student teaching coordinator, Kattlyn Wolf, Ph.D. to venture on a one semester sabbatical. Wolf spent the spring 2021 semester teaching part time at the Troy High School, in Troy where she also worked alongside Sam Hoffman AELC alum and current THS agriculture education instructor. Together, Hoffman and Wolf worked to teach and grow as instructors. Wolf described her time spent teaching as being similar to a student teaching experience, without being new to teaching. Wolf further explained the goal was to refresh her knowledge of secondary schools and reconnect with students in this age group. Wolf’s passion for educating youth about agriculture runs deep and has roots back to when she was involved in 4-H and FFA as a member. As a Wyoming State FFA Officer, Wolf began to truly realize her passion for teaching. “I really never considered teaching anything else — the vast array of possibilities open to students is

Student Spotlight: Emiliano McLane

  Coming from strong family values Emiliano McLane is the first in his immediate family to pursue a bachelor’s degree and make a difference in his family legacy. Coming from various Native American tribes across the west coast of the United States, Emiliano has paved the way to make his family proud of his successes in his life. Emiliano is originally from South Fork, Lee Nevada, where he is an enrolled member of the Te-Moak Tribe of Western Shoshone. Growing up, Emiliano had a rich agricultural background with his family having about 80 acres, where they raised cattle and grew hay. Emiliano is a senior studying agricultural education with the hope to teach agriculture in the future, but he also has a passion for research and environmental work. Emiliano earned his associate’s degree in Agriculture Business, Leadership, and Education through the College of Western Idaho. Being a part of the 2+2 Program paved the way for Emiliano to become a Vandal. “Having the opportunity to go to the

Student Spotlight: Loren Eells

Loren Eells plans to share his passion for learning with his students in the classroom in the near future. Eells is currently in his third and final year at the University of Idaho where he is studying Agricultural Education and has goals of teaching agriculture in the classroom. The New Plymouth, Idaho native is planning to graduate early and become an agriculture teacher. Eells explained, “I love learning and I think that’s why I’m called to it as well because there are so many different aspects of agriculture.” With a strong background in agriculture and FFA, becoming an Ag teacher felt like a perfect fit for Eells. Support from many aspects of Eells’s life has played a large role in his success and ambition. Eells expressed how supportive his family has been, “My parents have helped me out and my family has just been really supportive of me getting a higher education.” Being the first in his family to go to college has inspired Eells to not only become a teacher and achieve a high

Agricultural Education Alumnus Spotlight: Sam Hoffman

Growing up on a 2500 acre row crop farm nestled in the Palouse, started Sam Hoffman’s passion for agriculture. Starting in junior high school, Sam knew that he wanted to be an Ag teacher. Hoffman is now halfway through his 6th year of being a high school Ag teacher in the Troy school district. Hoffman is an alumnus of the University of Idaho and majored in Agriculture Education. Starting at a young age, Hoffman has always had a passion for the FFA organization, and that is what keeps his passion for teaching alive. Hoffman’s favorite thing about being an Ag teacher is “ helping students find their passion in the organization.” Being an Ag teacher has brought incredible opportunities to Hoffman. This past year, he had the opportunity to work with our department’s own Dr. Wolf. He agreed to this research project to help prepare pre-service teachers. This allowed Sam to see ways he can improve being an Ag teacher through Dr. Wolf’s advice, by comparing notes and finding ways to focus more

Rikki Ruiz Alumna Feature

Brave and bold-- a mindset that the Vandals and Vandal Alumna, Rikki Ruiz both share. The mindset of never underestimating your potential has led Ruiz and her small business, The Frosted Cowgirls Boutique to success.  The Pocatello, Idaho native now calls New Plymouth, Idaho home and will always be a proud member of the Vandal family. After receiving a masters in Agricultural Education with a focus on agricultural communications and industry relations and a Bachelors in Agricultural Business, Ruiz began her career and spent 12 years as a University of Idaho Extension Educator. During this time, she also created the western fashion boutique, The Frosted Cowgirls.  The Frosted Cowgirls Boutique was founded almost 12 years ago and has grown to have a storefront in Fruitland, Idaho, an online store and a mobile boutique that travels to rodeos across the region. Ruiz expressed her passion for her small business in stating, “ If someone feels beautiful, their confidence lifts, and they are e

Alumni Check-In: Alan Willmore

Alan Willmore, an agricultural educator at Jerome High School, has been teaching agriculture classes for seven years. Willmore was first interested in teaching ag because of his two ag teachers from Rigby High School — Mr. Hale and Mr. Burrie. However, his current teaching partners, Tom Clifton and Nicole Lebsack, are what keeps him going. Willmore goes on to say, “I would not be the teacher I am today without their help or inspiration.” Willmore says that his favorite part about his teaching career is seeing the passion in his students. He has been able to offer a senior course based in animal science. He describes the experience by saying, “These senior students have stuck through numerous classes with me. I’ve been able to watch them grow as students and individuals and helped them find their passion in agriculture.” Willmore thinks fondly of his time at U of I. He says, “I will always remember the trips I went on as part of the courses I took, from traveling to North Carolina to pa