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GRTS Ag Department Earns High Honor
August 8, 2013

The agriculture program at Grand River Technical School has been selected as the 2013 Missouri Outstanding Middle/Secondary School Agricultural Education Program. This award, given by the National Association of Agricultural Educators, recognizes the nation's most successful agricultural education programs by highlighting the local programs and teachers that achieve success. Winners are educators who have developed an outstanding agricultural education program at either the middle school or high school level. Applicants are judged on a variety of criteria, including teaching philosophy, effective classroom and experiential instruction, development of partnerships, and professional growth.

GRTS Ag Instructor Rusty Black said the NAAE award is an honored distinction for the technical school. "The opportunity for our ag department to be recognized by this state to compete at national level shines the light on Chillicothe and the Grand River Technical School," Black said. Black said one of the primary strengths of GRTS is the school's ability to provide students with the skills to be successful in whichever field of work they choose. "We have an advisory committee of 12-13 people from the local area. They either come from different segments in the ag industry in our community or have some affiliation with FFA and the ag department," Black explained. "We try to listen to them and focus on things they think are important for our students to make them better employees for our society. The number one focus they have is leadership development. They want kids that will show up and work on time. They want kids who can verbally communicate. We try to give kids the opportunity to practice these skills."

The GRTS agriculture program competed against Outstanding Middle/Secondary School Agricultural Education Program award winners from surrounding states for the opportunity to be named the 2013 Region IV NAAE Outstanding Middle/Secondary School Agricultural Education Program. Regional winners will receive a plaque and expense paid trip to attend the 2013 NAAE convention. The Outstanding Middle/Secondary School Agricultural Education Program award is partially sponsored by Monsanto as a special project of the National FFA Foundation.

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