DuPont ‘Ag Academy’ Celebrates 10th Anniversary

DuPont News, May 22, 2012
The 2011 attendees of the National Agriscience Teacher Ambassador Academy.
The 2011 attendees of the National Agriscience Teacher Ambassador Academy.


To celebrate the 10-year anniversary of the National Agriscience Teacher Ambassador Academy (NATAA), DuPont more than doubled the event’s annual attendance by adding a second, week-long session to its 2012 schedule.  Forty-eight highly recommended agriscience teachers from 35 states will attend one of the two sessions, June 24-29 or July 8-13, at DuPont Chesapeake Farms in Chestertown, Md.  With these two classes, the "Ag Academy" will grow to 181 ambassadors of our country’s finest Agriculture Science teachers, representing 49 states and Puerto Rico.

“NATAA helps agriscience teachers see and connect the bridge between agriscience and agribusiness applications and science and math concepts so that student achievement is enhanced as measured by standardized tests,” said Jay Jackman, executive director of NAAE.  “Adding a second session to this great program is further evidence of the unwavering support of DuPont to agriculture education and innovative professional development opportunities for our teachers.”

The “Ag Academy” is a professional development institute, sponsored by DuPont as a special project of the National FFA (also known as Future Farmers of America) Foundation and the National Association of Agricultural Educators (NAAE), where agriculture teachers learn new inquiry-based teaching techniques to improve science learning.  Ecology, genetics and biofuels are just a few of the subjects investigated each year.  The goal of NATAA is to incorporate more science into existing curriculums, make learning fun and challenging for students. The result should be improved student performance in standardized science test scores.

“Food security is the great challenge of the 21st century,” said Rik Miller, president, DuPont Crop Protection.  “Meeting this global challenge starts with helping educators equip today’s students with the essential science and agricultural literacy and other critical skill sets they need to help them become the leaders of tomorrow who will improve food security for all.  The addition of the second academy demonstrates DuPont’s commitment to professional development opportunities for the nation’s agriculture science teachers.”

The National FFA Organization, with more than 523,000 members, operates under a federal charter granted by the 81st Congress of the United States.  FFA membership offers students life-changing opportunities  and prepares them for premier leadership, personal growth and career success.  The FFA organization represents  more than 300 careers in the food, fiber and natural resources industry.

The NAAE is a federation of state agricultural educators associations with more than 7,650 members. Currently NAAE is focusing on three areas - advocacy for agricultural education, professional development for agricultural educators and recruitment and retention of current ag educators. NAAE offers a variety of programs and services to support this three-pronged mission.