Release Courtesy of Texas State University
San Marcos, TX - Texas State University has announced that Molly Huttar of Madison Central School has successfully completed its 2021 Agricultural Mechanics Academy. The program is a national agricultural educator training event hosted at Texas State University in San Marcos, Texas.
Huttar was one of twenty participants from across the United States selected to participate.
The academy was an intensive 10-day training that included hands-on learning and train-the-trainer style lessons in agricultural mechanics focused on small gas engines, residential wiring, and welding. This training was held from July 27th through August 5th under the direction of Dr. Ryan Anderson, assistant professor in agricultural education and agricultural mechanics at Texas State University. Dr. Anderson was able to develop and host this training at no cost to the participants through funding by the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture, AFRI Professional Development for Agricultural Literacy Priority Area, award #2020—08590.
“The agricultural mechanics academy provided a tremendous opportunity for teachers across the nation to receive the training and skills necessary to be successful in the agricultural mechanics courses that they teach. Agricultural mechanics is a critical component of many rural communities and a core part of many agricultural education programs,” Dr. Anderson said. “This is an opportunity I wish I had as an early career educator.”
Participants of the academy received numerous classroom items and teaching resources for being selected and participating in the academy. Those items include classroom sets of small gas engines, curriculum, and tools from Briggs & Stratton with training provided by Power Distributors; welding gear packs, curriculum, and training from Lincoln Electric; and Agricultural Technical Systems and Mechanics textbooks from American Technical Publishers. Participants in the academy exceeded over 120 Continuing Education Credit hours for participating.
“Participating in the Ag Mechanics Academy at Texas State University was a big deal for myself and for our school," Huttar said. "I now have the knowledge, skills and tools I need to be able to teach a wide range of Agricultural mechanics topics to my students. There is a lot of interest at our school in small engines and Welding. I previously had very little understanding and experience in both, but after attending the ten day intensive training with the academy, I am so much more confident and comfortable with both welding, small engines and electricity. I am so much better prepared to go into another year of teaching!"
This year was the first year of the Agricultural Mechanics Academy. Through the USDA, funding has been obtained for annual training through 2024. For more information about this opportunity and to apply for training, please visit https://ag.txstate.edu/outreach/Agricultural-Mechanics-Academy.html