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Larson Named Wisconsin's Outstanding Ag Educator
Wisconsin Ag Connection - 06/30/2015

An ag teacher from Outagamie County has been selected as the state's Outstanding Agricultural Educator of the Year. Paul Larson of Freedom was honored during the Wisconsin Association of Agricultural Educators professional development conference, held last week in Middleton. The award recognizes members who conduct the highest quality agricultural education programs.

Larson has taught at Freedom High School since 1987. His teaching philosophy is based on the school motto, 'learning together for lifelong success.'

"In agriculture, students are able to apply skills and link concepts with the learning process," says Larson. "I love watching my students connect it all together and say 'I get that, that's why we do this in science, not it makes sense.'"

Also at the conference, Candace Olson of Badger High School was named Agriscience Teacher of the Year by the WAAE. That award is presented to teachers who have inspired and enlightened their students through engaging and interactive lessons in the science of agriculture. Walter Taylor, who teaches at Plymouth Comprehensive High in Plymouth, received the 'Turn the Key Award,' which is a scholarship to allow early career agricultural educators to attend the annual National Association of Agricultural Educators convention. And Jacob Cramer, the agricultural educator at Beaver Dam High School, received the Outstanding Young Member Award.

Meanwhile, the Unity Agricultural Education Program of Balsam Lake was this year's state winner in the WAAE Outstanding Agricultural Education Program. Jeanne Alling, who has taught at Unity High School for the past 20 years, has developed a strong program that includes introduction to ag, animal, food, natural resources and plant based courses. The facilities boast a school forest, horticulture plot, and greenhouse. The program has also received grants to create raised vegetable beds, begin a recycling program, food processing equipment and greenhouse supplies.

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