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Tara Fastert Named District Ag Educator At Conference

By Staff | Jul 16, 2009

FASTERT HONORED – Emmetsburg High School Agriculture Instructor Tara Fastert (left) received the Northwest District Agricultural Educator of the Year award from Barb Wilson (right) Ag Instructor at Marion Linn-Mar High School. – submitted photo

Emmetsburg High School Vocational Agriculture instructor Tara Fastert recently earned some special honors at the 2009 Iowa Association of Agricultural Educators (IAAE) Conference held June 22-25 at Ames, Iowa. Fastert, who joined the Emmetsburg Community School District in 2008, was named the Northwest District Agricultural Educator of the Year during ceremonies at the conference, which is attended by secondary and post secondary agricultural educators.

The award was based on some of Fastert’s accomplishments during her first year in Emmetsburg. Fastert gives much of the credit for her award to the enthusiasm of her students at Emmetsburg, and also to the instructors she had in high school and college who helped motivate her to meet the challenges of educating young people in the field of agriculture.

“My passion in life is mentoring students in agriculture,” Fastert noted. “My satisfaction come from teaching others what I know about agriculture and learning from others what I don’t know. I just want to make sure that I can pass on my passion and enthusiasm for agriculture to others.”

The Ag Educators conference provides an opportunity for the state’s agricultural educators to interact with their colleagues and participate in professional development activities centered on the National Quality Program Standards.

Various workshops and educational seminars were offered on the National Quality Program Standards, as well as how to improve local agricultural education programs. Conference participants also had the opportunity to tour the Iowa State University campus, the Iowa State University Dairy Farm, and the Iowa State University Agricultural Education 450 Farm Agricultural Mechanics Lab.

Guest speakers at the conference included Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey and Dale Gruis of the Iowa Department of Education. National updates were provided by Craig Frederick of the National FFA Organization, and Mike Gaul of the Iowa State University Agricultural Placement Office.

Fastert is a native of Rock Rapids and received her degree in Agricultural Education from South Dakota State University.