By Julie Tomascik

Curious students fill the classroom where intriguing lesson plans await them. And a teacher, passionate and patient, takes them on a journey of agriculture.

Field trips. Experiments. Hands-on activities. A new world awaits, opening the door to new concepts and maybe even future careers.

But teachers are the key. It’s their willingness to teach innovative ideas and to challenge students to step outside their comfort zones.

And in Texas, about 2,000 agricultural science teachers empower 170,000 students to be their best. In life. Leadership. Careers. Anything they set their mind to.

They travel across the Lone Star State with students to attend stock shows, compete in FFA career development events, give speeches and more.

They became an educator not by chance, but by choice. To impact students. Build relationships. Share their passion and knowledge for different agricultural careers—communications, engineering, science, education, farming. And so much more.

But other teachers, even those who aren’t certified to teach agriculture science, incorporate those concepts into their classrooms.

We see it with past recipients of Texas Farm Bureau’s Ag in the Classroom Outstanding Teacher Award, which recognizes teachers who go above and beyond to bring agriculture to life in their science, reading, math and history classes.

Our future depends on our youth. And they’re in classrooms today. Learning information and developing the skills they need to grow Texas.

So, I salute ag teachers, and all teachers, during this Teacher Appreciation Week. But also every day of the year—in school or during summer—when they’re hard at work molding the future of agriculture and Texas.