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February 19, 2013

No bumper crop

THOMASVILLE — First-year agricultural education teachers are earning an annual salary of $45,000. So why is there a shortage of agricultural education teachers around the state?

 That’s the dilemma facing leaders in ag education, including Jason Peake, associate professor, and Diana King, assistant professor, at the University of Georgia College of Agricultural and Environment Sciences on the Tifton campus.

 “The last research we conducted shows Georgia still has a shortage of agriculture teachers and that trend has continued for the past 30 years,” Peake said.

 Many factors contribute to the deficit, Peake said. Employees are not staying in the same position for 30 years anymore. Peake estimates 50 percent of Georgia’s agriculture teachers either move or leave the profession within the first five years. Other factors include geographical limitations. Many graduates, who are trained as agriculture teachers, aren’t able to relocate.

See Wednesday's edition for more details.

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