It might be unusual for a future agriculture teacher to cite a welding class as an inspiration to enter the field of education. But that’s what happened to Jeff Sherman when he completed his College of Agriculture early field experience in Joseph, Ore.
While Sherman was assisting in a high school welding class, he managed to guide a young woman who was at first terrified of the activity to become a leader in the class.
“It was really fun to see that,” says Sherman. “I really liked working with the kids. It’s when I started getting excited about agricultural education.”
Sherman will start the 1-year Master’s program in agricultural education in September. The leadership he gained as a general agriculture student at Oregon State has been an excellent primer for a career in the classroom.
As a junior, Sherman served as the president of Alpha Gamma Rho, OSU’s agricultural fraternity. During his time there, he organized a recruiting committee that increased membership in the fraternity by half. He also organized service projects for Alpha Gamma throughout the year, including one that raised more than $2,000 for the organization Heifer International.
Sherman has also been an ambassador for the College of Agriculture, speaking to current students, high school students, alumni and deans, as well as traveling around the country to the World Agriculture Expo and the National FFA convention.
“It’s really cool being an ambassador,” says Sherman. “You learn really quickly how to talk to people. It’s priceless.”
Sherman plans on taking his leadership skills to the classroom when he graduates. “A lot of leadership and teaching is similar skills,” says Sherman. “When problems arise in the classroom, you need to know how to deal with them. You need to deal with different opinions and make it work.”