By: Lily Biggs, Contributing Writer
The Missouri Department of Agriculture chose Mr. Scott Stone, CHS agriculture teacher and FFA advisor, as the Agriculture Educator of 2018. Nominees were judged on their impact on youth in the Missouri agriculture system.
There are many factors that continue to inspire Stone to teach agriculture at CHS. About the industry directly, he commented that “If we do not have agriculture, we will not be able to feed ourselves or the world. Less than 2% of our population are directly involved in agriculture. If we do not educate our citizens, then we will lose an industry that is a backbone of our country.” Stone also loves to work with the students. He enjoys fulfilling their desires to learn and grow as both people and agriculturists.
Centralia High School’s Agriculture Department and FFA offers many unique benefits to Stone. On top of the great staff and environment, the job provides a challenge for him as a teacher. Stone has to work hard to reach all the students. “I feel like we have a great mix of students who are involved in agriculture and those who are not. This always makes my job challenging, so I do not bore the students who are in agriculture without losing the students who are not involved,” he said. The impact he has on these students is always worth it in the end.
The FFA chapter has reached major heights in the last year with the help of Stone and the FFA advisors. Some of his favorite memories from the last year include having the Centralia FFA named the number one chapter in the state and watching Austin Stanton, CHS graduate, earn his American Star Farmer award at the 2018 FFA National Convention.
Stone’s work in Centralia’s agriculture department has made a big impact on the students and community, and he felt privileged to receive this recognition. “I was very honored and humbled to receive this award. It is very humbling to be selected from such a prestigious group of men and women,” he said.
In addition to Stone, these agriculturalists received awards from the Missouri Department of Agriculture:
Missouri Agriculture Environmental Steward: Ryan Britt of Clifton Hill
Missouri Agriculture Communicator: Christine Tew of Jefferson City
Missouri Agriculture Legacy: Sam and Dorothy Harris of Wentzville
Missouri Agriculture Volunteer: Bill Kessler of Mexico
Missouri Farm Innovation: Matthew Hardecke & Jessica Hardecke of Steelville
Missouri Food Animal Veterinarian: Dr. Sally Burd of Graff
Missouri International Exporter: Craig Johnson of Eldorado Springs