My name is Chris Coulombe and I teach agricultural science at a rural school in Texas. I started reading MJDOA a few months ago when a friend of mine liked the page on Facebook. I have been completely entranced by all of the stories since then and finally found some time to write my own story.
My job doesn’t require me to bet on rain, pray the market stays high, or watch as a storm destroys a few months hard work. It doesn’t require 10 hours in the blazing sun. No, my job doesn’t require those things, but without those things I wouldn’t have a job.
I teach ag education to students from 8th to 12th grade 7 periods a day. From welding to livestock production, I teach a bit of everything. I’ll be the first to admit that being an ag teacher is a really weird job. Practices at 7 in the morning for FFA competitions, teaching kids how to light an oxy acetylene torch, spending after school hours at the show animal facility are all just part of the job. No two days are ever the same, and I love every minute of it. I have the privilege of getting to teach the next generation about where the food they eat and the clothes they wear comes from, and man oh man if y’all could only see some of the faces when they find out!
Students involved in Ag education learn the value of a good work ethic, respect, and other skills that will hopefully make them good employees, but more importantly better people. My personal goal is that each student of mine leaves class with an appreciation for the American farmer, rancher, scientist, and any other person who continues to make agriculture what it is today. At the end of the day, none of what I do would be possible without these folks. My students may go into agriculture for a career, or they may decide to pursue their happiness elsewhere. As long as they remember who feeds and clothes them, I believe they will change the world.