Teaching Agriculture with Ben Maples – AgGrad Live 015

Ben Maples is a passionate agriculture teacher at Elkmont High School in Alabama who takes his profession to heart as he hopes to make an impact in his students’ future and the betterment of the community. Aside from being an FFA advisor, Ben also teaches five classes daily, equips his students through Career Development Education activities, and coaches various agriculture-related teams. He spends his time at home reaching out to sponsors, his team, and the community.


Natalie Bartlow is one of the top livestock judges in Alabama and a junior agriculture student at Elkmont High School. Ben helped Natalie open her eyes to the many opportunities in agriculture while she plans to go to Mississippi State University to pursue embryology for her post-secondary education.


Ben joins me today to share the joys and challenges of teaching agriculture in and outside the classroom. He shares how to determine if teaching agriculture is right for you, what makes agriculture different from other school subjects, and the various educational options for people who want to teach agriculture education in Alabama. Natalie shares her perspective on the agriculture industry.


“Most people think that they need to know everything. It doesn’t have to be that way. It’s a learning curve, but you get over that learning curve with some dedication and hard work.” – Ben Maples


Today on AgGrad Live:


  • An honest perspective on agriculture from an ag student’s point of view
  • How a good agriculture teacher helps students with their career path and maturity as a person
  • What drives Ben to work so hard for his students
  • How he continues to learn and grow in the agriculture field
  • The national problem regarding demand on agriculture teachers
  • Turning points that made him see why his hard work is all worthwhile
  • Things he learned in the first two years of his career in agriculture education


Ben Maples’s Advice for AgGrads:


  1. For your first two years, teach somewhere else — don’t jump immediately into applying to your alma mater.
  2. If you are looking into agriculture education, see if you can get somebody to let you come in and teach a class, so you can determine if it is right for you before you get too far into it.

Connect with Ben Maples:


Connect, Share & ADVANCE Your Career in Agriculture


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21:21 If you want to learn more about agricultural careers, upcoming Facebook Live, and other opportunities related to agriculture, create a profile at Jobs.AgGrad.comtoday.


Tim Hammerich

Tim is a strategic communications consultant, founder of AgGrad, and the host of the "Future of Agriculture" podcast. Originally from California, he is now based out of Boise, Idaho.