Kelly Dressler, from Hauser Jr.-Sr. High School, has successfully completed the 2021 Agricultural Mechanics Academy, a national agricultural educator training event hosted at Texas State University in San Marcos, Texas.

Dressler was one of 20 participants from across the United States selected to participate in the 2021 Agricultural Mechanics Academy.

"This opportunity has allowed me to build my skills and network with other agriculture educators across the nation to build up our program and course offerings," Dressler said. "I can’t wait to share what I’ve learned with the students in my classroom and community!"

This year was the first year of the Agricultural Mechanics Academy, an intensive 10-day training that included hands-on learning and train-the-trainer style lessons in agricultural mechanics focused on small gas engines, residential wiring, and welding. This first of the kind training was held from July 27th through August 5th under the direction of Dr. Ryan Anderson, assistant professor in agricultural education and agricultural mechanics at Texas State University. Dr. Anderson was able to develop and host this training at no cost to the participants through funding by the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture.

“The agricultural mechanics academy provided a tremendous opportunity for teachers across the nation to receive the training and skills necessary to be successful in the agricultural mechanics courses that they teach. Agricultural mechanics is a critical component of many rural communities and a core part of many agricultural education programs,” states Dr. Anderson. “This is an opportunity I wish I had as an early career educator.”

Participants of the academy received numerous classroom items and teaching resources for being selected and participating in the academy. Those items include a classroom sets of small gas engines, curriculum, and tools from Briggs & Stratton with training provided by Power Distributors; welding gear packs, curriculum, and training from Lincoln Electric; and Agricultural Technical Systems and Mechanics textbooks from American Technical Publishers. Participants in the academy exceeded over 120 Continuing Education Credit hours for participating.