McCullough wins Outstanding Young Ag Teacher award

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By ANTHONY FLORES

Liberty Hill High School Ag teacher Callie McCullough may be fairly new to the classroom, but her work with students makes her appear as a seasoned veteran. For her hard work and dedication, she has been named the Agriculture Teacher Association of Texas’ Outstanding Young Ag Teacher of the Year. The award honors outstanding performance in the first five years of a teacher’s career.

“I was very excited,” she said. “It was amazing to be recognized at the state level by the Agriculture Teacher Association of Texas,” said McCullough. “It is rewarding to know that I am on the right path in my career. Winning this award is a great validation of what I have achieved within my first five years of teaching.”

Agriculture runs deep in McCullough’s family. She is the fifth generation raised on her family’s cow-calf operation in Robertson and Leon counties. For the young Ag instructor, working with animals is second nature. With a father who ranches full-time and a mother who is a retired educator of 29 years, McCullough has the tools and skills needed to succeed in her field.

“My background around cattle, the ranching way of life along with a mother as an educator equipped me to be the agriculture science teacher that I am today,” she said. “Growing up, I participated in 4-H and FFA showing swine, broilers, market steers, commercial heifers at the Robertson County Fair, and Commercial Steers at the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo.”

McCullough is a graduate of Texas A&M University with an Animal Science and Agricultural Communications and Journalism degree. While teaching full time in her previous district, McCullough earned a Master of Agriculture degree in Agricultural Development.

With a love for agriculture and digging deep into the many aspects of the field, McCullough cherishes the opportunity she has to teach this field to future generations and instill lessons of hard work in them.

“I have the privilege to teach agriculture, something that I have such a passion for and to share that passion and love with my students,” she said. “I am very proud to be able to set an example for my students that hard work, dedication, and being passionate about what you do leads to success.”

Many people continue to drift further and further from the United States’ agricultural roots. For McCullough, that’s the great challenge of what she does, showing her students how much agriculture plays a part in different aspects of everyday life.

“I believe that it is important that all children understand the significant role that agriculture plays in our society,” she said. “It is so cool to see a student gain knowledge and skills within agriculture or to see a student’s face light up or be shocked by the realization that agriculture plays a part in everything that we do. The challenge in teaching agriculture in today’s society is that the average American is now at least three generations removed from the farm.”

McCullough looks at the future and sees a difficult task on the horizon, providing food for a population that keeps growing. The young instructor feels it’s part of her job to get the next generation ready to help take on these future challenges.

“Teaching the next agriculture innovator, sales associate, research scientist, veterinarian, or possibly an agriculture science teacher is an exciting challenge to me,” she said. “We will soon have to find new ways to feed 10 billion people – and that is going to be a huge task. So, giving today’s students the background in an educational setting to help our society to get there is very important to me.”

With a bright future in a growing community like Liberty Hill, McCullough is part of a program that continues to grow to meet demand. The young instructor is proud to be one of the instructors helping to create outstanding citizens.

“As we continue to grow as a community, I hope to accomplish the same growth within the Agriculture Science Department, and we are well on our way,” she said. “This school year, we have added an Agriculture Science teacher and FFA advisor at both the high school and junior high because of the increasing number of students who want to be in our courses. This has been a true blessing, and we cannot thank the LHISD Administration enough for allowing this positive growth. Ms. Tori Davis at the high school and Ms. Abigail Flint at the junior high will be instrumental in the continued success put worth by Mr. Ricky Prescott and myself in the classroom and beyond.”

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