Cassy Tintzman is the vocational-agricultural (vo-ag) and FFA teacher at Victor. She has been there since 2014. Last fall she was awarded the Teacher Turn the Key Award. There was one winner selected from each state. This is a professional development scholarship and is awarded by the National Association of Agricultural Educators. It is given to teachers who are in their second to fifth year of teaching with hopes of helping these younger teachers with their classrooms and keeping them employed. Teachers who have been teaching agriculture for a while mentor these newer teachers and give them ideas on what works and what doesn’t work in the classroom.
Tintzman made the trip to Anaheim, California, the first week of December for the conference where she met with other teachers and industry leaders. She said the conference reminded her of why she teaches, how to teach certain subjects, and how to become a leader in the field.
“I was reminded of why I am here, teaching,” said Tintzman. “It’s why I have a passion and love for agriculture and passing that on to my students.”
Tintzman grew up in Corvallis on a farm. However, while she was in school, there was no FFA or agricultural education in the school. An attendee of the University of Montana, she became a teacher in Victor through the Vocational Industry program. In this program, a person has to have five years of experience in the field. She worked on the family farm, at the Western Ag Research Center, and was a crop advisor for Lakeland Feeds in Hamilton.
The ag education curriculum in Victor is made up of veterinary science, food science, horticulture, and many other agriculture-related subjects. As the FFA advisor, she leads students in SAE, (Supervised Ag Experience) which are individual projects with swine, goats, horticulture or other agriculture subjects; various competitions ranging from livestock and meat judging to public speaking and ag issues. Last year, Gracie Smith, who is now a senior, went to the national convention where she did a prepared speech on vertical farming.
Tintzman said that all these activities make the FFA and ag ed experience fun and engaging. With the recent award and the experience she gained while in California, she is looking forward to bigger and better experiences for her students.