The Nebraska Farm Bureau Foundation for Agriculture Thursday unveiled an Agriculture Teacher Scholarship and Loan Assistance program at the state FFA convention in Lincoln. Farm Bureau President Steve Nelson says with the growth of the FFA organization and more schools wanting to add chapters, there’s a critical shortage of ag teachers. He says due to that they started this program
Nelson says Nebraska has 7100 FFA members and there are at least 15 school districts that currently need ag educators. He says the loan assistance program is for current Nebraska ag education teachers who have existing student loans and have been teaching between 1 to 5 years:
Nelson says funding for the program starts at about $ 12,000 for applying students and teachers in August of 2014. With a fundraising component built in, they hope to ramp that up to a $ 35,000 to $ 40,000 program over the next three years. The average starting base salary for Nebraska teacher’s is about $ 31,000.,and Ag Teachers cumulatively have more than $ 622,000 in student loans today.