Returning to her hometown as a teacher was an honor and privilege but also a bit intimidating, says Lindsey (Brown) Brockberg. She attended Mt. Lake from daycare through high school graduation and returned in 2012-2013 to teach agricultural education and serve as the Mt. Lake FFA advisor.
“It’s such a privilege to have the opportunity to work with my former ag teacher, Tom Appel, who made such a huge impact on me. He helped me learn to believe in myself. Through ag classes and FFA activities, I learned to overcome my challenges, work through my weaknesses, and improve my strengths,” says Lindsey, who served as Officer at Large and Vice President from 2004-2006 as a member of Mt. Lake FFA.” Agriculture classes and the FFA offered me – and still offers students still today – so many opportunities to grow and learn.”
Not only did Mr. Appel encourage Lindsey to consider a career in agricultural education, but her brother (T.J. Brown) also is an agriculture teacher and encouraged her to also think about teaching ag. It wasn’t until Lindsey had been studying Message Therapy for six months at Ridgewater College that she realized how much she missed agriculture.
“Both Appel and my brother were – and still are – great resources in this teaching adventures,” says Mrs. Brockberg. “Helping students reach their full potential is what I enjoy most about being a teacher. It never gets old seeing students comprehend a lesson we’ve been working on, go out of their comfort zone by competing in a CDE (career development event), meeting new people and reaching goals they set at the beginning of the year.”
Changing lives and preparing members for premier leadership, personal growth and career success through agricultural education are benefits of belonging to the largest student organization in the world. Attending National FFA Convention during her freshman year was a life-changing event, recalls Mrs. Brockberg.
“I remember sitting in Freedom Hall at the Louisville State Fair grounds, surrounded by thousands of other FFA members from across the U.S., listening to the keynote speaker,” she says. “After this convention, I made up my mind to not let anything stop me. School was challenging for me and up until 8th grade, I been in special ed classes for English. I learned to work with my learning challenges, put in more time, planned further ahead, became very organized and started going from B-C’s to A-B’s, even with missing school for FFA.”
“My parents instilled in us that we needed to work hard, manage time, learn from others and manage money. By being active in the Mt. Lake FFA, my five siblings and I learned those life skills,” says Mrs. Brockberg. “My main Career Development Event (CDE) was General Livestock, but I also participated in Food Science. My Supervised Agricultural Experience (SAE) was Food Production Placement. I worked in the dietary department at the Good Samaritan Village in Mt. Lake, along with my older sister, all through high school and a few years in college.”
Mrs. Brockberg says she was a bit of a “greenhand” when she accepted the teaching position at Mt. Lake. She only had two years of teaching experience at the time, but she was excited to return to her hometown.
“I felt a little intimidated to be teaching with my former teachers, as well as teaching students of families I had known most of my life,” says Mrs. Brockberg. “Once I got into the job, however, I realized that Jeff Lindamen did a wonderful job of mentoring me through the challenges of first years of teaching. The experience I had working with him at Chisago Lakes High School in Lindstrom, Minnesota, really prepared me for the task ahead at Mt. Lake.”
The Mt. Lake FFA is also advised by Stephen Funk, and Hayley Faber. The three instructors work hard to meet the needs of our students. Several teams have already competed in the region and are advancing to state.
“As a program, we are very busy and active with our local community, region, state, and national levels. Our students have competed at all levels,” says Mrs. Brockberg. “We do our best to give students opportunities that meet their needs and stretch them to grow and lead others.”
Below are a few recent examples of how the Mt. Lake FFA advisors are helping students “learn to do and do to learn:”
- 2017 National Convention – one student made it in the Top 15 and another student made national choir, and one student received their American Degree
- 2017 State Convention – seven teams finished in the Top 5 at state
- 2016 National Convention – we had both Vet Science and Farm Business Management teams make it to Nationals, along with two students in National Choir, and two students received the American degree
Mrs. Brockberg is helping the next generation of Mt. Lake students live their dreams through the FFA. We commend her for continuing to live the FFA creed by returning to her hometown as a teacher and mentor: “… I believe that American agriculture can and will hold true to the best traditions of our national life and that I can exert an influence in my home and community which will stand solid for my part in that inspiring task.”
Rural communities are the backbone of our country. Latham Hi-Tech Seeds recognizes and appreciates the many boots our employees, dealers and customers wear to keep rural America healthy. Help us serve those who serve us by nominating someone in your life to feature on http://www.thefieldposition.com and social media channels.