Byron L. Ernest, 2010 Agriscience Award

Written by on September 15, 2010 in 2010, Agriscience Award, Educator

Byron Ernest

Byron L. Ernest

Department Head for Agriculture and FFA
Lebanon Community School Corporation
Lebanon, Indiana

The Christopher Columbus Fellowship Foundation and the American Farm Bureau Federation are honored to have awarded the achievements of the 2010 $10,000 Agriscience Educator’s Award Columbus Scholar.

Byron L. Ernest was recruited to start Lebanon’s Agriculture Department which now, in its 7th year, has four teachers and an enrollment of 584 students grades 8-12, the largest in Indiana. The flagship of courses of the program, taught by Ernest, are the Advanced Life Science courses in animals, plant and soil, and food science. These are duel credit courses with Purdue University College of Agriculture. Through teaching these rigorous agriscience courses, he learned we must reinvent our classrooms to be places where young people are challenged and engaged; understand what they study and why; and where they have a sense that they belong.

In cooperation with AgReliant Genetics, he has developed project/inquiry-based agriscience lessons where students are doing actual research, and publish their findings through the use of pod-casts and wiki sites. This transparency allows actual scientists from around the world critique the students’ work.

Mr. Ernest was named the 2010 Indiana Teacher of the Year. This is the first time an Agriculture Instructor has ever been selected for this honor. He holds two Bachelor of Science Degrees from Purdue University in Agricultural Education and Animal Science, and a Masters in Science in Agricultural Education, also from Purdue. He is currently finishing his Ph.D. in Administrative and Teacher Leadership from Walden University.

The Christopher Columbus Fellowship Foundation is honored to have had the assistance of the following distinguished individuals serving on the 2010 Agriscience Awards Evaluation Committee:

  • MeeCee Baker, Ph.D.
    Partner, Chief Operating Officer
    Versant Strategies
    Harrisburg, PA
  • Gary Matteson 
    The Farm Credit Council
    VP Young, Beginning, Small Farmer
    Programs and Outreach
    Washington, D.C.
  • Meghan Mueseler
    Cargill, Inc.
    Wichita, KS
  • Kevin Paap
    Minnesota Farm Bureau
    Minneapolis, MN
  • Robert W. Clark, Ph.D.
    Professional Personnel Development Center
    Workforce Education & Development Program
    Penn State University
    University Park, PA


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