A Letter To My Ag Teacher

Thank you.

I have the highest respect for you. You helped me become the person I’m meant to be. You pushed me, you believed in me when no one else would, and you got mad at me anytime I didn’t give my best. You went beyond being just another teacher. You were more than a coach, even more than a mentor. You were family. In fact, you spent time away from your own family to treat us like your own.

An ag teacher helping students with animals.
An ag teacher from Hobbs, N.M. Photos courtesy of Shawn Dennis

For that, I am forever grateful. It is in these moments, as I’ve gotten older, that I realize just how much I miss having you around to push me, to coach me, to guide me. You showed me just how fun life can be even in the midst of stressful situations like state contests.

I’ll never forget those ridiculous jokes that followed a serious lecture or the old school country and rock music you blared at 2 a.m. on the way to contests.

You taught me more than just the appreciation of agriculture. You taught me how to treat people and how to believe in myself.

You taught me there is a choice. A choice, that in any position we end up in, we can choose to simply be the title or we can choose to be a leader; a leader who intentionally and positively encourages and builds up those around us. That is a rare and beautiful thing.

An ag teacher is speaking to his students.
Mr. Dennis, talking with his students.

Thank you, for pouring into my life during the most awkward years and giving me lessons that guide me even to this day. I remember every lesson and every cheesy joke. During rough times, I hear your coaching and that’s when I realize it’s okay to step out on a limb because I can do it. I can do this thing called life and I can do it well.

I hope this brings comfort to you, because I know how difficult, stressful and underappreciated the ag teacher life must be. I hope you understand how appreciated you are, how respected you are, and how large of an impact you have on students’ lives.


Your Former Student


To those interested in becoming an ag teacher:

I hope you remember these type of ag teachers when you start teaching. I hope you remember how to balance the fun with the competitive edge. I hope you remember that your attitude as a teacher will set the attitude of your students going into shows and contests. I hope you remember that you might have been the kid in the back of the class refusing to participate, but you ended up winning first individual in something later that year.

Believe in your students like they believed in theirs…like they believed in you.

Teach AgVisit the Texas Tech Department of Agricultural Education & Communications website or the National Teach Ag Campaign to learn more about becoming the next generation’s ag teacher.


5 thoughts on “A Letter To My Ag Teacher

  1. I had Mr Dennis for a few short months as my Ag teacher in Sierra County NM. He was my first Ag teacher my freshman year, and I loved listening to his animated stories, he was an amazing teacher. My only regret is that he left before the full year was out for what seemed like no reason, but he named his beautiful baby girl after our County. I’m glad to see that he’s teaching and as amazing as he used to be. 💜💜


  2. A humungous thank you to Mr. Ray Ellis and, of course, my daddy, Bailey Wheeless!!! I owe my life and love of agriculture to these awesome men!!!


  3. I’ll add: don’t be scared of the hard work and long hours. It pays off with appreciation like this and the satisfaction of a job well-done. And I’m not an ag teacher, but an ag teacher’s wife.


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