The Exciting World of Agriscience: How High School Students Can Learn from Today’s Leading Educators

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Goodheart-Willcox Introduces New Principles of Agriculture, Food, and Natural Resources. Authors Offer 70+ Years of Successful Instructional Experience plus a Fresh, Visual, and Highly Applied Introduction to Modern Agriculture.

Goodheart-Willcox announced this month’s release of Principles of Agriculture, Food, and Natural Resources, a comprehensive new text that welcomes today’s learners to the world of agriscience and prepares them for more advanced courses. Written by the following leaders in agricultural education, Principles of Agriculture, Food, and Natural Resources allows teachers to tap into some of the field’s best minds:    

  •     Dr. John Rayfield, an Associate Professor in the Agricultural Leadership, Education, and Communications Department at Texas A&M University, earned his bachelor’s degree in agricultural education from Auburn University, his master’s degree in agricultural extension from the University of Georgia, and his doctorate of education in agricultural education from Texas Tech University. His school’s FFA chapter was recognized as the Outstanding Middle School Program in the nation by National FFA in 2001. He serves as superintendent for the National FFA Livestock Career Development Event and judges junior and open livestock shows across the U.S.
  •     Kasee Smith, a Graduate Teaching Assistant and PhD Candidate at Texas A&M University, instructs courses in agricultural education and assists in student teaching. Ms. Smith earned her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in agricultural education from Utah State University, and taught high school agriculture in Spanish Fork, Utah, for eleven years. Her agriculture program was recognized as a National FFA Model of Innovation Chapter.
  •     Dr. Travis Park is an Associate Professor at North Carolina State University and co-leads Developing Educational Leaders and Teachers of Agriculture (DELTA). He earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Purdue University in agricultural education, where he was named the outstanding male student in the graduating class. Dr. Park subsequently taught high school agriculture for five years in Wolcott, Indiana, where his agriculture program was recognized as one of the top six programs in the nation. He earned his doctoral degree at the University of Florida, and then was hired as an assistant and associate professor in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, Cornell University. Dr. Park directed the teacher education program at Cornell and coordinated the Agricultural Outreach and Education program.
  •     Dr. Barry Croom, a professor and department head for Agricultural Education and Agricultural Sciences at Oregon State University, is also an Alumni Distinguished Undergraduate Professor Emeritus in the Department of Agricultural and Extension Education at North Carolina State University. He was a high school agriculture teacher in North Carolina and later served as the State Coordinator for the North Carolina FFA Association. Dr. Croom is a former NCSU Park Faculty Scholar, a Fellow of North American Colleges and Teachers of Agriculture, and a Fellow of the American Association for Agricultural Education. He earned both the American FFA Degree and the Honorary American FFA Degree from the National FFA Organization, and the Lifetime Achievement Award by the North Carolina FFA Association. In 2015, he received the Outstanding New Professor Award from the Agricultural Executive Board at Oregon State University. Dr. Croom also served as editor of the Journal of Agricultural Education.

“These top educators wrote and illustrated Principles of Agriculture, Food, and Natural Resources to provide accurate and timely instruction for all students. Countless teachers and students will benefit from their knowledge and experience. Educators will be pleased to have a comprehensive resource that supports STEM instruction and the National AFNR Career Cluster Content Standards and incorporates the agricultural education model into lessons. In addition, the text is correlated to Precision Exams' certification standards, which helps students master the key concepts covered on the assessments and prepare for the Career Skills exam,” said John Flanagan, President and CEO of Goodheart-Willcox.

Attendees of the National FFA Convention will be the first to see the new text and can meet the authors at the Goodheart-Willcox exhibit in booth #2222.

  •     Wednesday, 10/28, 2:00 – 3:00 p.m.: Kasee Smith
  •     Thursday, 10/29, 1:30 – 2:30 p.m.: Dr. Travis Park
  •     Friday, 10/30, 11:00 – noon: Dr. John Rayfield

To learn more about Principles of Agriculture, Food, and Natural Resources, visit or

About Goodheart-Willcox
Goodheart-Willcox, established in 1921, publishes the highest quality content for Career and Technical Education. Subject areas include Family and Consumer Sciences; Business, Marketing, and Career Education; Health and Health Sciences; Automotive; Technical, Trades, and Engineering; and Agricultural Education. Goodheart-Willcox titles are available in print and digital formats, and include a full portfolio of student and instructor resources.

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Maureen Brennan
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