by jamesc 6/11/2014 10:39:15 AM --
NORFOLK – Two educational organizations have recognized Mike Roeber, Northeast Community College agriculture/livestock judging instructor, for outstanding contributions in and out of the classroom.
The Association for Career and Technical Education of Nebraska (ACTEN) and Nebraska Agriculture Educators Association (NAEA) honored Roeber during the Nebraska Career Education Conference recently in Kearney. He was selected as the ACTEN’s Outstanding Postsecondary Teacher. His award application will now go on to the Region V Association for Career and Technical Education (ACTE) competition next spring. Also at the conference, the NAEA honored Roeber for 25 years of teaching agriculture education courses.
Now in his 17th year as agriculture instructor and livestock judging team coach at Northeast Community College, his main teaching area falls within the Animal Science degree program. As part of his responsibilities, Roeber conducts many programs and workshops outside of the classroom, many of which are focused on the youth in the 20 county area served by Northeast and throughout the state of Nebraska.
Many of these programs, while livestock based, also strive to teach the students those same decision making and communication skills that they will be able to use as they further their education and/or enter their future career. He has been known to put in countless hours preparing for these activities and programs.
While teaching at Northeast, Roeber has continued to develop materials for the classes that have helped to build the skills of the students once they complete his classes. Technology is used as much as possible, such as utilizing ration formulation software for various species of livestock, but first the students obtain an understanding of how the program uses the various feeds to formulate the rations and the value of each of these feeds to the diet.
Other technological skills, such as ultrasound and electronic identification, are part of the curriculum. Some of his classes have been developed into an online delivery system, which reaches out not only to the students on campus, but also to students in the 20 county service area and beyond. Many of these online students fit into one of two categories – pre-college age students who are getting a head start on their college education, and non-traditional students who are looking to expand their knowledge in the Animal Science related field.
During the summer school session, the curriculum Roeber uses has been developed to give the students an opportunity to see the many areas of the animal science industry – many away from the production field – so they can see what is available for employment opportunities. It sometimes sparks an interest in a particular field, such as embryo transfer work, for the students.
Also outside the classroom, Roeber organizes and hosts countless livestock competitions and FFA events at the College’s Chuck M. Pohlman Agriculture Complex that touch the lives of literally thousands of students each year. In his role as livestock judging team coach, he and his teams travel 15,000-plus miles each year to participate in competitions across the country.
Roeber has been a member of the National Association of Agricultural Educators (NAAE), Nebraska Agricultural Educators Association, Association for Career and Technical Education, and Association for Career and Technical Education of Nebraska for 25 years.
He has held several leadership positions at various times in these organizations, including ACTE Region V Policy Committee and Nominating Committee, and the 2004 – 2005 ACTE Audit Committee chairman. He also served as co-chairman for the 2006 Region V Conference in Omaha.
Roeber has held the positions of agriculture division president, representative, and treasurer for ACTEN. He has served on the board of directors for the NAEA, Nebraska Vocational Agriculture Foundation, Vocational Foundation of Nebraska, and the National Junior College Livestock Judging Coaches Association. He is also a past officer and former executive director of the Nebraska FFA Alumni Association. In addition, he currently serves as the contest coordinator the for the Nebraska State FFA Dairy Evaluation contest, a position that he has held for ten years.
Roeber has been recognized several times for his achievements. He has received the National Institute for Staff and Organizational Development Excellence in Teaching award in 2007, was named the NAEA Outstanding Teacher in 2008, the 2009 ACTEN Outstanding Agriculture Education Instructor, and the 2013 Northeast Community College U.S. Bank Great Performer Award recipient for full-time faculty.
Having spent 25-years in the agricultural education field, Roeber has observed many changes that have taken place, but understands the importance of teaching future agriculture leaders. In his ACTEN nomination, it reads, “Many times instructors get caught up in how to achieve the test score mandated by legislation, winning the judging contest, or just in trying to get more students through the doors of their classrooms, and they don’t always focus on the students that they have and how they, the instructor, could better serve these students. Mike Roeber always strives to do his best each and every day to make the students that enter his classroom or compete on his livestock judging team better people.”
PHOTO ID: Mike Roeber