Agriculture Teachers Association, Inc.

Ag Teacher Member Profile
Joe Linthicum, Francis Scott Key High School

1) Where did you attend college and why did you choose that institution(s)?

I attended the University of Maryland, College Park and graduated with a Bachelor’s of Science in Agriculture and Extension Education.  I chose UMCP due to it being in state and that is where my Agriculture teachers recommended for me to attend.

2) What lead you to the decision to become a high school ag teacher?

The Francis Scott Key Agriculture teacher, Dr. Cecil Massie, visited with one of my older brothers who attending Frostburg State College studying to become a history teacher and convinced him to transfer to the University of Maryland and study Agriculture education.  While listening to Dr. Massie, I decided that I would study to become an Agriculture teacher also.

3) How long have you been teaching agriculture? Did you, or do you, teach anything else?

This is my 42nd year of teaching agriculture starting at South Carroll High School for 1 year and the last 41 at Francis Scott Key High School.  During my tenure, I have taught the subjects of Metal Shop, Power Tech, Foundation of Technology, and Manufacturing & Construction as well as a variety of agricultural classes on the years due to continual changing of curriculum.

4) What are your most favorite and least favorite things about teaching agriculture?

The most favorite things with teaching anything is working with the students and watching what topics and actions inspires them so that you can see that Ah ha moment or the light bulb go on in their head.  Once that happens then those students become like sponge and start soaking up more and more knowledge.  I also get a huge kick when after all the encouraging and arm bending that a student who is about to graduate tells you that they wish they had gotten more involved with the FFA.  I just nod my head and smile.  I enjoy the relationship and friendship of fellow agriculture teachers that has been cultivated not just in the state of Maryland, but across the United States.  Probably the most favorite thing is being there for the student, in a large numbers of cases, I feel that I am the adult influence that they are looking for and needing.  Everybody needs an Uncle Joe! The least favorite thing is the paperwork that goes along with teaching.  I feel comfortable with assessing a student and their performance without a rubric and giving them a fair grade. 

5) What takes up your time, other than Ag Ed and FFA?

At one time, I would say coaching soccer and softball.  But I have retired from that the past 3 years. Presently, grandchildren have started taking up more time, but there is still MAEF board of directors as well as watching high school athletics since some of our ag students are competing in them

6) If you weren't an ag teacher, what else would you see yourself doing?

Other than teaching, I don’t know what I see myself as doing.  I have announced starting lineups at a variety of sporting events and people said I should look in announcing.  I have often said that I would like to be a consultant, but who knows.  I enjoy visiting other programs to see how they operate and their facilities.  Next year I might be able to give you a better answer.

7) If you could change anything about Maryland Ag Education or MATA what would it be?

I would love to see a program specialist or facilitator at the Maryland Department of Education who would have the funds and ability to put on the summer conference and other professional development so that teachers would not have pay out of their own pockets or use Perkins money that could be designated for program improvement instead.  I would like to see the MATA set up a fund for first year teacher to have a sub day so that they could go and visit any agriculture program to gain some ideas for their program.  Finally I would like to find a way to have every agriculture teacher be a member of the MATA and take an active role in the organization in some way since it is a Professional organization.  As with any organization, its strength is with its membership.

Agricultural Education Programs in Maryland

*color coded by Maryland FFA Regions

2018 Summer Professional Development Conference & Technical Update