INSPIRING the next generation about agriculture has resulted in Loxton High School agriculture teacher Justine Fogden being recognised not once, but twice, this year.
In June, Justine was recognised with the Agricultural Teachers Association of SA's award for excellence, which was backed up last month with a secondary teacher of the year win at the SA Public Education Awards.
After growing up at Jamestown on her family's beef, sheep and cropping farm, Justine said teaching agriculture was "the only career path" she had picked out.
After starting teaching at Kadina, and taking a six-month agricultural exchange in Canada, she moved to Loxton in 1998.
Justine says part of her passion is helping students to learn at their own pace and she shapes her classroom to allow that.
This includes incorporating "flipped learning" into her teaching - instead of sharing the introduction in the classroom and sending the students home to do the core work, the students are introduced to new concepts at home via a video or an introductory reading and then come to the classroom ready to work.
"Times are changing and the future of the workforce is the ability to think for yourself and be critical and creative thinkers," she said.
"I want to set kids up for that.
"Lots of kids have different ability levels and knowledge about ag, I want to filter the class to suit their interests."
As part of the award, Justine received a $10,000 bursary to go towards professional development.
Part of this will be used to attend Brisbane-based conference RESCON, as well as observe flipped learning in other classrooms, to see how other teachers are implementing the practice.
She is also planning a roadtrip with other Loxton High School staff to view other schools "doing innovative things with their curriculum".
Justine's other plan ties in with her passion for creating strong networks among the state's agriculture teachers, which was a core reason for her ATASA recognition.
You see a kid come in with very little skills in the industry and go on to become major contributors to the beef industry.
She hopes to organise training sessions with early career agriculture teachers.
"There is such a major shortage of ag teachers, we get a lot of teachers where ag is not their core knowledge," she said.
"I want to run a course with other experienced ag teachers to support them to build up their knowledge base or even to know where to go to get knowledge."
Justine said much of this desire to help other teachers came from her own experience starting out.
"When I first started teaching, I had amazing support from other ag teachers and I really appreciated it," she said.
"Many of us are single teacher faculties in the back of the school and it's important to support each other and have that network."
The other arena where people may know Justine is from her long association with the SA Junior Heifer Expo, where she serves as coordinator, after attending the first three events as a competitor.
She said one of the main drawcards for the event was seeing the way the competitors grow, "not only year to year, but within the event".
"We get a kid that comes in on Monday, and they're a bit like deer in the headlights, then by the end of the four days, the parents are asking what we've done with their kid," she said.
"You see a kid come in with very little skills in the industry and go on to become major contributors to the beef industry."
Outside the classroom, Justine operates a farm and Nangaringa Santa Gertrudis cattle stud with husband Peter, father-in-law Richard Fogden and mother-in-law Deidre, while her children, Eleni, Alizah and Thomas, have taken on her parents' Boulview Charolais stud. Between the two studs, they compete in five states and territories.
"The kids love the show and getting to go to events in other states," she said.
"It's growing the kids' network, they've got friends all over Australia.
"People recognise the (Boulview) name and come up to us at Sydney Show that knew my dad - it's good to still have the name there."
- Start the day with all the big news in agriculture. Click here to sign up to receive our daily Stock Journal newsletter.