One Man Changes Another Man's Dream

By Janet Kehres

Josh Schieber did not plan to be a schoolteacher. His dream as a child was to grow up to be a farmer and to live on the family farm. That was before he stepped into Mr. Mike Hoffman's vocational agriculture class at Wynford High School. Mr. Hoffman opened a whole new world to Josh. Josh describes Mr. Hoffman as the most caring individual he has ever met. He always made FFA exciting and encouraged the students to think on their own. Mr. Hoffman made teaching so interesting Josh decided he could learn about farming and teach at the same time. After graduation from Ohio State University, he taught in Nebraska. When the time was right, Josh and his wife came back to Ohio to purchase the family farm and to start their family. The family farm is located near Bucyrus and there was an opening for a vocational agriculture teacher at Colonel Crawford High School. That would complete Josh's life long dream. He wanted to farm and to teach students some of life's value lessons that he had learned from Mr. Hoffman.

Josh and his family raise cattle, cow/calf operations, chickens and numerous pets on the farm. He has found the love for teaching and enjoys learning new and innovative things about farming with his students. He keeps his students active with various activities such as: the pork loin Bar-b-que where the students cut the meat, prepare the meat, sell tickets, cook and serve the community. The students help with the annual Fall Festival held at C.C. each year by arranging a petting zoo. He hopes to bring a more educational segment to it next year for the young ones who attend the festival. The FFA has a clothing committee that designs logos and calendars to demonstrate some of their activities. This is done entirely by the students with Josh's direction. C.C. is one of the high schools that includes shop class in the vo-ag class so each student has a shop project each year. The students learn parliament procedures extensively, practice cover letters, resumes and job interviews for county, district, state and national competition.

One area his students are strong in is the tractor trouble shooting class. His students seem to enjoy every aspect of this class. He loves it when the students see the importance that farming is on our country and how vital it is to all of us.

When the new school district's buildings are built and the old buildings are demolished, he is hoping it will free some land for the students to get experience farming at the high school. Josh works to break the stereotype of "farm boy". He enjoys opening new avenues for his students and encourages them to attend a college with the idea of returning back to the farm and using those learned skills to be a success.

Josh has a quote hanging in his classroom. It is: "Don't settle for easy. Make the impossible your accomplishment." He has lived that quote and hopes to instill it in each one of his students.

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