Monday, August 23, 2010

Barresi Announces Committee On Ag Education

Janet Barresi, Republican nominee for superintendent of public instruction, today announced the formation of her advisory committee on agriculture education.

“As a strong advocate of local control, I believe schools should have the ability to develop academic strategies targeted to local students," she said. "The needs of children in the core of Oklahoma City are different than the needs of students in Keyes. As a result, I am a strong supporter of agriculture education courses that introduce students to higher-level math and science content, as well as language arts, in a way that is more meaningful to many young people in rural communities.”

Barresi’s advisory committee on education includes several lawmakers who have been strong advocates for rural Oklahoma and have extensive backgrounds in agriculture education.

The advisory committee includes Rep. Dale DeWitt (R-Braman), who served as an Agriculture Education Instructor at Helena-Goltry Schools and Braman Schools for 29 years; Rep. Don Armes (R-Faxon), a former agriculture educator who chairs the House Agriculture & Rural Development Committee; Senator Ron Justice (R-Chickasha), a retired O.S.U. County Extension Agent who serves as chair of the Senate Agriculture and Rural Development Committee; and Senator Mike Schulz (R-Altus), a farmer and former field representative for the Oklahoma Farm Bureau.

“Having spent most of my life in agriculture education, I know how important it is that these important programs receive support from the highest levels of state government,” DeWitt said. “I am confident Janet Barresi will be a State Superintendent who supports agriculture education and rural communities.”

“Too many people think they’ve been to rural Oklahoma when they travel up and down I-35,” Armes said. “Janet Barresi knows there’s a lot more to this state than what you can see from the interstate, and I know she will work to improve every Oklahoma school – both rural and urban.”

“If we want our way of life to survive, we have to provide rural students with a quality education,” Justice said. “I believe Janet Barresi is the one candidate in this race who will actively work to make that goal a reality, and she has my strong support.”

“To make a living in farming and ranching without knowledge of high-level math and science is like trying to fish without bait,” Schulz said. “The education needs of rural students are greater than ever, and I believe Janet Barresi will actively work to help kids in rural Oklahoma achieve their dreams.”

Barresi said she would rely on the four lawmakers’ expertise, as well as the input of teachers, when dealing with rural education issues

“I greatly appreciate the support of Representatives DeWitt and Armes and Senators Justice and Schulz. No one can question their commitment to rural schools and growing Oklahoma’s agriculture economy. Their insights are both invaluable and greatly appreciated,” Barresi said.

“They know, as I do, that children in rural Oklahoma must have a quality education to ultimately survive in today’s global marketplace. To overcome the challenges of marketplace fluctuations and master constantly evolving technologies impacting crop production and livestock development, tomorrow’s farmers and ranchers must have a solid foundation in math and science today. As State Superintendent, I am committed to providing every child a top-notch education, no matter where that child lives or what profession he or she wishes to pursue as an adult.”

For more information about Barresi and her stands on education issues, go to

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