Dr. John C. Ricketts is a professor of agricultural and extension education at Tennessee State University. He drew on experience as a secondary agriculture teacher, assistant football coach, and part-time farmer to contribute practical content for this book. His degrees (B.S., M.V.T.E, and Ph.D.) in agricultural education from Middle Tennessee State University and the University of Florida influenced the philosophical framework of the text. Finally, his research program in leadership development informed the success strategies included to encourage every student who engages with the text. Every day, Dr. Ricketts works with students seeking to develop their leadership potential. As coordinator of agricultural education in the Department of Agricultural Sciences, he teaches, conducts research, and sponsors extension outreach activities for agriculture teachers and extension educators. He has been a recipient of the following honors: Outstanding Extension Educator at Tennessee State University, 2016; Outstanding Young Agricultural Educator, American Association of Agricultural Education (AAAE), Southern Region, 2008; UGA's Outstanding Teaching Faculty Award (three times); UGA College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences (CAES) Outstanding Academic Advisor Award, 2007; the Gamma Sigma Delta Jr. Achievement in Teaching Award, 2006; and the American FFA Degree (highest FFA degree available). Dr. Ricketts has taught leadership at the secondary, post-secondary, and graduate levels. He is a prolific author of scholarly research on leadership development, critical thinking, and decision-making in agricultural education, with over 225 publications and $4.4 million in external funding to support research on leadership development in agricultural education. He lives on a farm in Mount Juliet, Tennessee, where he and his family raise, show, and sell market goats. Dr. Cliff Ricketts rose through the ranks of agricultural education and achieved every degree offered by the Future Farmers of America (FFA), including the Greenhand, Chapter, State, and American, as well as the Honorary Chapter, Honorary State, and Honorary American (received the same year by former President George W. Bush and Lee Iacocca). As a high school agricultural education instructor, Dr. Ricketts received the National Vocational Agriculture Teachers Association's National Award, and his students won several state FFA contests and earned runner-up status in public speaking and national extemporaneous speaking. Dr. Ricketts received his B.S. and M.S. degrees from the University of Tennessee and earned his Ph.D. from The Ohio State University in agricultural education, career-technical education, and teacher education. While teaching at Middle Tennessee State University (MTSU), he received both the MTSU Foundation's Outstanding Public Service Award and its Outstanding Teacher Award twice. He was also a finalist for its Outstanding Research Award and Career Achievement Award and was one of only two faculty members to receive the Presidents' Silver Column Award. Dr. Ricketts is still involved in production agriculture with a beef cattle operation on his family farm outside Nashville.
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