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DAA: Gregory W. Curlin

Gregory Curlin

Gregory W. Curlin

Vevay, IN | Distinguished Ag Alumni: 2009

Just as seeds need a nurturing environment to sprout and thrive, so do students. And that’s what Gregory Curlin provides at Indiana’s Switzerland County High School as he sparks interest in agriculture and business. “I have come to understand the importance of teaching traditional agricultural practices while implementing the science and business of agriculture,” the 18-year educator says. “Most importantly, I have come to realize we need to educate society on our continued need for agriculture in the classroom.” He has done his job well in Vevay. After earning his bachelor’s in agricultural education in 1990, he returned to his hometown to teach four junior high sections and 11 students in a general horticulture class. Today, 132 of the high school’s 482 students are in the agricultural program, taking animal science; horticulture science; landscape management; food science; agricultural mechanics; and advanced life science plant, animal, and food science. A second instructor conducts six-week classes at the junior high and teaches agriculture mechanics and agriculture science. Curlin also mentors the FFA chapter, which has grown from 18 to 106 members under his tenure and earned top awards. The school recently built a new greenhouse and completed a fish lab facility, and this year it will pilot a new high school agriculture curriculum in partnership with National FFA. “As I continue to develop the alignment of standards, offer service learning, engage learning practices, and apply new technology, our school and community see our program as a prosperous place for students to learn,” he says. He and his wife, Becky, also an educator, are the parents of two sons. They’re also involved in hands-on agriculture, operating the family farm with Curlin’s brother and raising Red Bull cattle. “The diversity Purdue offered in agricultural education gave me a good idea of what to expect and what I could do in the classroom. Purdue prepared me for challenges. I like challenges, and I went after them.”