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Advancing Agricultural Education through Technology: Wendy Warner

Having taught education at every level, Wendy Warner is the embodiment of an educator. She is currently an associate professor in the Department of Agricultural and Human Sciences (AHS) here at NC State University. Before joining NC State, Warner taught agricultural education at Corner Lake Middle School in Orlando, Florida for two years and then transitioned to the lead teacher for the Agricultural Biotechnology Magnet Program at Robert Hungerford Preparatory High School in Florida for three years. She completed her Ph.D. in Agricultural Education at the University of Florida and was an associate professor at California Polytechnic State University for three years. Warner then began her NC State career by teaching graduate courses starting in January 2010.. 

Dr. Wendy Warner

Warner’s current research focuses on student performance assessments, technology integration, and experiences of undergraduate students, though her experience teaching in urban schools shaped her initial research interests in urban agricultural education and research concerning underrepresented groups. Warner explained that she has made purposeful efforts to expose undergraduate and grad students to diverse perspectives, while collaborating on programs, research, and grants with a focus on underrepresented groups. In her AEHS 303 and 305 classes, Warner emphasizes the importance of her students learning about the valuable role of the New Farmers of America (NFA) in the history of the National FFA Organization. Her students also explore some of the negative outcomes occurring as a result of the merger of the two organizations.

Her interest in the influence of the NFA in North Carolina has also led to a collaborative research project with former grad student, Susan Jones, and faculty member, Barbara Kirby. Additionally, she did a research study with doctoral student, Jason Bullock, and faculty member, Joy Morgan, that examined the motivations and challenges of underrepresented students enrolled in a post-secondary agricultural education degree program. The findings and conclusions from this study have provided insight to help her in her ongoing work advising and mentoring underrepresented students.

Dr. Warner with Dr. Joy Morgan presenting at the 2022 AAAE Conference

Warner says that her “work with undergraduate and graduate students in agricultural and extension education (AEE) has been so rewarding.” In addition to research collaborations, she has had the chance to work with students on Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (SoTL) projects and innovative teaching ideas. She also enjoys the opportunity to mentor and work with graduate and undergraduate teaching assistants. For students in the field or students seeking employment in the field of AEE, Warner says “to seek out internship opportunities. There are numerous opportunities to take advantage of.” She also encourages students to seek out good mentors, who are important for providing advice, encouragement, and networking connections. Warner describes her fellow faculty as “an extension of my family and I am grateful for their support and encouragement. I’m extremely fortunate to have had the opportunity to collaborate with so many talented and inspiring individuals.”

In 2019, Warner was selected to participate in the Online Course Improvement Program (OCIP) offered through the DELTA group. This was a 16-week professional development program that supported the re-design of her Youth Program Management course based on the Quality Matters standards. Her course went through a rigorous external review process, but the time investment for it paid off when she received the Quality Matters Certification in June 2020. She said that participation in this initial program really sparked her interest in instructional design and delivery of distance education courses. Since then, Warner has received a DELTA Express Grant and completed the Quality Matters Essential Standards Program (QMESP) in Spring 2022. Warner will be participating in the Course Improvement program during 2022-2023.

Drs. Misty Lambert, Joy Morgan, Warner and Travis Park at the 2022 AAAE Conference

Warner is actively developing programs to help improve the inclusion of diverse and underrepresented students in the AEE field.  As a change agent, she will continue to help minority students navigate the obstacles they face, and help them receive equal opportunities as all their fellow students. 

Courses Taught:

  • AEE 206: Introduction to Teaching Agriculture
  • AEE 226: Computer Applications and Information Technology in Agricultural and Extension Education
  • AEE 303: Administration and Supervision of Student Organizations
  • AEHS 500: Agricultural Education, Schools and Society
  • AEE 503: Youth Management Program
  • AEE 526 – Information Technologies in Agricultural and Extension Education
  • AEE 535: Teaching Agriculture in Secondary Schools

Find three of Warner’s recent publications below: