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You Always Find Your Way Back Home with Misty Lambert

Little did she know that years after graduating from NC State, Dr. Misty Lambert would end up right back where she started from when the pandemic started in 2020. The agricultural and extension education (AEE) position that came her way was anything but normal. In fact, her first year as an AEE professor was anything but normal! She had to relocate while the pandemic was happening, buy a house over FaceTime and teach online on her living room couch.

Through it all, Dr. Lambert has taken it in stride and dove right into her duties. She is now an assistant professor and director of the Licensure in Education for Agricultural Professionals program (LEAP) within the Agricultural and Human Sciences department (AHS).  She currently teaches six courses within the department, while also serving as a supervisor for student teachers. She is also a coordinator for the DELTA program in conjunction with Josh Bledsoe, NC FFA Director for Ag Education.

Southern Region AAAE conference New Orleans Feb 2022

With many years of experience in the agricultural education field, Dr. Lambert is a vital asset to the AHS department.  Before becoming an instructor at NC State, she taught high school agricultural education in North Carolina.  She then went to the University of Missouri (MU) to obtain her PhD in 2007.  After graduating from MU, she served as the director of teacher education at Oregon State for seven years, where she developed the Early Career Teacher program and worked closely with the Oregon Ag Teachers’ Association to put on teacher professional development and mentor early career teachers.  Dr. Lambert also served three years as part of the teacher education faculty at Iowa State University and led the undergraduate research program “Science with Practice.”

Dr. Lambert has a strong connection and admiration for the AEE program.  She is a proud product of the AEE graduate program herself!  She completed her master’s of agricultural education following her first year of teaching high school. She then returned to the classroom, where she taught high school agricultural education for several years before teaching at the college levelAfter years of teaching and working with college programs, in 2019, the opportunity arose to join NC State University. Dr. Lambert said “I was super excited, not just because NC State is home, but also because I knew the ag education team professionally, and was excited to have them as my day-to-day colleagues.” 

EEAE West Trip Fall 2022

Dr. Lambert is both a talented teacher and a guiding leader, so it makes sense that her research strives to solve practical problems for teachers in the classroom. She also focuses on the challenges that early career agricultural professionals face. Currently, Dr. Lambert is working with AEE doctoral student Jillian Ford on understanding the integration and challenges related to a new model for experiential learning in agriculture called Supervised Ag experience for All (SAE for All) as well as how our North Carolina teachers use the Agricultural Experience Tracker (AET) and what would help improve their experience. Both of them are passionate about getting students hands-on experiences, and their passion shines through their work.  Dr. Lambert is also part of a sustained US AID-funded program called Post-Harvest Loss Innovation Lab (PHLIL), which was launched in 2013. The group worked to mitigate post-harvest loss; her role is to work on engagement and project evaluation. While working with this program, her efforts were mainly focused in the country of Ghana.

For students seeking job opportunities or going into the AEE workforce, Dr. Lambert shares some experience-based advice.  She says that many times, students come from programs with multiple agriculture teachers, motivated students, strong FFA programs, and/or great facilities, but when they take their first job, some (or all) of those things may not be in place.  For those entering a secondary program (middle or high school) to teach agriculture, know that you will get the program you deserve. If you invest in a community, your students, and your program, eventually those items will come. She sums it up plain and simple by saying  “Commit and good things will come.”

Lambert as a senior in high school with the FFA chapter officer team

The College of Agriculture and Life Sciences (CALS) and the AEE program have had lasting impacts on her career and life.  She is forever grateful for her experiences at NC State as an undergraduate and graduate student, and for the opportunity to now teach and support students within the AEE program. Dr. Lambert received an immense amount of assistance and guidance as a first-generation college student from faculty and staff within the AEE department, saying she was supported every step of the way.  After returning to NC State in 2020 as a faculty member, she has found a family in her colleagues and is grateful to be giving back to North Carolina’s agricultural education on a daily basis!  

“From the network of colleagues that I built while in the program, to career-long mentors in the profession who are still guiding my career to this day, I could not have chosen a program that was a better fit.” 

AAAE Conference OKC May 2022

Though Dr. Lambert’s first year of teaching looked a lot different than she expected, this year students went back to in-person. She is enjoying interacting with her students, especially being able to go on field trips again!  Her favorite experience so far has been the Engaging and Educating Agricultural Educators program (EEAE) trip with Dr. Travis Park and nine other students.  This was a four-day field trip that looked at agriculture across North Carolina.  She is also looking forward to the National FFA Convention in Indianapolis.  Dr. Lambert states that she really enjoys traveling with graduate students to professional academic conferences to share their work and build their network.  This upcoming spring, Dr. Lambert will be assisting to host the National Conference here in Raleigh, which she says will give the department and students “a chance to show off all the things that make the AEE program and the Raleigh area so great!”

Courses Taught:

  • AEE 322 – Experiential Learning in Agriculture
  • AEE 327 – Conducting Summer Programs in Agricultural Education  
  • AEE 424 – Planning Agricultural Educational Programs
  • AEHS 522 – Occupational Experience in Agriculture
  • AEE 524 – Coordinating the High School Agricultural Education Program
  • AEHS 578 – Scientific Inquiry in Agricultural and Extension Education

Find three of Lambert’s recent publications below: