For Immediate Release
Contact: Daniel Wackershauser, Marketing Specialist
Mail: 1800 Bronson Blvd., Fennimore, WI 53809
Date of Release: July 28, 2020
Cutting earns prestigious state awardFennimore -
Paul Cutting, an agribusiness instructor at Southwest Wisconsin Technical College, has received the Outstanding Post-Secondary Instructor Award from the Wisconsin Association of Agricultural Educators (WAAE). This honor was presented to Cutting at the WAAE Professional Development Conference held virtually June 29-July 2. “People do appreciate the work that you do and that’s a good thing,” he said. “And for that, I am very grateful.”
Cutting started his career in agricultural education at Southwest Tech in January 1990. He was hired to start the Agribusiness Science Technology program, a new offering at the college. Relocating to the southwest region of the state from his home in west-central Wisconsin required some adjustment, but he soon realized the unique traits of the people in the region would create a great opportunity. “It has been a fantastic learning experience,” he said.
Throughout the years there has been a tremendous amount of renovation and improvements on the Southwest Tech campus. Cutting has remained based in room 114, something he recalls with pride. “The person who has learned the most in that room in the last 30 years has been me,” he said. “If you can find a group of people where you’re a fit and they fit with you, it makes an occupation a whole lot of fun. The last 30 years has been a lot of fun, primarily because of the students and the young people in this region of the state. They still have a work ethic. They still have energy and ambition and they want to get out and see and do. And I truly love being a part of that.”
Cutting leads students on a three-credit elective field experience each summer focused on national agribusiness. It’s a “classroom on wheels.” The students and Cutting travel the country for eight days, learning about various segments of the vast agribusiness industry. At a separate time, he takes students south, along the Mississippi River to New Orleans, learning about agribusiness.
Cutting has been focused on creating enduring relationships with employers not only within the college’s district, but also southern Wisconsin and the tri-state area. He was an original member of the Precision Agriculture Education Network and served as a lead partner in AgrowKnowledge, a STEM based project of the National Science Foundation.
Cutting is also a firm believer in student professional development out of the classroom. He serves as the state director for the Wisconsin Professional Agricultural Students (PAS) organization, a role he has performed since 1989. He coordinates two state-wide conferences each year for students enrolled in the Wisconsin Technical College System and facilitates participation for students at the National PAS Conference. “I’ve enjoyed watching the program expand in size and the number of alumni who remain vested in our program,” he said.
Over the years, he has enjoyed watching students realize success in both competitive events and leadership roles. However, he is most proud of being recognized by WAAE as a Gold level Teacher of Teachers, reflecting the numerous graduates who have gone on to become agriculture teachers at both the secondary and postsecondary levels.
| WAAE is the professional association for agricultural educators in Wisconsin. Members include 410 middle school, high school, technical college and university educators. The focus of the association is to provide professional development, legislative support and educational resources for teachers to enhance their local agriculture education programs.
| Southwest Wisconsin Technical College is one of 16 institutions that comprise the Wisconsin Technical College System. Southwest Tech offers more than 60 programs in a wide variety of disciplines. Courses are offered on campus, online and in a blended format. The college provides apprenticeship, certificate, technical diploma, and associate degree programs that respond to district workforce needs and prepare student for family-sustaining jobs and career advancement. |