AGED alum makes a big difference in the classroom
As students step into his classroom, he knows each is on their own journey. He works hard every day to provide students with their own individual agricultural experience.
The Road to Texas Tech
Jeff Klose grew up on a ranch where the rolling hills meet the Hill Country in Lometa, Texas, where his family raised sheep, goats and cattle. He learned structure and discipline from being a basketball coach’s son and a member of the FFA.
He found a special place in his heart for the South Plains and attended Texas Tech University in 1997. Going into college, he considered majoring in chemical engineering but quickly changed his mind to wildlife biology. He spent a lot of time praying about his career path and knew his passions were teaching and agriculture. After thoughtful prayer and the support from his advisor, Klose changed his major to interdisciplinary agriculture. He said it is the best decision he has ever made.
Klose loved everything about the College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources and the people within it. He had a great student teaching experience at Lubbock-Cooper High School with John Weathers, who had taught as the agricultural teacher for 30-plus years. Klose started teaching at Lubbock-Cooper after graduating from Texas Tech.
“I applied for a job somewhere else and didn’t get it,” Klose said. “Someone told me that it’s because that person was going to be a better long-term agriculture teacher than me. That really lit a fire in me and still does to this day. I want to be the best teacher I can be.”
That moment changed his trajectory in agricultural education.
Making a Difference
Klose started at Canyon High School in 2011 with just 60 students in the agriculture program. He spent his first summer calling all the parents to push their students to take an agriculture class and get involved. His numbers grew tremendously. Today, there are over 400 course requests from students wanting to take classes in the agricultural department.
Klose is inspired every day by his students and likes to take a nontraditional approach to learning that can accommodate each student. He said the most exciting thing about his job is getting to see each student find their own connection to agriculture.
“The biggest reward with teaching, is when a past student sends a text thanking you for your nontraditional approach that has now helped them in the real world,” Klose said.
Klose tries to set a system for his students where every one of them can be successful in their own way. He wants each student to experience something about agriculture that will help them understand the importance of the industry as they move forward in their life.
Klose’s biggest passion is educating kids who will be able to turn around and educate the next generation.
“I just want everyone to have a basic understanding of agriculture, so that we can help educate the masses even better,” Klose said.
He wants to help kids become better leaders and know how to serve their community and serve their fellow people in a beneficial way.
During the spring 2021 semester, Klose had three student teachers from Texas Tech, West Texas A&M, and Tarleton University. This is the first year he has had three student teachers.
“Klose has taught me that every single student is important, and every student needs to feel important,” said Sherrie Ray, a Texas Tech student who is currently completing her student teaching requirement under Klose.
“He has a big heart, and every teacher should follow in his footsteps,” Ray said.
Life Outside of The Classroom
Klose spends his free time with his family and keeping his connections at Texas Tech. He has been married for 18 years and has four children who also love agriculture as much as him. He spends his weekends at the baseball field watching his oldest son play.
“Klose is a great family man,” Ray said. “He puts his kids first and loves to see each one of them succeed.”
His kids raised six rabbits and a pig this year. He said they’ve done it all and enjoys getting to see his kids have different experiences with agriculture they enjoy.
He likes to give his students and his own children opportunities outside the show ring. Research projects and other activities are a great way for them to learn more about the agricultural industry.
Klose is very passionate about Texas Tech and believes in the agricultural education program. He currently serves as an agricultural education representative for Texas Tech’s CASNR’s advisory committee.
Every summer during the Agriculture Teachers Association of Texas’ annual meeting and conference, alumni from the Texas Tech agricultural education program have a reunion, reconnect with AEC faculty, and work to raise money for student scholarships for the agricultural education program at Texas Tech.
“I would love nothing more than to be involved at all times,” Klose said. “I love CASNR and the people within it. Those are some of the best people in the world.”