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Byrd, Preston

Teaching Assistant Professor of of Agricultural and Extension Education

I was born and raised in Southwest Virginia in the Blue Ridge Mountains. My interest in agriculture came naturally because my father was an agriculture teacher and I spent a lot of time as child after school with 4-H and FFA activities. I have always loved being outside working on the farm, hunting, fishing, and just enjoying nature. I knew I had a passion for agriculture while in middle school spending time watching high school students participate in various FFA Career Development Events (CDEs) after school. 


I attended Grayson County High School where I actively participated in 4-H and FFA activities and found my passion for teaching. After high school, I earned by Bachelor of Science at Virginia Tech in Agricultural Education. I then started teaching agriculture at Floyd County High School in Virginia. While teaching I helped grow our small FFA Chapter from 32 members to well over 100 members. I was also able to have three Virginia State Officers and National FFA and 4-H Poultry Judging teams. I introduced the horticulture class and had a greenhouse and school garden built. During my time teaching, I began working on a master’s degree in Agricultural Science at Virginia Tech. Upon graduating with my master’s, I accepted an assistantship at Iowa State University to work on my Ph.D. in Agricultural Education and Studies. 

At Iowa State University, I created and taught a small engines and welding course along with working with other agricultural mechanics courses. Agricultural mechanics has always been a passion for me because I love working with my hands and seeing how things work. The main reason I wanted to get my doctorate degree was to help undergraduate agricultural education students become proficient in agricultural mechanics prior to getting a teaching position. This is an area that is lacking in many agricultural education preparation programs across the United States and is needed by all agricultural teachers. 

After receiving my Ph.D. I accepted a position at Clemson University where I taught for six years. The classes taught ranged from Mechanical Technology in Agricultural Education, Adult Education, Multiculturalism in Agriculture, Research Methods, Teaching Agriscience, and supervising student teachers. I then accepted at position here at WVU beginning in the Fall of 2020 where I am responsible for teaching a range of agricultural mechanics courses, adult education, and supervising student teachers. My research area has been focused on teaching and learning in agricultural mechanics and farm safety. I hope my abilities will help better prepare the future generation of agricultural educators.

Select Publications

  1. Sanderson, W. T., Mazur, J. M., Vincent, S., Byrd, A. P. (2020). Editorial Response to “ROPS are Not Homemade.” Journal of Agricultural Safety and Health, 26(1), 1-4. doi: 10.13031/jash.13723
  2. Preston-Byrd, A., Vincent, S., Mazur, J., & Namkoong, K. (2020). A multi-state evaluation of secondary agricultural education students’ performance on industry-based standards. Journal of Agricultural Education, 61(2), 238-248. https://doi.org/10.5032/jae.2020.02238
  3. Byrd, A. P., Saucier, P. R., & Anderson, R. G. (2019). Laboratory Management Needs of Iowa School-Based Agricultural Mechanics Teachers. Career and Technical Education Research Journal.44(3) 37-52. DOI: 10.5328/cter44.3.37
  4. Vincent, S. K., Mazur, J. M., Summey, T. E., Namkoong, K., & Byrd, A. P. (2019).  An Evaluation of Behavioral Intent in Appalachian Youth Participating in CROPS Curriculum. Journal of Agricultural Safety and Health, 25, 25-36. doi: 10.13031/jash.12810.
  5. Byrd, A. P., Stone, R. T., & Anderson, R. G. (2018). Dexterity: An Indicator of Future Performance in Beginning Welders. Career and Technical Education Research, 43(2), 195-212. doi: 10.5328/cter43.2.195  
  6. Byrd, A. P., Stone, R. T., Anderson, R. G., & Woltjer, K. (2015). The Use of Virtual Welding Simulators to Evaluate Experienced Welders. Welding Journal, 94(12), 389S-395S.
  7. Byrd, A. P., Anderson, R. G., & Paulsen T. H. (2015). Does Agricultural Mechanics Laboratory Size Affect Agricultural Education Teachers' Job Satisfaction? Journal of Agricultural Education. 56(1), 6-19. doi: 10.5032/jae.2015.01006
  8. Byrd, A. P., Anderson, R. G., & Paulsen T. H. (2015). Does the Number of Post-secondary Agricultural Mechanics Courses Completed Affect Teacher Competence? Journal of Agricultural Education. 56(1), 20-31. doi: 10.5032/jae.2015.010201
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