Belmont native returns to UWP School of Agriculture
PLATTEVILLE-With 14 years of experience teaching agricultural education at the high school and middle school levels, University of Wisconsin-Platteville Assistant Professor Rick Bockhop not only brings a wealth of teaching experience to his new position, but first-hand knowledge of agricultural education.
"I really love teaching and think I can be of better value teaching future agricultural educators," Bockhop said. "Having taught agricultural education to students in grades 8-12 in the Cambridge School District for the last 12 years, I know what works and what schools are looking for in new teachers."
Bockhop, a native of Belmont, received his bachelor of science degree in 1988 from UWP in agricultural education. While working as a teacher, he continued his education, receiving his master's of science degree in education with an emphasis in agriculture from UWP in 1995. Now, he is working toward his Ph.D. from Iowa State University in Ames, Iowa.
"I'll be taking video conference classes from ISU and summer courses at ISU's satellite campus in Cedar Rapids, Iowa," Bockhop said. "And as part of my contract agreement, I'll be taking a sabbatical like leave my third year at UWP."
Bockhop is teaching two courses this semester, Planning Cooperative Education in Agriculture and a soil and water class in engineering technology for the School of Agriculture. He is also assisting with the engineering laboratory Equipment, Structures and Power Systems. Bockhop said teaching at the university level has presented several challenges.
"It's taken me about four hours to prepare for every class," Bockhop said. "In part because I'm new and in part because we've made curricular changes to the courses.
"Making the transition from high school to college, I've changed my methodology as a teacher. There is so much more information that has to be given in each class, but it's great to have students who really are interested in what your teaching and have a lot of enthusiasm for the subject."
In addition to teaching, Bockhop will be advising students and the Collegian FFA (formerly known as the Future Farmers of America) organization and has been appointed to the Curriculum Committee for Agriculture.
Bockhop's wife, Cheryl, has remained in Cambridge until their youngest daughter finishes high school. The couple has three daughters, Tonya, Taracey and Toni. In his free time, Bockhop enjoys fishing, spending time with his family and is an avid Green Bay Packers fan.