Longtime Liberty High School agriculture teacher Keith Ming is hanging up his boots and retiring at the end of this school year. After 40 years of teaching and advising students in the Liberty FFA and 4-H programs, this year’s Trinity Valley Exposition Rodeo and Fair marked Ming’s last appearance as an advisor.
At the youth livestock auction on Friday, Oct. 20, TVE recognized Ming for his outstanding contribution to the community and for being an instrumental figure in leading students to excellence through their ag projects. Former students from over the years who took part in FFA, 4-H and ag programs at Liberty High School were able to express their appreciation for Ming, and their notes were compiled into a letter read aloud by Auctioneer Brady Hanson.
In their heartfelt letter, former students wrote that Ming was someone who they respected more than any other person in their lives.
“Your legacy will always be more than numbers and buckles and banners on the wall. You are more than a teacher or even a mentor; you are family,” they wrote.
Ming’s dedication to his students is admirable, and students felt a strong connection with him. They noted that they didn’t always understand how stressful and difficult life is for an ag teacher but wanted him to know how much he meant to them.
“You are a class act, and you will continue to be an excellent example of a leader, a husband, a dad, a pops. We love you and we thank you for helping us become the people that we were meant to be. With love and gratitude, you’re 8,000-plus students,” the letter continues.
Auctioneer Brady Hanson praised Ming for the remarkable achievement of starting and finishing his career in the same school district. The audience then gave Ming a well-deserved standing ovation.
“Give him a hand, guys. Forty years in the same place. That doesn’t happen very often,” Hanson said.
The standing ovation was a testament to the love and admiration that he has earned throughout his four decades of service at Liberty High School. From a one-man show 40 years ago, the school’s ag program has now become a five-teacher program, thanks to his tireless efforts to instill the value of agriculture in the hearts and minds of his students.