Ag Lit Bit
“Students get interested in things they’re exposed to”. Dr. Temple Grandin, keynote speaker at the National Ag in the Classroom Conference in June.
While I was not able to be at the conference, I cannot stop thinking about this statement as it really is our focus with our Ag in the Classroom programming. It was the inspiration behind our spring experience for high school counselors and teachers this past April based upon request from a principal who attended last year’s Summer Ag Institute (SAI). She and her Assistant Principal were so amazed by the career possibilities in agriculture they learned about during the summer program that they asked us to provide a one-day field trip to spread the word in their district.
The goal was to have school staff communicate the wealth ag-related jobs could bring to their students… to give them exposure. How could students understand these options if their counselors and teachers didn’t know about them?
Fast forward to this year’s SAI and teacher comments once again showed that few understood the vast amount of jobs in agriculture. As they met farm families and business owners, they learned about plant scientists, entomologists, mechanical engineers, ag software developers, animal nutritionists, food packaging designers and many more job opportunities. There was certainly a sense of excitement about returning to their classrooms to share all they learned about agriculture…to give their students exposure.
All the years I have been in Farm Bureau have afforded me this exposure and I wish my own children had received this exposure along their way. The more our ag literacy efforts can keep exposing our youth to the possibilities, the more we can get students interested. I’m excited to see the interest here in Cook County schools continue to grow and I encourage you to call or stop by this summer to see our teacher resources to help you along the way.
Many resources are featured online at https://cookcfb.org/ag-literacy-and-education/teacher-resources. We’d love to help you share our love of agriculture.