When you hear the word classroom the image of a school setting comes to mind. However, a classroom can be anywhere whether it’s a school, church group, fair or farm field. My daughter Alena, asked me to come along with her last year to help out with a fourth grade Ag in the Classroom presentation at a local school.
Ag in the Classroom is a motion education program geared to schools to educate about agriculture in Wisconsin program overseen by Wisconsin Farm Bureau Federation. The program provides teachers and K-12 students with an understanding of how their food is produced.
During my visit I was amazed at the attention and questions the students had and they genuinely wanted to know more. This past year we also did a presentation on soybeans to a second grade class, and again there was a lot of questions that were being asked. The class showed enthusiasm to know more and were surprised by what agricultural products they used every day.
Visiting classrooms is one way for us in the agricultural community to tell our story. It is easy to do. Just be yourself because you know your story better than anyone else. So tell it, and don’t be afraid. People of all ages are full of questions and need straight answers. I decided to share my story because most people are interested in learning more about farming and are open to facts from someone who is close to the industry. Make sure that you present your story in the right way so it becomes a good conversation and not a speech.
Yes, agriculture education should start early on in schools but really the world can be our classroom. Take advantage of it.
I plan to do more to build our county’s Ag in the Classroom program and myself as a leader. This year at the Green Lake County Fair we are going to be having an ag education station. I have been asked to consult on this area and am excited to see how it develops. We are going to have people talk on topics from vegetables to dairy. Our Green Lake County Farm Bureau promotion and education committee also told some ag stories at Markesan’s June Dairy Days. We want to not only teach the young kids about agriculture in a fun way but also get the parents involved with it too.
Ag in the Classroom…. take it beyond the school. Pick a topic you know, tell your story, and have fun.
Matt Graff has been close to the agriculture industry his whole life. Along with his wife Donna he has a small farm south of Markesan. He also has a job as a milk and grain hauler. He has two adult children.
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