This is a poem that hangs in my office that I wanted to share with you. It is titled "What is a Farmer?" written by anonymous.
A farmer is a paradox – he is an overall executive with his home office; a scientist using fertilizer attachments; a purchasing agent in an old straw hat; a personnel director with grease under his fingernails; a dietitian with a passion for alfalfa, aminos and antibiotics; a production expert with a surplus and a manager battling a price-cost squeeze. He manages more capital than most businessmen in town.
He likes sunshine, good food, State Fairs, dinner at noon, auctions, his shirt collar unbuttoned and, above all, a good soaking rain in August.
Farmers are found in fields – plowing up, seeding down, rotating from, planting to, fertilizing with, spraying for, and harvesting. Wives help them, little boys follow them, the Agriculture Department confuses them, city relatives visit them, salesmen detain them and wait for them, weather can delay them, but it takes Heaven to stop them.
A farmer is both Faith and Fatalist – he must have faith to continually meet the challenges of his capacities amid an ever-present possibility that an Act of God (a late spring, an early frost, tornado, floods, drought) can bring his business to a standstill. You can reduce his acreage but you can't restrain his ambition.
He is not much for droughts, ditches, throughways, experts, weeds, the eight-hour day, grasshopper or helping with housework.
Might as well put up with him – he is your friend, your competitor, your customer, your source of food, fiber and self-reliant young citizens to help replenish your cities. He is your countryman – a denim dressed, business wise, fast growing statesman of stature. And when he comes in at noon, having spent the energy of his hopes and dreams, he can be recharged anew with the magic words: "The market's up."
-National Cherry Month
-National FFA Week (19-25)
-Groundhog Day (2)
-Lincoln's Birthday (12)
-Floral Design Day (28)
During the months of February and March I will be offering schools a program on Trees.In this presentation we will look at things like how trees grow, parts of trees, different kinds of trees and what we use them for.
If your class is interested in this program please contact Aimee at firstname.lastname@example.org or 815-268-4051. Programs can be scheduled for 30-60 minutes and include hands on activities.
Since the last issue of the Ag Awareness Express two new Ag Mags have been released.
The Pork Ag Mag talks about pork in our diet, what pigs eat, the life of a pig, pig farmers, and interviews people in pork careers.The Livestock Ag Mag addresses various types of livestock including beef, dairy, horses, chickens, pigs.Learn how farmers take care of each species, animal nutrition, animal care, and more.
Ag Mags are free of charge.If you are interested in either of these or any of the existing Ag Mags please contact Aimee at email@example.com.
Out in theatres now is a movie called "War Horse". This movie is actually based on a book by the same name.Coming soon will be a booklet full of lessons that can accompany the reading of this book. Another great addition to go along is the Horse Ag Mag.Watch for more information soon!
March is a big month for Agriculture.National Agriculture Week is March 14-20.This year's theme is"American Agriculture. Your Food. Your Farmer." This is a great time to celebrate agriculture in your school.If you would like ideas for classroom or school wide activities to help celebrate please contact Aimee at 815-268-4051.Here are a couple of ideas to get you started!
-Invite a farmer in to tell you his story.
-Ag Olympics Games
-Agriculture Trivia Feud
-Quick and Easy Make and Takes
-Farm Petting Zoo
-Agriculture Career Day
National Agriculture Week is coming soon.This year PreK-3rd grades are invited to participate in a coloring contest while 4th-12th grades are invited to do a poster contest.Teachers should have received information regarding this contest in January. Deadline to submit coloring pages/posters is February 13.If you did not receive information and would like it please contact Aimee.
All posters and pages will be displayed in area businesses during National Agriculture Week in March.
Mark your calendars now for the 2012 Summer Agriculture Institute.This four day teacher workshop will be held June 11, 12, 13, 14.The planning of the program is underway.We will be touring various agribusinesses, hearing from agribusiness people, and learning about how you can incorporate agriculture into your classroom.
CPDUs or grad credits (2) through Aurora University will be offered to those who attend.The Summer Agricultural Institute is open to all teachers, counselors, and administrators. Those who attended last year's class are welcome to attend again as the program will be different and feature different tours.You may only take the Grad Credit one time.
Registration information will be included in the March issue of this newsletter.If you want to be put on the list to receive more information about the Summer Agriculture Institute please send Aimee an e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Illinois Ag in the Classroom strives to create the most user friendly and relevant information for you to use in your classroom. Almost all of the information that you receive is linked to Illinois Learning Standards and Assessment Framworks.As Illinois starts to move to the Core Curriculum so will Illinois Ag in the Classroom.Lots of the materials that we use will be condusive to the Core Curriculum. State staff has started looking at how it all fits.It does help that our state director is a former teacher and a current school board member.It helps us stay on top of things like this.Summer Ag Institute will definitely have more information on how Ag in the Classroom and Core Curriculum work together.
February 12 will mark Abraham Lincoln's Birthday.Lincoln has had an instrumental role in agriculture as we see it today.In 1861 he established the U.S. Department of Agriculture.He also signed the Morrill Land Grant College Act in 1862 which donated public land for colleges of agriculture and mechanical arts.The University of Illinoisis Illinois'land grant college.
Let Illinois Ag in the Classroom help you celebrate his birthday.IAITC has developed a resource of lessons that can be used in conjunction with the book L is For Lincoln: An Illinois Alphabet by Kathy Jo Wargin.To view this resource visit www.agintheclassroom.org under Teacher Resources – lesson booklets or contact Aimee.