Ag. Literacy Newsletter
In This Issue
Off To A Great Start
As you will see from the following pages, we have been busy working to teach students in our area about the importance of agriculture using engaging presentations and fun projects!! Because we see so many students repeatedly over the years, we have been working to offer new topics on agricultural crops and livestock that are a little more unique to our area. Because Rhonda Grosboll sees all of the K-5th grade students in Menard County every month, every year, she has a harder task than most in keeping ahead of the students. This month she chose to talk about rice after teaching about sunflowers in September, corn in October, and evergreen trees in November. Rhonda says, "It's so interesting/entertaining to see their eyes light up during those "aha" moments when they realize that the topic I'm presenting about really does relate to their lives! This one was about Nasi (rice) being planted in the Sa-wah (wet rice field). We all learned a couple of Chinese words, and they decided they were very glad to not be children of rice farmers as they have to work too hard!"
2016-2017 PROGRAM TOPICSSEPTEMBER/OCTOBER
FARM FUN DAY
Rachel spent October and November presenting about apples and turkeys and has moved on to teach about pigs in January. Her K-5th grade classes learn a lot in the short amount of time that she has with them. Rachel says, "As a farmer and educator I see every day how important it is to educate consumers about farms. Our livelihood depends on future generations understanding what we do and its importance. Every bit of time and money we spend today is going to come back to us positively in the long-run."
After learning about pumpkins, pigs, and cranberries in 2016, the classes that Karen teaches are learning about dairy cows this month. They learned that dairy farmers are busy milking cows twice a day, about 12 hours between milking times. Some of the information that has peaked their interest is the process of dairy cows eating grass, which includes chewing their cud. (Yuck, is what most of them think.) They are amazed to learn how much milk a cow produces in a day and how much water she drinks.
follows her presentations on apples, pumpkins, and Christmas trees already this year and boy does Amy make learning fun.
As expected, I came back to "business as usual" with the Ag in the Classroom program. Karen, Rhonda, Amy, & Rachel have been doing classroom presentations since the school year began. We worked hard before my leave to make sure they were ready for all of their programs with materials prepped and copies made ahead of time!! I am so lucky to have such caring and responsible co-workers who have graciously dealt with my growing family over the past 5 years.
Our program is as popular as ever with even more requests for presentations than we can all accommodate. Our numbers continue to grow as we strive to present programming that is relevant to children and educationally based, focusing on the science and importance of our food and fiber system - that is today's family farm!!
This summer I was lucky to be able to work with Julie Blunier, Education Coordinator at the Illinois Soybean Association, on a book about soybean production aimed at the lower elementary school level. The book is titled "Pod to Plate The Life Cycle of Soybeans". The book details a year in the life of a soybean farm with simple pictures and words for the young non-reader and emerging readers. The book was completed this fall and distributed statewide through the Ag Literacy Coordinator/Ag in the Classroom network. I spent quite a bit of time helping work out the text and getting photos taken to include in the book and I happen to think that it is a great addition to our agricultural library (I also happen to be quite partial to the final page.)
We will be distributing copies of the book to classrooms in our counties in the spring for teacher appreciation week. Many thanks for your continued support of our program . Health and good wishes!! - Carrie
AGRICULTURAL EDUCATION PARTNERSHIPThe Agricultural Education Partnership represents the educational programs of:
- University of Illinois Extension Logan, Menard, Sangamon Unit
- Logan, Menard, and Sangamon County Farm Bureaus
- Logan, Menard, and Sangamon Soil and Water Conservation Districts
- Various commodity groups throughout the state.
- And with the help and support of many businesses and individuals in the area (see donor insert)!!
AGRICULTURAL EDUCATION PARTNERSHIP
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