The Wisconsin Farm Bureau Foundation, through the Wisconsin Farm Bureau’s Ag in the Classroom program, has awarded 12 Teacher Mini-Grants to Wisconsin teachers to use in agricultural literacy lessons and activities. The grants provide opportunities for teachers to obtain funding that may not be available through their local school budgets.
The following teachers were awarded grants that will be used this spring:
Andrea Waski, grades 9-12 agriculture, Brodhead High School: Awarded $100 for “Teaching the Next Generation.” This project will allow FFA members the opportunity to assemble resource bags they can use to teach younger students about agriculture. The resources will include a variety of agricultural book titles and related activities.
Cheri Oglesby, pre-K, St. Rose, Cuba City: Awarded $100 for “Let’s Feed the Cows” project. Funds will purchase farm toy equipment for students will enhance their play and knowledge about hay, including the sequence of growth, preparation and the final product fed to cattle. Youth and parents will take a field trip to Oglesby’s farm, where they will see how the same real equipment is used.
Dana Westedt, fourth grade, Pineview Elementary School, Reedsburg: Awarded $100 for “Let’s Get Growing” project. Due to the variability of the start of warm spring weather and the length of the growing season, students will start seeds indoors in their classroom in late February. In early May the flowers will be sent home or given to the local veterans’ memorial. The students will also grow vegetables in a class that will be taken home or placed in an outdoor classroom garden.
Glenda Crook, grades 9-12 agriculture and grades K-2, Lodi Schools: Awarded $100 for an ag and water conservation project in conjunction with National Agriculture Week. National Agriculture Week is an opportunity to educate both elementary and high school students about agriculture and natural resources. Lodi FFA members will present activities and lessons to elementary students to help them understand the connections between agriculture, water usage and conservation.
Jeanna James, grades 7-12 agri-science, Southern Door, Brussels: Awarded $100 for “Plant Tissue Culture” project. Plant tissue culture is a biotechnological process and technique used to grow plants. Students will expand their scientific knowledge by learning what it is and the steps involved in the process. Students will also understand how agri-science has evolved. The grant will help fund basic kitchen culture kits and other equipment needed to conduct tissue cultures.
John Slipek, grades 6-12, Abbotsford Middle and High Schools: Awarded $100 for “Garden Project 2012”. Abbotsford has had a school garden for three years. This grant will allow them to purchase a variety of seeds and plant materials needed for the garden. The garden allows students to learn where their food comes from, how to grow plants, and puts an emphasis on eating more fruits and vegetables.
Kathy Field, first grade, Manawa Elementary School: Awarded $100 for “From Wheat to Bread in First Grade” project. One of the first grade reading lessons is a nonfiction article that tells the timeline of wheat. It follows from the time wheat is planted until it reaches the bakery that crushes in into bits that are used to make food with. The grant will allow them to purchase a bread maker and ingredients to make bread.
Kimberly Forrester, grades 9-12 agriculture, Waterloo High School: Awarded $100 for “Food Preservation 101” project. WaterlooHigh School is offering a food science course for the first time. This project will help students learn the convenience and ease of preserving food. Classes will discuss canning, freezing, dehydration, food safety and careers in the food industry.
Kirstin Thompson, fifth grade, Viking Middle School, Woodville: Awarded $100 for “Rural Life Respected” project. This project will allow students to use texts to research a rural life skill (like farming, gardening or mechanical skills), conduct interviews of real-life local experts and give an oral presentation on what they learned.
Mark Strohschein, grades 9-12 agriculture, Green Bay East High School: Awarded $100 for “Ag in a Bag” project. Agriculture resource kits are being developed for local fourth grade teachers and students. The activity kit will also include a copy of Seed Soil Sun by Wisconsin farm author, Cris Peterson.
Richard Henningfeld, grades 9-12 agriculture, Big Foot High School, Walworth: Awarded $100 for “One Tree at a Time” project. The project for elementary students will have lessons on the planting and propagation of trees, photosynthesis, and how a single tree effects the environment. Agri-science students and FFA members will teach the lessons to younger students over the course of one week.
Yvonne Ziegler, 4-year-old kindergarten, St. John School, Waunakee: Awarded $100 to purchase toy farm machinery and other materials to create an agriculture reading corner in Ziegler’s classroom. It will be part of a new “AgricultureCenter” in the classroom that will answer questions by pre-school students on how living things get food, what plants and animals need to grow, and what is the land like in their community.
The Wisconsin Farm Bureau’s Ag in the Classroom program also has matching grants available to groups and organizations that conduct agricultural literacy projects. Applications are due by April 1 and can be downloaded at http://www.wisagclassroom.org/ or by contacting Darlene Arneson at 608.828.5719 or email@example.com
Farm Bureau’s Ag in the Classroom program provides teachers and students K-12 with an understanding of how their food is produced. The program seeks to work within existing curricula to provide basic information on our nation’s largest industry: Agriculture. Wisconsin’s Ag in the Classroom program is carried out by a network of local educators, volunteers and representatives from agricultural organizations and businesses. The goal of the program is to help students gain a greater awareness of the role of agriculture in the economy and society, so that they may become citizens who support wise agricultural policies.