What an Ag-Venture!
First year of programming for Loess Hills Agriculture in the Classroom
Harlan, IA., – September 23, 2019 – Loess Hills Agriculture in the Classroom (LHAITC) has completed its first school year of classroom programing. This regional effort of the Iowa Agriculture Literacy Foundation includes the counties of Carroll, Crawford, Harrison, Shelby, and West Pottawattamie.
“I have heard great things about Loess Hills everywhere” states Lila Bruck, Crawford County community member. “The kids are really excited about this type of programming and other people are noticing the impact that Loess Hills Agriculture in the Classroom is making.”
And the numbers tell the same story. Programs have been conducted in 20 schools in 15 different school districts. There have been 6,182 students reached through 286 classroom programs. The impact is not limited to classrooms alone. STEM festivals, library presentations, county fair programs, and ag safety days are all events that Loess Hills Agriculture in the Classroom has presented at.
“That’s huge!” says local farmer and Harrison County Farm Bureau member, Jay Heim. He had just been updated as to the number of people and students impacted by Loess Hills Agriculture in the Classroom programs. “No really, that is a great first year.”
In addition to guest speaker presentations and in classroom programming, Loess Hills Agriculture in the Classroom is dedicated to showing teachers how they can use agriculture in their everyday lesson plans. Twelve teachers from around the region attended a professional development workshop in July held in Council Bluffs. These teachers participated in farm and agribusiness tours and learned how to incorporate agriculture into their science and social studies lessons. Locations for another workshop next year are already being discussed.
The organization’s advisory council plans to expand and grow the reach during the 2019-2020 school year. The group set a goal to connect with 20 new teachers and conduct programs in at least three additional school districts during this school year. Education program coordinator, Melanie Bruck said, “I am excited to be back in classrooms and to begin reaching students with ‘ah-ha’ moments in this new school year.”
“I never considered how important agriculture was when I was in school,” says Bruck. “Now, I realize the role it has in our everyday lives. I am privileged to teach this generation of students and work alongside their teachers with a common goal… agricultural literacy.”
For more information, please visit www.IowaAgLiteracy.org.
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About Loess Hills Agriculture in the Classroom
Loess Hills Agriculture in the Classroom is a regional effort of the Iowa Agriculture Literacy Foundation (IALF). It serves school districts in five counties in southwest Iowa including Carroll Co., Crawford Co., Harrison Co., Shelby Co., and West Pottawattamie Co. The IALF mission is to educate Iowans, with a focus on youth, regarding the breadth and global significance of agriculture. IALF serves as a central resource for educators and volunteers who want to teach Iowa's students about agriculture. As leading producer of agricultural products, it is important for all Iowans to understand the essential role agriculture has in their lives. The mission of Agriculture in the Classroom is to "increase agricultural literacy through K-12 education." An agriculturally literate person is "one who understands and can communicate the source and value of agriculture as it affects quality of life." AITC programs seek to improve student achievement by applying authentic, agricultural-based content as the context to teach core curriculum concepts in science, social studies, language arts and nutrition. By embedding agriculture into curriculum, AITC cultivates an understanding and appreciation of the food and fiber system that we rely on every day. AITC is unique within the agricultural education community as the lead organization to serve the full spectrum of K-12 formal education. For more information visit IALF online at www.IowaAgLiteracy.org, on Facebook, and Twitter.
Loess Hills Agriculture in the Classroom
Melanie Bruck, Education Program Coordinator
Loess Hills Agriculture in the Classroom