Courtesy of Peter Hecht

A Sacramento-area teacher who created a garden and horticulture program to introduce students to agriculture has been honored with the “Outstanding Educator Award” presented by the California Foundation for Agriculture in the Classroom.

Kevin Jordan, a science and horticulture teacher at Leo A. Palmiter Junior and Senior High School in the Sacramento County community of Arden-Arcade, received the award at the 105th California Farm Bureau Annual Meeting in Reno.

Jordan, who has worked at the school for 14 years, was also recently named the 2023 Teacher of the Year by the Sacramento County Office of Education.

A graduate of California State University, Sacramento, Jordan built an urban oasis to provide students with a hands-on understanding of growing food. “A school garden is truly a magical place that contains endless opportunities for students to explore, discover, create and grow,” he explained.

Jordan has also created and hosts agricultural-themed programs, including the Field Trippin’ YouTube channel and the Green Acres Garden Podcast.

“Understanding agriculture and where our food comes from helps students appreciate all aspects of food production in California,” Jordan said. “Laying the foundation for students’ passion in agriculture improves their opportunities for pursuing a higher education and paves the way for a potential job in the agriculture industry.”

“Kevin is a true advocate for agricultural education,” said Judy Culbertson, executive director of the California Foundation for Agriculture in the Classroom. “His dedication and enthusiasm shines through in his classroom in ways that impact his students now and in the future. We are excited to work with Mr. Jordan as our ‘Outstanding Educator’ this year and look forward to seeing his school garden project flourish.”