Ag in the Classroom

Teaching Ag in the Classroom


By Charmayne Hefley, Associate Editor


As the disconnect between consumers and the source of their food grows, many students do not understand where their food comes from. California teachers are doing their part to bridge the educational gap by teaching ag in the classroom.

Agriculture in the ClassroomKathy Yager, a fifth grade teacher at Fowler Unified School District, as well as a farmer, brings agriculture education to her students in several ways. “We’ve been using programs through the California Foundation for Agriculture in the Classroom,” Yager said.

“I’ve participated in Taste Test grants,” Yager said. The grant allows teachers to bring in a new ag product, “and the students get the opportunity to try those things.” Yager said it also helps expose students to new products, and allows them to become better informDairy Council of CAed consumers in the future.

“We also have visits from the Dairy Council of California and students get to see a dairy cow and how the whole milking process works,” Yager said.

In addition Yager brings farmers, including her own brother, into the classroom to educate students, “and [they] show students how agriculture works and how a product gets from the field, to the stores, and to them.”

Healthy Eating

California Foundation for Agriculture in the Classroom (CFAIC)

More than 7 million California students are fed, clothed and housed with products grown right here on our farms, in our fields and within our forests. California Foundation for Agriculture in the Classroom is dedicated to helping students and teachers across our great state gain an understanding of how agriculture provides the daily essentials necessary to make our society and our world function.

From the cotton in our jeans and the food on our tables, to our landscaped yards and playing fields, we all depend on agriculture. The survival of this vital industry depends on educating and encouraging the next generation of decision-makers. We do this by engaging students and educators in meaningful ways: developing and sharing unique classroom curriculum, supporting school garden efforts, spreading our message at local Ag Days, honoring outstanding educators, rewarding students who learn and write stories about agriculture and so much more. Programs:

Imagine this… Story Writing Contest

Meet Academic Content Standards for California schools through this creative writing contest!

Create a positive learning experience that promotes reading, writing and the arts, and furthers the understanding of agriculture in our lives by using this award-winning contest in your classroom.


State-winning authors will have their stories published in an illustrated book and will be distributed to school libraries and classrooms across the state!


Entries must be postmarked by November 1, annually.
Download entry form (PDF, 331 KB)

California Fruits and Vegetables Seasonal Chart (PDF, 18 KB)

Secretary Ross Joins Elementary School Students to Experience Mobile Dairy Classroom

Source: Tammy Anderson-Wise, CEO Dairy Council of California

Earlier this month, CDFA Secretary Karen Ross joined students at Sacramento’s Pacific Elementary School for a visit from the Mobile Dairy Classroom, where an instructor shared fun facts like: cows have built-in fly swatters, and milk is warm when it comes out of the udder.

As the original farm to school program in California, Mobile Dairy Classroom has brought a bit of the dairy farm to schools across the state since the 1930s.

To help children better appreciate where their milk and milk products come from, the free assemblies provided by the Dairy Council of California teach children about agriculture and cows, healthy eating from all five food groups, and how to lead healthy, active lifestyles.

Mobile Dairy Classroom assemblies augment the Dairy Council of California’s classroom nutrition education lessons that are also free to schools as part of the dairy industry’s commitment to community health.

With six Mobile Dairy Classroom units across California, 400,000 students each year have the chance to make a personal connection with a cow and a calf, and better understand where their milk comes from.

Furthermore, the assemblies allow for a better appreciation for the role of the dairy farmer and milk processor in providing healthy food and why milk and milk products are an essential part of an overall balanced diet with foods from all five food groups.