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.
Kathy 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 informed 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.”
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.