David Sparks Ph.d Ag Education
by David Sparks Ph.d, click here for bio

Program: Line on Agriculture
Date: September 12, 2017

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Oregon’s chapter of Agriculture in the Classroom is in its fourth decade of reaching kids by helping teachers incorporate ag into their everyday curriculum for routine subjects like English, math, science, and history. Jessica Jansen is executive director: “This year, we will reach over 100,000 teachers for the seventh year in a row. So it’s definitely a huge impact across Oregon. We’re in all 36 Oregon counties. So really, just seeing our program reach more schools and more teachers every year.”

Ag in the Classroom is a non-profit educational foundation that provides teachers with hands-on classroom activities, books, videos and other resources such as seed germination kits to teach kids how crops grow and a digital version of the iconic Grown in Oregon Commodity Map that is now interactive. Kids can click on a region and learn about the ag characteristics of that part of the state. The program is just as relevant in rural Oregon as it is in the cities:

“Those are people that haven’t had experiences around agriculture at all. Many of them, it’s been 3 or 4 generations since their families have had those experiences. So they can’t ask mom and dad those questions. There’s that lack of knowledge throughout the generations now, which makes our job all the more important.”

On the horizon is a careers in agriculture project that focuses on middle and high school students. In the meantime, tens of thousands of kids will continue getting a daily dose of ag education this school year.

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