The word agriculture is one that probably paints, for many, a picture of a dusty field being plowed over with a green tractor by a weather-worn farmer. For me, the word agriculture brings much more than this simplistic picture to mind. Today's agriculture industry in the United States provides more than just the world's safest, most abundant and most affordable food supply, but also provides literally thousands of jobs, numerous technological and medical advances, services, and non-food products to citizens around the globe.
My job as an Agricultural Educator is to both reinforce the traditional image of agriculture, while also recreating the image of agriculture many of my students already have when they walk into my classroom each August. I think it is extremely important to not loose sight of the field when I teach agriculture - food and fiber production are at the heart of this industry. However, many of my students will never be directly involved in food or fiber production - just the consumption of these items. As a result, I feel compelled to equip my students with the working knowledge of how agriculture touches their everyday lives, how their food is produced and why it is produced in such a manner, as well as the opportunities available to them within the industry, both now as a high school student and in their future.
For the past month, I've been trying to do just - and thousands of others around the country share this common goal. However, each year numerous programs around the state of Florida and the U.S. are closed because they cannot find qualified individuals to fill the need in Agriculture Education classrooms. So today, for National Teach Ag Day, I took some time to share my experiences as an Agriculture Education teacher with my students - and as a result I also caught a (somewhat hysterical) glimpse of what they think I do each day. To do this, we took a break from our Leadership unit to play, "Think Like Your Ag Teacher" at the end of class. Using their Chrome books, I had them create a Google Doc where they wrote down their answers to each of my questions before we discussed them, and then they shared their Google Doc with me at the end of class. I promised the student(s) with the most correct answers a little something special when we return from the weekend on Monday. One of my favorite answers was to the last question I asked today - If the Ag Building was on fire, would I rescue the class guinea pig or my external hard drive with all my files after I got all the students out? One student replied, "#SAVETURBO #FIRE!" My thoughts - #Classic.
If your interested in learning what I've been doing in each of my classes this past month just check out the pages for each of my subjects. This weekend, I'll be uploading the lessons for each of my units along with an outline and the resources I use for each of my preps. It's a work in progress, so bear with me as I work all of that into my schedule!
Until then - do you know someone who can be tagged to Teach Ag???