The Pryor Times

September 25, 2012

Agriculture in the Classroom conference


The Times

— Classrooms across the state are several weeks into the new school year.  Prior to all the back-to-school excitement more than 250 educators representing 65 school districts gathered in Norman for the Ag in the Classroom summer conference: Stampede 2012.

 The daylong conference featured hands-on workshops designed for educators of pre-kindergarten through 8th grade students.  Topics included integrating common core into Ag in the Classroom lessons and exploring agriculturally related field trips through the Agritourism program.

 Attendees were also addressed by current Ag in the Classroom teacher of the year Shirley Lettkeman.  Lettkeman is a Nationally Board Certified fourth grade social studies and language arts teacher at Watonga Elementary in Watonga.  She also presented on the benefits of having a school garden; speaking firsthand of the success of the garden she introduced.

 A highlight of the conference was keynote speaker Trent Loos.  Loos is a sixth generation United States farmer, host of the daily radio show, Loos Tales, and founder of Faces of Agriculture, a non-profit organization putting the human element back into the production of food.  Loos encouraged teachers to be a good advocate for agriculture by being a good listener.  

Ag in the Classroom coordinators debuted new lesson plans specifically for Smartboards.  The lesson plans were written as a result of a U.S. Department of Agriculture Specialty Crop Block Grant.