Teachers Focus on Agriculture at National Conference

The Nebraska Farm Bureau Foundation sent two Nebraska K-12 teachers to the National Agriculture in the Classroom Conference, June 26-29 in Portland, Maine. Three additional teachers from Nebraska also attended the four-day conference.

The annual conference uses workshops, awards ceremonies, and tours of agricultural operations to show K-12 education teachers how agriculture can be used effectively in formal classroom instruction.

Stephanie Wolf, a special education teacher at Brady Public Schools in Brady, and Jennifer Johnson, a third-grade teacher at Sutton Public Schools in Sutton, were awarded the all-expense paid trip to the conference by winning the Nebraska Farm Bureau Foundation’s 2018 Teachers of the Year designation for incorporating agriculture into their classrooms through innovative ideas and lessons.

“Being able to attend this conference means new opportunities for my students,” Wolf said. “I was able to learn about many new resources that I can not only implement in my classroom but also offer to the other teachers in my school.”

With the conference held in Portland, Maine, teachers from across the nation had the opportunity to participate in traveling workshops of nearby agribusinesses and research facilities to learn about aquaculture, artisan cheese, and the beef and dairy industries, among other stops.

“Having the opportunity to learn about aquaponics and hydroponics got me excited to start a school garden at our school,” Wolf said.

The conference also provided the teachers with ideas and resources on how to use agriculture to teach core subjects in their classrooms.

“The National Agriculture in the Classroom website is amazing, and I look forward to using it for new lessons as well as to supplement my existing lessons,” Johnson said.

Three other Nebraska teachers who attended the conference were past Teachers of the Year Bev Grueber from North Bend and Patty Romshek and Kathy Bohac from East Butler in Brainard.

Megahn Schafer, executive director of the Nebraska Farm Bureau Foundation, says supporting teachers is a smart investment. “We are thrilled to partner with teachers who recognize the benefits of incorporating agriculture into their classrooms. The impact of attending this conference will multiply as they share the knowledge and resources gained with their students and fellow teachers,” she said.

Information and photo courtesy of Nebraska Farm Bureau .

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