Oklahoma Ag in the Classroom Rolling Bus Tour Takes Teachers from the Schoolyard to the BarnyardFri, 30 Jun 2017 16:30:58 CDT
This year, Oklahoma’s Ag in the Classroom program was well represented at the 2017 National AITC Conference earlier this month, with nearly a dozen of the workshops originating from Oklahoma teachers, several scholarship winners awarded there from Oklahoma and our own Amber Bales of Morrison, Okla. named the winner of the 2017 National Excellence in Teaching Ag award. Oklahoma’s State Market Development Coordinator for AITC, Audrey Harmon, spoke to Ron Hays, Radio Oklahoma Ag Network farm director, this week in studio to talk about the program's success and its upcoming conference happening only days from now. You can listen to that full interview between Harmon and Hays, by clicking or tapping the LISTEN BAR below, at the bottom of this story.
Not only has Harmon and other AITC stakeholders returned recently from their national conference, they have also just returned from their summer tour. Sponsored in large part by the Oklahoma Beef Council, the tour is offered to a small group of teachers across Oklahoma each year to expose them to agriculture first hand so they may better incorporate agriculture into their lesson planning in their classrooms.
“This year we decided to do “Ag on Rt. 66,” Harmon said explaining the theme of the tour this year, on which the group visited several working ranches in Oklahoma as well as other points of interest. “We started at Kellyville and went to Miami and back to Kellyville over three days. Lots of looks at cattle, but then we also picked berries; went to the mushroom farm, which everybody was just amazed by.”
The AITC program boasts participants of all backgrounds. Some teachers that use the AITC lesson plans or resources, available free of charge to school systems, come from an ag background - others don’t. This tour allows both groups the chance to be exposed to agriculture close up and gain perspective on what is being practiced on today’s modern farm.
“It just gives them the opportunity to have a real-life experience to make the lessons more meaningful when they present them to their students,” Harmon said.
This tour will be offered again to teachers who wish to participate next year. In the meantime, though, Harmon extends an invitation to educators and others interested in the AITC program here in Oklahoma on July 6th, to join her during the state AITC conference, featuring 35 different workshops for attendees to choose from.
“It allows teachers to see someone else using our lessons to see how easy they are to implement,” she said, “and how they can use them in their own classrooms.”
For more information on this conference, or to check out the 300+ lesson plans and other resources provided to teachers, free of charge, click over to the AITC website.
Harmon will join Radio Oklahoma Ag Network Farm Director Ron Hays for his weekly In the Field segment on KWTV News9 in the Oklahoma City area on Saturday morning at 6:40 a.m.
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