I was able to spend time with Ms. Beverly Hall at the Ag Lab at Jere Whitson Elementry to learn about how she elements ag in the classroom. The Ag Lab is a one-acre plot attached to the school grounds that contains a pavilion area, greenhouse, wilderness trail, garden area, multiple raised beds, fruit trees, and blackberry & blueberry bushes. The school uses the Ag Lab as a teaching tool. Ms. Beverly and I agree that ag education should begin with our youth. I asked how she helps other educators place ag into their curriculum. She explained in a way that was simpler than I expected. Any chance she can sneak ag into the lessons she does. Although she doesn't like teaching her second graders about greek gods and goddesses she is able to take the story of Persephone being with Hades for 6 months and 6 months with Demeter and use it to teach about seasons. Seasons can relate to planting and harvesting in the world of agriculture. Students are able to learn how and where their food comes from. It's easy for kids to justify that meat and produce come from the grocery store when the only place they see those items are at a grocery store. Ms. Beverly teaches her students how to plant corn, beans, potatoes, and many other crops. After they have harvested their crops students have the opportunity to taste the items that they have grown. If kids are not taught where their food and fiber come from how and when are they going to learn it. Some of the lessons taught out in the Ag Lab are not solely ag based. Kindergarten students learn about shapes, measurement numbers and counting for 1st grade, area and perimeter for upper grades and so much more. They are learning where their food comes from which is the most important!
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