Wisconsin Ag in the Classroom Program Awards Teacher Mini-Grants

Wisconsin Farm Bureau’s Ag in the Classroom program has awarded thirteen teacher mini-grants to be used for agricultural literacy lessons and activities. The $100 grants, funded by the Wisconsin Farm Bureau Foundation, provide opportunities for teachers to obtain funding that may not be available through their local school budgets.

The following teachers were awarded grants:

Ag is for All- Keri Radtke- Mineral Point Elementary, Mineral Point

This project will provide second grade students timely access to literature about agricultural topics using books. Dedicating a section of the classroom library to agriculture-related topics, the books will be readily available for students to do self-selected research and allow them the opportunity to learn about agriculture. Funds received from the grant will be used to buy a variety of agriculture-related books.

Ag on the Lawn and Beyond- Jodi Meyer- Independence High School, Independence

The Independence FFA and agricultural education classes plan to promote agricultural literacy in the district’s elementary classes. The program will set up monthly activities with different classes in the elementary school to teach seasonal units. The program also plans to introduce the Adopt-a-Cow program to each of the fourth-grade classes. The program will continue its Ag on the Lawn program which has 25 stations to learn about agriculture. Funds received from the grant will be used for the Adopt-a-Cow program materials, supplies for Ag on the Lawn and agricultural literacy books.

Careers in Agriculture- Cindi Syverson- South Middle School, Eau Claire

Students will complete Xello Career Interest Survey as a part of their required curriculum. Using career lessons from National Ag in the Classroom, students will explore the fields of agriculture and use Career Track, a board game that requires students to identify careers in agriculture and natural resources. Funds received from the grant will be used to purchase the games, Career Ag Mags, transportation and lunch on a technical college campus.

Cooking in the Classroom- Livia Doyle- Mineral Point Elementary, Mineral Point

With adult supervision, fourth graders are at a perfect age to begin using tools in the kitchen. This project will allow students to prepare, cook and dish simple foods by using basic ingredients and seasonal produce. Students will gain a greater awareness of where and how food is grown and produced by learning about the top commodities grown throughout Wisconsin. Funds received from the grant will be used to buy cutting boards, apple peelers, paring knives and other needed equipment.

Cultivating Young Minds- Samantha Mueller and Sara Hamilton- Kickapoo Elementary, Viola

This project will build an Agricultural Literacy Classroom Library to introduce students to the wonderment of Wisconsin agriculture, facilitating their understanding of where their food comes from, creating awareness of the value of agriculture in their schools, homes, community, county, and state, and use hands-on exploration that is cross-curricular and encourages investigation. Funds received from the grant will be used to purchase five ag literacy books with educator guides including “The Beeman”, “First Peas to the Table”, “Popcorn Country”, “Right this Very Minute” and “Time for Cranberries”.

Dairy in the Culinary Classroom- Sheila Kroseberg- Waupaca High School, Waupaca

Using a two-week dairy unit in their culinary course both semesters, Waupaca High School students will get firsthand experience making frozen yogurt, ice cream and other products. Students will determine the relationship between agriculture and lifestyle by examining the nutritional value of ingredients, becoming aware of careers and understanding how to promote a healthy lifestyle.

Discovery of Wisconsin Agriculture- Jenna Hamilton- Kickapoo Elementary, Viola

The key objective of the fourth-grade standards is for student learners to discover how farmers accomplish key tasks, such as sustainability, production, and processing. Student learners at Kickapoo Elementary will practice using reading and comprehension strategies while exploring agriculture-themed text by purchasing a variety of Ag Mags.

Eggs to Chicks- Cheri Oglesby- St. Rose Catholic School, Cuba City

This project will bring awareness to the importance of the farming community by learning about poultry and egg production. The funds received from the grant will be used to buy an incubator, feeders and waterers, vitamin packs, chick starter feed and heat lamps.

Elementary Ag Connection- Grace Anderson- Spring Valley Schools, Spring Valley

This project will help connect high school FFA members with elementary-level students to help them learn about agriculture. In the spring, the Spring Valley FFA officer team will talk to students about how animals are born and raised during spring on the farm. Students will learn about planting crops how the crops are used. Funds received from the grant will be used to purchase chicks and resources needed for the visits.

Gardening and Recycling- Sue Hellmers- Willow River Elementary, Hudson

The focus on taking care of the earth through gardening and recycling will be demonstrated through the purchase of two large planters made from recycled materials that will be placed outside of the Willow River Elementary school as part of the school’s Earth Day celebration in April 2022. This will help the district’s 4K-5th Environmental Club restart after a COVID-19 shutdown of their activities.

Growing Plants from Scratch- John Slipek- Abbotsford High School, Abbotsford

This project will introduce students and faculty members at the elementary to the Abbotsford High School greenhouse located near the elementary school. Students will plant flowers and vegetables from February – May. The funds received from the grant will be used to purchase seed and soil for the project.

Secrets of Sustainability- Kirstin Thompson- Greenfield Elementary, Baldwin

Students have found more time to spend with electronic games than with parents, grandparents or other older members of the community. Oral history and rural life educational opportunities are being lost. In this project, students will research rural life skills, conduct interviews with community members and give presentations while learning about agriculture in the process. Funds received from the grant will be used to purchase books and will tie curriculum to the new Informational Text standards.

Worm Farms- Kally Koch- Riverdale School District, Muscoda This project will introduce composting and vermiculture to students in the Riverdale School District. The composting equipment and materials bought with grant funds will be used in the district’s agricultural education classes and throughout the school for the school’s garden and to raise worms. Some students may use the project for their FFA Supervised Agriculture Experience project. This system will be used to discuss food waste and recycling.