Wisconsin Ag in the Classroom Program Awards Teacher Mini-Grants

Wisconsin Farm Bureau’s Ag in the Classroom program has awarded 13 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 on the Lawn

Lisa Jagielo – Unity High School, Balsam Lake

The Unity Ag on the Lawn event is held annually each May. Elementary teachers sign up for specific times to tour the presentations and displays organized by the FFA members. The grant will be used to purchase Ag Today Readers and American Farm Bureau Foundation for Agriculture Food and Farm Fact pencils that help educate students about agriculture.

Agriculture Awareness for All!

Kirstin Thompson – Greenfield Elementary, Baldwin

Students will be expected to research rural life skills, conduct interviews of real-life experts in the community, design a three-dimensional model related to the topic and do a speaking presentation to show others what has been learned. Funds will be used to order a variety of books that students will utilize for research and learning.

Agriculture Library Expansion

Stacey Kunde – Brillion Public Schools, Brillion

Students will be encouraged to increase their reading of agricultural materials that are age appropriate and connect to course work and their interests. Funds will be used to buy agriculture-related books and magazine subscriptions to increase the selection available to students district wide.

Brooding Chicks

Stephanie DeVries – Cambria-Friesland Schools, Cambria

Having chicks in the classroom allows students to learn about nutrition, care, anatomy and clean-up of the chicks and cages. After raising the chicks to maturity, the birds will be processed in the food prep class. Funds will be used to purchase a battery brooder, feed, probiotics and eggs.

Careers in the Ag World

Cindi Syverson – South Middle School, Eau Claire

Students will explore post-secondary education options using a college pass and tour career fields and pathways exploration. Funds will be used to help with a career experience at Chippewa Valley Technical College.

Growing Plants from Seeds

John Slipek- Abbotsford High School, Abbotsford

High school students will work with second grade students to purchase seed, soil and containers for use during a nine-week unit. Each student will be able to plant seeds, monitor their growth and observe germination differences, soil temperature, moisture, sunlight, growth rate and other factors.

Increasing Agricultural History and Literacy

Kate Van Haren- Pittsville Elementary School, Pittsville

This project will help fourth and fifth grade students understand and appreciate the role that agriculture has played in shaping human development and human history. Students will read, discuss and then explain how the invention and progression of agriculture allowed the human population to grow. The grant will be used to purchase a variety of books on agricultural history.

Let’s Explore Agriculture!

Leigh Walske and Sarah Burmeister -Rexford/Longfellow Elementary School, Clintonville

The Let’s Explore Agriculture! Project will bring agriculture to first-grade classrooms during scheduled science time. The projects will explore animal and plant science while developing an agricultural journal to organize student observations. The grant will be used for curriculum and books, plant science activities, animal related projects and Learning Lab kits.

Life Lessons Learned…After School

Lori Wick – UW-Extension and Argyle School District

Lafayette County UW-Extension has partnered with the Argyle School District to offer an after-school program teaching life-skills and agricultural literacy to students in second-fourth grades. Students will cover fabric, textiles, where fiber materials come from and other related topics. Funds will be used for teaching-related snacks and supplies for the program.

Reading in Agri-Science

Nathaniel Nolden – Wisconsin Dells High School, Wisconsin Dells

The Reading in Agri-Science project is designed to provide students with reading materials to choose from during class or homeroom period. The grant will be used to buy a variety of books covering a range of Lexile levels and languages that can be cataloged and entered into a Google Form tracking system so all students can access them.

The Giving Garden

Jarred Beduze – Northland Lutheran High School, Kronenwetter

This project will translate seeds, garden and planting words and phrases from English into Spanish to help students connect to The Giving Garden. This will help students create a story in Spanish about the history of the Giving Garden. The grant will be used for translation needs and to purchase seeds, fertilizer, garden stakes and reusable pots.

Water and Light Experiments

Joel Putz – Immanuel Lutheran School, Manitowoc

Students will learn that seeds need water, light and nutrients to grow properly and will be able to make and test a hypothesis. Through testing and experiments on various plants, students will complete their research and present their results. Funds will be used for Grow Lights, timers, soil moisture sensors and other research equipment.

Wisconsin Agriculture

Andrea Waski – St. Victor’s School, Monroe

The goal of this project is to work with the Monroe FFA to introduce students to the unique areas of Wisconsin agriculture, understand where food comes form, create awareness of the value of agriculture in the county and state and use hands-on exploration that is cross-curricular and encourages investigation. Funds will be used to purchase Ag Mags, Ag Today Readers, American Farm Bureau Foundation for Agriculture pencils, Food and Farm Fact books and trivia cards.

Wisconsin Farm Bureau’s Ag in the Classroom program also has matching grants available to groups and organizations that conduct agricultural literacy projects. Applications are due by March 1 and can be downloaded at wisagclassroom.org or by contacting Darlene Arneson at 608.828.5644 or [email protected].