Emily Kamps has been named the 2023 Wisconsin Agriculture in the Classroom Outstanding Teacher. Kamps is a third-grade educator at Fennimore Elementary in Fennimore.
The Outstanding Teacher Award honors K-12 educators working to enhance student learning and achievement in core subjects while increasing student awareness and understanding of the important role agriculture plays in students’ daily lives.
“I believe it is important for all students to be agriculturally literate because they will eventually become consumers,” stated Emily in her application. “Being agriculturally literate will allow these future consumers to make more informed decisions on food, goods, jobs, the environment, the economy and their health.”
For the three years, Kamps has integrated agricultural literacy into her classroom by integrating agriculture topics into weekly themes – including “Wisconsin Wednesdays.” Kamps has integrated agriculture into almost every core subject allowing her students to improve their reading, writing and problem-solving skills through partnerships with Wisconsin Agriculture in the Classroom, Adopt-A-Cow classroom program, and local farms and agri-businesses.
Her classroom success has spilled into summer school, as Kamps developed two new courses for K-8 students to explore agriculture through careers, STEM and literature.
Kamps hopes these extra enrichment courses will build student awareness of the diverse opportunities for careers in agriculture as well as increase the numbers of students who go on to enroll in agriculture education courses.
“Seeing what my students learn through my agriculture incorporation is very rewarding. It encourages me to do more and find new ways to make that learning fun and educational,” said Kamps. “ I hope that some of my students will decide on the agriculture field because of what they learned while in my classroom.”
Kamps received a plaque and prize packaged valued at over $1,700 and will represent Wisconsin as the state’s nominee for the Excellence in Teaching About Agriculture Award Program presented by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Ag in the Classroom program.