What do elementary students across North Dakota know about crops, livestock or conservation? Thanks to Ag in the Classroom’s Ag Mag, they have access to a wealth of such information.
Every fall, winter and spring, the magazine is published and distributed free to teachers registered with the Ag in the Classroom program. The Ag Mag explores a new agriculture topic through activities, games and lessons. This initiative provides students with an opportunity to learn about North Dakota’s largest industry.
“Many students are generations removed from agriculture and are uninformed about the time and effort that is put forth by farmers and ranchers to produce wholesome foods,” says Ashley Stegeman, Ag in the Classroom specialist. “We want this program to cultivate an understanding and appreciation for agriculture.”
The Ag Mag is one way the program does just that. Teacher education is another.
“We need to equip teachers with information about agriculture, so they are comfortable incorporating it within their classrooms,” Stegeman explains.
It’s about making the information engaging and accessible for both teachers and students.
For instance, the program is exploring online delivery of Ag Mag materials in the future and “farm chats” where students can go on a virtual tour of a farm. And as educators focus on building STEM curriculum, Ag in the Classroom can play a crucial role.
“Agriculture actually ties science, technology, engineering and math concepts together in a way that nothing else does,” Stegeman says.
Ag in the Classroom continues to teach the value of agriculture to the next generation in order to preserve North Dakota’s strong agricultural foundation.
To receive the educational Ag Mag for teaching purposes, contact the North Dakota Department of Agriculture at (701) 328-1974.