Impacts: Utah Agriculture in the Classroom

Utah Agriculture in the Classroom (AITC) is part of a nationwide agricultural literacy effort designed to help students develop an awareness and understanding of our food and fiber system and how it impacts our daily lives. With less than 2 percent of the U.S. population providing products that consumers use as food, clothing, and shelter, the importance of farmers and ranchers is evident.

Utah AITC provides resources to teachers and students, grades PreK-12, to increase agricultural literacy through education. Our program develops training and resources for practicing teachers and preservice teachers to contextualize their curriculum in the areas of science, social studies, health and nutrition, and career and technical education. All lessons are designed to meet state and national standards, and the free, classroom-ready curriculum is available at Teachers also have access to an e-store where they can purchase kits and resource materials to accompany their lessons.

National AITC’s mission is to cultivate agriculturally literate citizens who understand and can communicate the source and value of agriculture as it affects our quality of life. AITC’s vision is that agriculture is valued by all, and Utah AITC is proud to contribute to this mission and vision. We invite you to read further to learn more about the program.


Denise Stewardson, Extension associate professor, director, Utah AITC

Utah Agriculture in the Classroom logo Dairy tour
Teaching in a greenhouse

Curriculum and Resources

All Utah AITC lessons and companion resources are available on the National Agricultural Literacy Curriculum Matrix – an online, searchable curriculum map of field-tested, research-based resources ready for classroom use. Visit

Utah AITC education specialists contribute lessons regularly to the matrix. Lessons are searchable by keyword, grade level, or content area. All lessons are downloadable free of charge and are tied to Utah Core Standards, Common Core Connections, National Agricultural Literacy Outcomes, and national education content standards.

The following lessons were created and added to the Matrix in 2020:

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Full of Beans: Henry Ford Grows a Car
(Grades 3-5)
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Agritourism: Extreme Farm Makeover
(Grades 6-8)
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Federal Lands: Ranching and Recreating on Common Grounds
(Grades 9-12)
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A Recipe for Genetics: Selective Breeding and Transgenics
(Grades 6-8)

Overall, six of Utah AITC’s lessons ranked in the top 25 searches on the Matrix for 2020:

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A Tale of Two Burgers: Beef and Plant-based Protein
(Grades 9-12)
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A Recipe for Genetics: Selective Breeding and Transgenics
(Grades 6-8)
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Beef: Making the Grade
(Grades 9-12)
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Carbon Hoofprints: Cows and Climate Change
(Grades 9-12)
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Cultures, Food, and Communities around the World 
(Grades 3-5)
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Melons, Mitosis and Meiosis 
(Grades 9-12)

In 2020, Utah Agriculture in the Classroom reached:

teachers in Utah and nationwide via face-to-face and virtual workshops
Utah preservice teachers via face-to-face and virtual workshops
volunteers in Utah and nationwide via face-to-face workshops
students via teacher/volunteer training and Utah Farm Field Days

Marketing Outreach

Bee Line
Bee Line Newsletter
3 issues distributed  annually Distributed online to 2,200 teachers
New lessons Workshop Information
Teacher awards Classroom Grants
Harvest of Activities
Harvest of Activities
Monthly online newsletter Distributed to 1,650 subscribers Spotlights on seasonal commodities
Lessons and activities (focused on eLearning in 2020)
online newsletter sent every 2 months distributed to 1,100 secondary teachers

Utah Agriculture in the Classroom Facebook was viewed by 1,000 followers

Potted plants

Utah AITC Classroom Grants

In 2020, 10 Utah PreK-12 teachers were awarded $500 classroom grants for their innovative classroom projects that used agricultural concepts to teach reading, writing, math, healthy lifestyles, science, and social studies.

Classroom project grants included:

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“Across All Grades”
Scott Thieme, Crimson View Elementary
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“Aquaponics in the Special Education Classroom”
Amy Wilkey, Parowan High School
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“CRE 5th Grade SEEd”
Ruth King, Cedar Ridge Elementary
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“Eggcellent Adventure”
Laura Ure, Karl G. Maeser Preparatory Academy
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“Hatching Chicks & Aquaponics”
Molly Ortiz, Taylor Canyon Elementary
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“Hatching Science”
Cody Gull, Cedar Valley High School
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“Mission to Mars”
Teresa Hislop, Ogden Preparatory Academy
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“Plant Journals: Documenting the Growth of Living Things”
Amber Rock, Bell View Elementary
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“Plant Science & Embryology”
Meaghan Porritt, Lewiston Elementary
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“Planting for Science”
Carla van Oene, Windridge Elementary

Teacher & Volunteer Recognition

Ryan Ferre
Ryan Ferre, 5th grade teacher at Saratoga Shores Elementary in Utah County, was selected as the Utah Excellence in Teaching about Agriculture Award winner. Additionally, he was a National Excellence in Teaching about Agriculture Award winner. The award, sponsored by USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture, and the National Agriculture in the Classroom Consortium, recognizes exceptional teachers for their successful efforts in teaching agricultural concepts in their curriculum.
Lisa Clement
Lisa Clement, agriculture teacher at Willowcreek Middle School in Lehi, received a 2020 CHS Foundation Scholarship to attend the National Agriculture in the Classroom Conference. This scholarship recognizes teachers who implement agricultural literacy in their curriculum.
Sara Harward
Sara Harward, Utah Farm Bureau member from Mapleton, was selected as the 2020 Agriculture Advocate Award winner. Sponsored by The Grange, the award recognized her for her personal and professional agricultural literacy outreach efforts involving teachers and students.
April Thompson
April Thompson, teacher at Lakeview Academy in Saratoga Springs, received a $500 classroom grant from CHS Foundation. Her proposal, “Plants and Biotechnology,” provided her students with an in-depth look through a variety of hands-on activities and experiments.

Feedback from Inservice Workshops

“I just wanted to thank you for your always excellent and timely lessons. As our STEAM coordinator and SEEd advocate, I love giving these vetted, integrated lessons to our teachers. They are especially important as we plan our own sharing garden this year. Keep up the good work! We appreciate it!”
— Teacher, DaVinci Academy of Science and the Arts

“Thanks so much for all the science supplies! I have really been struggling with loving the new core and teaching science as I have for the past 15 years. Now, I am excited to dig in with the lessons you shared with us!”
— Teacher, Orchard Springs Elementary, Weber School District