Impacts: Utah Agriculture in the Classroom
- Core Subjects
- Marketing Outreach
- Social Media FY16
- Continuing Education and Professional Development for Teachers
Utah Agriculture in the Classroom (AITC) is part of a nationwide program 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 K-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 utah.agclassroom.org. Teachers also have access to an e-store and a free loan library of materials.
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. We invite you to read further to learn more about the program.
Extension assistant professor
Director, Utah AITC
A Day Without Agriculture
Growing a Nation: Into a New Millennium
My farm Web
Honey Bees: A Pollination Sanitation
The National Agricultural Literacy Curriculum Matrix is an online, searchable curriculum map of field-tested, research-based lessons and companion resources ready for classroom use. Visit at:
- 126,000 students instructed using Utah AITC resources
- 600 preservice students from eight Utah higher education institutions instructed in science and social studies
- 1,800 inservice teachers participated in AITC workshops
- 900 orders generated on teacher resources e-store—an increase of 63% over FY15
- Bee Line Newsletter (K-6) distributed to 2,000 elementary teachers
- New lessons and workshop information
- Three issues per year
- AgroWorld e-zine distributed to 750 secondary teachers
- Three curriculum areas: science, technology, and society
- Four issues per year
- Utah AITC directly supported Farm Field Days throughout Utah
- Iron, Uintah, Salt Lake, Sevier, Beaver, Sanpete, Washington, Cache, Weber, and Utah counties
- Approximately 12,700 students K-6
CONTINUING EDUCATION & PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT FOR TEACHERS
Food, Land & People
Utah AITC offers an online course, Food Land & People, for current teachers seeking professional development credit. In FY16, 18 teachers in the state of Utah completed the course while teaching. Each teacher reaches between 25 and 100 students with 10-20 hours of classroom instruction that meets state standards.
Eat, Learn, Teach
The summer agricultural institute, “Eat, Learn, Teach,” was held on the USU campus in August 2015. A total of 19 teachers (K-5) attended. Seven breakout sessions were taught in areas of fiber, wheat, honey bees, school gardens, rangeland, embryology, and soil science. Agricultural tours to businesses and farms were conducted around Cache Valley
Drones in Agriculture
Drones workshops were held at three locations along the Wasatch Front (December 2015—February 2016). There were 30 teachers in attendance, representing 14 schools. Teachers were instructed on how to fly and build drones they will use with their students. Over 3,400 secondary education students were reached with this opportunity.
Utah AITC Classroom Grants
In Fall 2015, Utah AITC Classroom Grants of $500 each were awarded to four Utah teachers who integrated agricultural literacy into their core curriculum. Over 650 students were involved in these classroom grants.
During fiscal year 2016, the following lessons were written and pilot-tested:
College & Career Awareness
Working in conjunction with the Utah State Board of Education, Utah AITC created 11 agricultural lessons for the College & Career Awareness course. This program is part of the required curriculum for all Utah 7th graders. Annually, these lessons reach approximately 730 teachers and 25,000 students statewide.
Lesson: How Does Your Garden Grow? (Kindergarten):
Students will understand the needs of a seed to germinate by observing, dissecting, and germinating seeds in a “ragdoll.” Further, students will plant seeds in eggshells and observe the life cycle of a plant as they learn about sunflowers.
Lesson: A is for Apples (Kindergarten):
Students will use the five senses to investigate apples, identify and model the parts of an apple, make applesauce, and learn how apples are grown.
Lesson: From Wool to Wheel: Wool Production in Colonial America (Grade 5):
Students will investigate the importance of wool in colonial America and compare and contrast the differences between processing wool then and now. Students will spin, weave, and dye wool and watch videos illustrating how wool was processed in colonial times and how it is processed today.
In Spring 2016, Advanced Placement Human Geography lessons were piloted with 488 students by eight teachers in four states
- Agricultural Production in the U.S.
- Global Food Security
- Global Trade and Interdependence
- GMOs and Organic Foods
- The Role of Women in Global Agriculture.
This experience was fantastic! It was well organized, provided great resources for lessons from the Utah Agriculture in the Classroom website, and helped make me more aware of the farming community around me. It also gave me a desire to share this information with my students and hopefully be able to teach my students the importance of agriculture. – Teacher, summer agricultural institute"