Agriculture teachers help students become entrepreneurs and agriculturalists who will help shape the future of agriculture through development of skills, problem solving, and experiential learning. National Teach Ag Day, scheduled for Sept. 20, celebrates these teachers and encourages students to consider a career in agricultural education.
In honor of this celebration, Michigan Farm Bureau is highlighting eight winning Michigan FFA Chapters receiving the Michigan Foundation for Agriculture’s #SpeakAgMichigan award in 2018. This award is given to chapters engaged in agricultural education and outreach activities in their communities.
Winning chapters set clear goals and worked with partnering organizations and teachers to deliver dynamic learning experiences for youth and adults. The 2018 #SpeakAgMichigan application deadline is December 1, 2018.
Lapeer County FFA Chapter was selected as the first place chapter for their series of events for elementary and special needs students. Chapter advisor Tammy Hyatt explains why she and her students care about showing their community the value of agriculture.
Q: What does receiving the #SpeakAgMichigan award mean to you and your students?
A: We feel that receiving the #SpeakAgMichigan award is the most prestigious award because it demonstrates our chapter goal of increasing agricultural literacy in our county, community, state, and internationally. It represents the years of hard work in the community and working with people to build understanding of where their food and fiber comes from. It also represents the leadership that our FFA chapter provides to make a difference in the community.
Q: What are your chapter’s goals for increasing your community’s understanding of agriculture?
A: Our chapter focused our agricultural literacy outreach on five specific goals. Using our greenhouse and livestock and existing relationships with the Eastern Michigan State Fair and Lapeer County Farm Bureau, we planned educational events for kindergartners, third graders and special education students.
Q: What will your program do with the funds from the #SpeakAgMichigan award?
A: We plan on increasing the number of elementary classrooms that we teach hands-on agricultural lessons. We will use the funds to purchase additional seeds, soil, and pots, as well as the American Farm Bureau’s Food and Farm Facts books, and several Ag Mags to help educate not only the elementary students that visit but also their parents. We will also use the funds to rent the Genesee Agricultural Literacy trailer and to build a model cow with a working udder to allow children to milk a cow at our county fair.
Q: What does the support of organizations like Michigan Farm Bureau mean to your program?
A: Michigan Farm Bureau as well as our local Lapeer County Farm Bureau have been instrumental in our success in agricultural literacy assisting us in presenting agriculture to 3rd graders across the county, supporting our FFA members' agriculture training at MFB conferences, and our Uganda exchange program. The support for our FFA program is tremendous as Lapeer County Farm Bureau has also assisted financially in sending students to State and National Convention every year. The partnership we have with Farm Bureau is the icing on the cake to this #SpeakAgMichigan Award.
The #SpeakAgricultureMichigan awards are presented by Michigan Farm Bureau with financial support from the Michigan Foundation for Agriculture. The Michigan Foundation for Agriculture, a 501(c)(3) governed by Michigan Farm Bureau’s Board of Directors, positively contributes to the future of Michigan agriculture through leadership and educational programming.