During National Agriculture Week, March 11-15, Michigan Farm Bureau (MFB) announced Jeremy Winsor of Fulton Middle/High School in Middleton as its educator of the year. The award will be formally presented at MFB’s 100th State Annual Meeting in December.
The Educator of the Year will receive a scholarship to attend the National Agriculture in the Classroom Conference as well as a $500 classroom grant from the Michigan Foundation for Agriculture sponsored by Agroliquid.
Winsor introduced the Michigan Department of Natural Resources’ (DNR) Salmon in the Classroom program to his middle and high school classes. The program provides students the experience of raising salmon from egg to smolt. His lessons use the fish to teach students the biological requirements to sustain life, water quality, waste management and natural resource utilization. His students also work directly with biologists from the DNR and Department of Environmental Quality to learn about management practices in near-by Fish Creek.
“I’m impressed with Jeremy’s work and ambition,” wrote his nominator, Marisa Bramer of Gratiot County Farm Bureau. “He has an exceptional work ethic that is evident by the success of the programs he has developed and his ability to communicate his vision to gain the support of the community.”
In addition to the salmon project, Winsor brought a greenhouse project to fruition by partnering with the community to raise $20,000 in donations and grants. This project will allow students in grades K-12 to engage in hands-on plant biology lessons at the school.
Winsor’s teaching doesn’t stay within the walls of his school. He has shared his knowledge of aquaponics at the Michigan Science Teachers Association Annual Conference as well as at several DNR seminars including the Beaver Island Institute and at Wolf Lake State Fish Hatchery. Winsor’s class was even showcased on the Michigan-Out-of-Doors television show highlighting the ways his students were working to improve local watersheds.
MFB’s Educator of the Year award recognizes teachers who excel at integrating agriculture and natural resource concepts into school curricula and who challenge students to develop critical thinking skills through the analysis of agricultural issues and information. Teachers are nominated annually by county Farm Bureaus for this award.
Sponsorship for this award is provided by the Michigan Foundation for Agriculture, a 501(c)(3) governed by Michigan Farm Bureau’s Board of Directors, which positively contributes to the future of Michigan agriculture through leadership and educational programming.