#SpeakAgMichigan is an award given to FFA 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 2020 #SpeakAgMichigan application deadline is December 1, 2020.
By Paige Lupcke
Agriculture education is extremely important to Joe Ankley, agriscience educator at North Huron Public Schools, and his work there in Kinde has earned him one of nine #SpeakAgMichigan awards for efforts during the 2018-19 school year.
Ankley and his FFA members implemented a series of agriculture-based biweekly lesson plans during their after-school program. Advanced ag students led lessons throughout the school year and the entire chapter organized an end-of-year Farm Fun Day for the entire school.
Nick Craig, a senior and FFA Chapter President at North Huron, reflected on how this event influenced his future volunteer choices.
“I now want to have more education about agriculture in more elementary schools,” Craig said. “We have an elementary agriculture classroom where I help manage a tower garden. After other schools heard about it, they wanted to find out more and we have shared our experiences.
“Currently my chapter is also teaching agricultural lessons at one other local school system in addition to every elementary classroom at our school.”
In addition to the high school students, North Huron FFA alumni served as guest speakers, provided resources and helped out with various after-school activities.
As the year’s culmination, Farm Fun Day gave students a chance to put their learning to the test. Students visited a tractor-safety station, interacted with various livestock species, visited a petting zoo, created their own succulent garden and participated in kiddie tractor races.
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.
Paige Lupcke in an intern in MFB’s Promotion & Education Department.