Farmers, ranchers taking agriculture to Texas classrooms

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Published: Aug. 2, 2022 at 6:15 PM CDT|Updated: Aug. 2, 2022 at 10:08 PM CDT
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TYLER, Texas (KLTV) - Farmers and ranchers are taking farming to the classroom for students across Texas.

Fourth grade math and science teacher at Arp Elementary School, Julie Ferguson, has been participating in the Farm From School program by the Texas Farm Bureau for the last four years.

“It was really cool connecting with the kids, especially like when the tractors come on,” Ferguson says. “They love all the tractors. They know about them but they didn’t know what all the tractors could actually do, so it really just made my lessons like, real world, it helped bring that into my classroom.”

Ferguson says being from a small town, many of her students are a part of 4H and FFA, meaning they show animals and plant gardens. She says this program gave the students a deeper understanding of these subjects.

“For instance, with the weather, the drought and stuff, they know that grocery stores don’t have it, well why don’t the grocery stores have it?” Ferguson says. “Because you know, the farmers are struggling, so just a real-world impact that it had on them was really cool.”

The Farm From School program is offered for free to public, private and homeschool educators in Texas for kindergarten through fifth grade students.

It is a live 30-minute virtual visit in the classroom with a farmer or rancher once a month for each month of the school year.

Jordan Bartels, an associate director with the Texas Farm Bureau, says when teachers sign up for the program, they receive a packet of supplies for that month’s topic.

“Really the goal of the program is to expose students to agriculture but just how diverse agriculture is too and how that connects to what they are already learning in their classroom,” Bartels says.

Farm From School is a semester-by-semester program, currently taking enrollments for the fall. Enrollment is open until August 29.

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