Kansas Foundation for Agriculture in the Classroom recently hosted a week-long graduate class for Kansas teachers. The course, "Connecting Your Classroom to Kansas Agriculture", was held in Manhattan at Kansas State University.
The course, for Kansas teachers interested in incorporating agriculture into their classroom, provided an opportunity to learn about several areas of agriculture, including food and milling sciences, agronomy, biotechnology, entomology, animal sciences and horticulture.
The teachers learned about no-till farming at the Wayne and Rod Gfeller family farm outside of Junction City. Tours of Good Farms, Inc., swine operation in Olsburg, Hildebrand Farms Dairy in Junction City and Lyons Ranch outside of Manhattan were also included on the week's list of events.
It is expected that the farm knowledge gained by teachers throughout this course will enable them to integrate agriculture into all subjects this upcoming school year and beyond.
"With one in five students going into a career related to agriculture, the Foundation believes it is important to expose them to the possibilities by helping teachers discover agriculture and its exciting outreach," said Cathy Musick, KFAC executive director.
The three-credit hour graduate course was taught by Musick and Kansas State University faculty Dr. Steven Harbstreit, associate professor of agricultural education and Dr. Kevin Donnelly, professor of agronomy.
Scholarships provided by agriculture donors were available, which covered each teacher's tuition costs. The donors for the 2012 course included ICM, Inc. of Colwich, Kan., Kansas Farm Bureau of Manhattan, Kan., Kansas Dairy Commission, and several Kansas county Conservation Districts and county Farm Bureaus.
The Kansas Foundation for Agriculture in the Classroom is a 501c3 nonprofit organization. KFAC was founded in 1982 as part of a nationwide initiative to help students gain a greater awareness of the role of agriculture in the economy and society, so that they may become citizens who support wise agricultural policies.