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Ag in the Classroom


 Content Editor


Chuck Denney, Narrator (UT Institute of Agriculture)

It’s the heart of summertime and these teachers are the students at Knoxville’s Sarah Moore Greene elementary. They’re learning the Tennessee Farm Bureau Federation’s “Ag in the Classroom” curriculum. And when school starts in fall, they’ll share lessons about agriculture with their students.

Tina Niles (Teacher)
“'Ag in the classroom’ offers a lot of hands-on material and experiments for the students to be involved in, and they correlate the curriculum they give you in with reading, social studies, language arts, it’s all one lump sum. It’s an excellent program.”

Chuck Denney, Narrator
Farm bureau hosts more than 50 of these teacher trainings every year.

Tanna Nicely ("Ag in the Classroom" Consultant)

“One of our main goals today is to sort of give these teachers a toolbox of things to use back in the classroom to help the kids realize where their food comes from and to also help them be stewards of the ground.”

Chuck Denney, Narrator

With agriculture, you get academics. Lots of science, animals and plants, and there’s math involved in running a farming operation. There’s also getting kids outdoors. Who says you need a classroom to learn? As the ole’ “Green Acres” theme goes, ‘farm livin’ is the life for me.’ A farm also subs nicely for a school. This was a recent urban farm day in Knoxville where nearly one thousand students got to see firsthand some of the “Ag in the Classroom” lessons they’ve been learning.

Jamaylia Maxwell
“I’ve been riding a trailer, seeing baby ducklings and sitting on hay mostly. And petting animals?”

Chuck Denney, Narrator

Farm Bureau and UT Extension put this event together, with a number of 4-Hers showing their livestock to the younger kids. Organizers say it’s a great opportunity to teach a generation about the importance of agriculture, and these kids have a hunger to learn.

Jason Bailey (Knox County Farm Bureau President)
“One farmer these days feeds over 144 people on average. It’s really exciting to see these kids out here today learning about their food and where it comes from.”

Neal Denton (UT Extension - Knox County)

“We want to know about the world around us, and the pieces of the puzzle that we’re losing in a more modern world as we’re now working on the fourth and fifth generation away from the farm, is that people don’t have a clear understanding of what farm life is like.”

Chuck Denney, Narrator

But the goal is to change that notion, and one way to do just that is to make the school yard and the barnyard interchangeable. And some teachers look to bring the farm indoors come fall.

OF NOTE: Tennessee teachers can also apply for school garden grants from Farm Bureau to help them teach the ‘Ag in the Classroom’ curriculum.