Ag in The Classroom, a National group
organized to promote Agriculture education for children, was conducted
in March and April at the Ohio County Elementary School by Ag in
the Classroom educator Linda Phillips, along with the assistance
of Bonnie Bovard, local dairy farmer-Bovard’s Dairy, Naomi
Eversman, Kystie Jaehnen, Main Source Bank, Jill Richards, Ohio
County Extension Agent. Ohio County Farm Bureau, Inc. sponsored
the programs for the elementary students.
Kindergarten classes were introduced to the SOYBEAN and its many byproducts and treated to a reading of the book. Why The
Brown Bean Was Blue, Bennie the Bean Rap Video and were served a snack of pancakes and jam that included soy ingredients.
The children also received a “goodie bag” filled with items related to their soy adventure provided by the Indiana Soybean
First grade students learned about FARM and
RURAL SAFETY where they were engaged in numerous interactive farm safety
to help them think about possible safety hazards peculiar to the
rural setting on a farm.
They were also reminded about the use of seatbelts in a moving vehicle and helmets when riding on an ATV or bike or using
a skateboard or roller blades.
The children were introduced to the ‘one seat –one rider rule.’ The children also received a ‘goodie bag’ with farm safety
color books, information and crayons. The children love the interaction of this program.
Second grade students learned about BEEF, PORK and PIZZA. They were introduced to the beef cow and pig and many of the uses
and byproducts of these animals, along with the nutritional value of healthy protein and nutrients in meats.
The students learned how an animal is raised and cared for on a farm and then they got to see a giant pizza and learned some
of the health benefits of the ingredients used to make a pizza- including beef and pork products.
SNAPPY TOMATO PIZZA in Rising Sun provided the
entire class with a slice of pizza as a treat. All the children
bags’ with beef and pork information and games and puzzles and a
certificate for free pizza from Snappy Tomato Pizza and Main
Source Bank provided piggy banks for every student.
Third grade students enjoyed a video on dairy farms- Make Mine Milk- a rousing introduction to the health benefits of milk
and dairy products and how milk is produced, processed and ends up in the grocery store.
They learned about what cows eat to produce milk and how much milk a single cow can produce in a year. (Did you know you would
have to eat 1440 slices of bread or 206 baked potatoes or 480 hamburgers to eat as much as cow does in one day?)
After learning everything about dairy, the children made their own ice cream in a bag and enjoyed the results as a treat.
All children received a ‘goodie bag’ with lots of fun stuff related to the dairy industry.
Along with the programs presented all the children got to view a mini scale farm with farm equipment, barns, and animals.
Many local and state businesses provided
supplies for the children’ programs this year as they have in years
past. Ohio County
Farm Bureau, Inc., Snappy Tomato Pizza-Rising Sun, Smith
Implements, Inc. of Greensburg, Indiana Soybean Alliance, Dairy Farmers
of America, Indiana Beef Council, Indiana Beef Cattle Association,
the National Pork Board, Rising Sun-Ohio County Rescue,
and Main Source Bank-Rising Sun.
These suppliers provided, among other things,
color books, crayons, books, posters, erasers, videos, educational
product information, craft items and food items that were enjoyed
by the children during the presentations. They also provided
teaching tools for the educators to use in the classroom
environment as they wish to fit the school curriculum.
Mrs. Phillips donated teaching tools about
agriculture to the OCEMS library and educators at OCEMS for individual
use. That included videos, informational posters and teaching
tools with lesson plans for science, social studies, math, reading,
nutrition, and Ag related topics that trace ingredients from farm
All the educators involved seemed to enjoy the sessions and were also given ‘goodie bags’ with story books for the classroom,
lots of information on farm commodities and other useful items.
These classes are an annual event and Linda Phillips with her assistants has been conducting Ag in The Classroom for over
22 years. Phillips also travels to other counties for Ag Day presentations and does presentations locally upon request.
“As an Ag in The Classroom educator our goal is to continue to entertain, educate, and inform each student about farm commodity
production and pinpoint safety issues that are of concern in the rural environment,” said Phillips.
“With the loss of farmland and a poor economy,
farmers as businessmen, are surely suffering the effects. Hopefully,
children learn about farm commodities and production, the more
they learn to respect farmers as educated, intelligent businessmen.
“Our goal is to continue to impress upon young
people and ultimately their parents, the value of farm commodities to
future health and livelihood. We try to convey the necessity of
appreciating the products produced on local farms and the
need to realize those products did not originate in a grocery
store and be aware of the safety issues peculiar to a farm business.”