Saturday, March 1, 2014

March Comments for a Cause - North Central Iowa Ag in the Classroom

It is the 1st of March so that means two things: it is time to announce last month's Comments of a Cause totals and this month's new cause.  First, February's results!  It has been so fun creating a Comments for a Cause program on my blog and to be able to share about the Iowa FFA Foundation in February.  In February I had a total of 48 comments, equaling a donation of $24.00.  I will be sending this into the Foundation's "I Believe" campaign that is working to erase the debt on the Iowa FFA Enrichment Center.  Thank you to everyone that commented this past month!

Now it is time to announce March's cause.  During the month of March I will be donating $0.50 for every comment to the North Central Iowa Ag in the Classroom!  This 501(c)3 non-profit organization offers a variety of programs and lessons in six counties in North Iowa.  I think this approach to offering agricultural education to students is unique and works.  I look forward to helping their efforts through this month's Comments for a Cause.

Ag in the Classroom is a national program that is coordinated by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and at the state level many state Farm Bureaus and Extension programs manage the programs.  It was created in 1981 because those in agriculture, business, education and government saw a lack of understanding of agriculture.  As more and more youth grow further removed from the farm, the need for agriculture education increases.  In Iowa, Ag in the Classroom is managed by the Iowa Farm Bureau and individual county Farm Bureaus.  In 1998, five North Central Iowa county Farm Bureaus got together to pool their materials and resources so the youth of North Iowa would be better served.  In 2004 this group officially became a non-profit organization and hired two part-time employees.  One of these staff members works on grant writing and finding sponsorships, and the other works on developing curriculum.  Both of these staff members do in the classroom lessons and programs.  The program was so successful, and the need for agriculture education continued to grow, that a third part-time employee joined the organization in 2006 and in 2008 an additional county was added to the service area.

LP loves the chicken embryology program too!
Classrooms that participate in this lesson learn actually have eggs
hatch in their classroom and learn about the embryology process
The three staff members of the North Central Iowa Ag in the Classroom are passionate about agriculture and do such a great job with the students.  Whenever the program visits my local school I love to come and help them out.  I can't believe the retention from year to year that the students have.  Being in Iowa, the staff always touches on agriculture products such as corn and soybeans, but they offer programs and lessons on everything from ethanol to conservation to one of my favorites, embryology.  Besides in the classroom lessons that the staff leads and presents, the organization also provides teacher resources, farm tours and pizzathons.  In my local county we also host an Ag Day for all 3rd graders in the entire county at our county fairgrounds.

So be sure to Comment for a Cause this month to help out this great program that serviced over 9,000 students in 27 school districts in the 2012-2013 school year, which is only expected to grow this year!

Do you have an Ag in the Classroom program in your local school?  Have you ever participated in it?

22 comments:

  1. What a great cause! I work for FB corporate and the IFB does some amazing things!

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    1. I didn't know that! I agree, the Iowa Farm Bureau has some great programs, like Ag in the Classroom.

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  2. Wow---that is another amazing cause this month! I love it. You do so much for so many in so many ways---I think it is amazing and what a difference you are making. Good for you!

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    1. Thank you so much for the kind words Beth Ann. And thank you for making Make-A-Wish your March cause!

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  3. I was a city girl and now I live on a small farm. I am horrified at the loss of trees, the ugliness that goes on, the loss of caring for our planet. People give it lip service, but I think the farmers are the one who really care.

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    1. If we don't care for our land, then we won't have any land left to farm. Farmers are the original "environmentalists".

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  4. This is a new organization to me. Good luck on your comments!

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  5. Great cause and a great organization that I am proud to be part of!

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  6. Another great cause! Ag in the classroom is a wonderful program. It exposes so many kids to agriculture and shows them that people that work in agriculture are "real" people.

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    1. It is amazing how even in our rural communities the lack of agriculture understanding. Ag in the Classroom does a great job in both rural and urban schools.

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  7. Ag in the Classroom is one of my favorite organizations! Latham Hi-Tech Seeds is a proud sponsor, and Enchanted Acres has been a beneficiary. Thanks to AITC materials, I'm now able to lead activities myself for the school groups that visit my pumpkin patch: http://www.thefieldposition.com/2012/10/students-have-a-field-day-in-the-pumpkin-patch/

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    1. That is great! And what a great experience for you and the school groups at the pumpkin patch.

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    1. It really is amazing and I think how the North Central Iowa group does it works great!

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