Nurturing Knowledge: NCFB’s Ag in the Classroom celebrates another year of growth

For many, this time of year is a time for reflection! So as we near the end of 2023, let’s take a look at what the North Carolina Farm Bureau’s educational program accomplished!

The North Carolina Farm Bureau recently celebrated the 38th year of its educational program, Ag in the Classroom (AITC) by highlighting some key moments over the years that underscore how the program impacts both students and teachers.

The AITC program also honored a dedicated educator at Poquoson Innovative Charter School in Washington County, Krista Bond, by presenting her with the North Carolina Farm Bureau AITC Teacher of the Year Award.

Bond incorporates ag-focused lessons into her teaching, and instills in students important agricultural principles like growing their food. Her innovative methods include hands-on experiences, like planting blueberries, creating raised beds, engineering chicken coops, and integrating lessons about soil amendment, circuits, and ventilation.

As part of her recognition, Bond attended the annual NAIC Conference in Orlando, Florida. There, she and other North Carolina educators explored new ways to integrate agriculture into their lessons. One notable session, “Not Another Thanksgiving Story,” hosted by Jasmine Locklear and April Parrot, explored the origins of native agriculture.

Ashonda Grissett, another standout teacher from Brunswick County, spent her summer diving into North Carolina’s oyster industry as part of her Keenan fellow experience. In her studies, Grissett learned about the life cycle of oysters their environmental benefits, and how they can help reduce carbon —all information she plans to share in the upcoming “Ag-in-a-Bag,” released in the spring.

The NCFB is also proud of two new workshops that add to the AITC program’s success. First, the Mitchell County Farm Bureau Women’s Committee organized a workshop in June focusing on mining history in North Carolina. Later in July, middle school teachers got a chance to explore the Central Crops Research Station on the N.C. State campus to learn about research involving soybeans, corn, and drone technology. There, teachers gained hands-on experience using digital microscopes to tour a dairy processing facility and even sample insect-based dishes like Cricket tacos.

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