Demonstrating sustainability

Ag in the Classroom is about more than farming

Daniel Briseno daniel@prairiepress.net
Posted 2/21/23

Agriculture and school have gone hand-in-hand for decades and in 1981 the USDA established Ag in the Classroom. Since then, each state organization addresses agriculture education in a way that best …

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Demonstrating sustainability

Ag in the Classroom is about more than farming

Posted

Agriculture and school have gone hand-in-hand for decades and in 1981 the USDA established Ag in the Classroom. Since then, each state organization addresses agriculture education in a way that best suits its needs and thanks to Edgar County Farm Bureau employee Jenna Tally, Ag in the Classroom has returned to Edgar County.

Kansas elementary teacher Courtni Hays believes Ag in the Classroom serves a greater purpose.

“It is showing our students the important work our farmers do,” said Hays. “It gives them a sense of connection to the farmers they see in their community every day.”

Ag to Tally means sustainability and not only in food but in jobs as well.

“If there was no ag, food would not be the only thing missing,” said Tally. “Many jobs would be gone from truck drivers to farm hands to many other jobs.”

Tally grew up on a farm in Grandview Township raising beef cattle and sheep. She attended Crestwood, graduated from Paris High School and finished college at Lakeland.

Tally graduated with a degree in cosmetology but when she saw the job posting last year, she knew it was meant for her.

“I saw the job posting and knew how important Ag in the Classroom is,” said Tally. “My oldest child had Ag in the Classroom, and I realized what impact it had.”

Tally took over her new position Aug. 17, 2022, and has had a great response from the local schools.

“I am in the schools two to five days a week,” said Tally. “I have 905 students in 51 classrooms.”

Through Ag in the Classroom, Tally covers multiple topics with the students.

“We cover everything from dairy cows to pollinators from horses to how to grow vegetation for pollinators,” Tally said.

Tally believes Ag in the Classroom is essential because not knowing what is going to happen day to day it is important the kids can provide for themselves if need be.

“Ag is a part of everyday life,” said Tally. “Without ag we wouldn’t have fruits, veggies or meat.”

Tally is not the only educator who believes Ag in the Classroom is important.

“I think Ag in the Classroom is very important,” said Hays. “It helps them understand that food doesn’t just magically appear in grocery stores.”

Tally added not only do the kids learn where products come from but also learn how to grow vegetables.

Tally has enjoyed her new role at the Edgar County Farm Bureau and looks forward to maintaining Ag in the Classroom for many years to come and as her students leave her class for the last time, she hopes they remember one simple thing.

“I hope they remember the knowledge I gave them about agriculture,” said Tally. “That away, not saying they will, but if they ever need to fend for themselves, they will have the know-how.”