In today’s Almond Matters, brought to you by Valent, agricultural education plays an important role in providing students who may not be familiar with agriculture an opportunity to learn more about where food and fiber come from. Using agriculture as part of lesson plans can also help students better retain information and increase interest in agricultural sciences.
“As our population, with only two percent participating directly in agriculture, it’s more critical than ever that we teach our urban neighbors and in general all of our consumers about the importance of agriculture to our economy and our society,” said California Foundation for Agriculture in the Classroom Executive Director Judy Culbertson. “Teaching about food and fiber and real-life items that touch the student’s life every day is very positively received by the students.”
Implementing agricultural education into classrooms can be done in a variety of ways. “We try to do this by developing resources that are science-based. They’re all free, they’re all aligned to the state standards including Common Core and Next Generation Science so that there’s hardly an excuse for a teacher not to include agriculture in their classroom,” Culbertson noted. “Rather than teach about the parts of a plant in a book or up on a chalkboard or whiteboard, why not grow a plant? You can measure it and estimate the amount of growth and dissect it and it just brings the classroom to life.”
Speaking at the California Ag Day at the State Capitol event this week, Culbertson highlighted the importance of educating students in rural areas as well as urban areas. “If we’re all going to be successful here in California, we all need to be aware of the challenges that there are facing agriculture in trying to produce all of these commodities for our state,” said Culbertson. “It’s not just urban folks, it is rural folks, it’s the general consumer.”
Listen to the interview below.