Two Surry County Schools teachers recently took part in the National Agriculture in the Classroom Organization’s National Conference in Portland, Maine.
Kathy Brintle, computer science discoveries teacher at Gentry Middle, and Darrin Haywood, world history teacher at East Surry High School, were both able to attend thanks to a Surry County Farm Bureau grant.
Surry County Farm Bureau funded the all-expense paid trip for additional professional development as part of the Kenan Fellowship which Brintle and Haywood completed during the 2017-2018 school year.
They were among more than 400 educators and others from around the country attending the event, where they had the chance to learn how to use agricultural concepts to teach reading, writing, math, science, social studies and more during the Agriculture for ME on Land and Sea conference.
The organization, along with the Maine Agriculture in the Classroom program, held three days of workshops showing kindergarten through 12th grade teachers how to use agriculture to teach core subjects. It received partial funding for the conference from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Institute for Food & Agriculture.
In addition, conference participants went on traveling workshops of nearby agribusinesses and research facilities to learn about aquaculture, artisan cheese making, the beef and dairy industries, among other stops. They also heard from keynote speakers such as Maine Aquaculture Association Executive Director Sebastian Belle, and Maine Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry Commissioner Walter Whitcomb.
The conference honored national teacher winners and a national Agriculture Advocate winner for the ways they used agriculture to teach students about this important industry.
The National Agriculture in the Classroom Organization and Nutrien, Ltd. announced new developments with its online game called ‘Farmers 2050’ that allows players to become virtual farmers who make day-to-day decisions about what to plant, how to care for it and how to market it and sell it. It’s a follow-up to the educational game ‘Journey 2050’ developed for classrooms.