A science teacher whose sixth, seventh and eighth graders participate in a special class called ‘Greenthumbs’ and six other teachers from around the country have been selected as the 2019 National Excellence in Teaching about Agriculture Award winners.
Brad Hendershot, a teacher at Excelsior Academy in Salt Lake City, Utah, has his students work in two schoolyard greenhouses to grow, harvest, market and sell their fruits, vegetables and ornamental plants.
The National Agriculture in the Classroom Organization (NAITCO), U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and Farm Credit partner each year to honor teachers in kindergarten through 12th grade from around the country for the innovative ways they use agricultural concepts to teach reading, writing, math, science, social studies, STEM, STEAM and more.
“We are proud to honor these teachers who use agricultural concepts to deliver important reading, writing, math, nutrition, science and social studies lessons to students,” said Victoria LeBeaux, the National Agriculture in the Classroom program leader for USDA’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA), which provides federal leadership and annual funding for NAITC. “The real-life connections teachers make by using items students use every day resonates with these students.”
“We applaud these teachers for the innovative ways they use agriculture to teach students about this important industry,” said Will Fett, president of NAITCO and executive director of Iowa Agriculture Literacy Foundation. “We honor them for the strides they make in agricultural literacy in their classrooms every day.”
“Farm Credit's commitment to rural communities and agriculture extends to our support of initiatives that build the next generation of agriculture advocates,” said president and CEO of the Farm Credit Council Todd Van Hoose. “These outstanding teachers represent the best and brightest ideas in agriculture literacy education. Farm Credit is proud to support their innovative work.”
Hendershot will be honored at the National Agriculture in the Classroom Conference “AgVenture in the Natural State” June 19-21 at the Little Rock Marriott in Little Rock, Arkansas. NAITCO is a non-profit organization representing Agriculture in the Classroom programs in most of the 50 states across the country. Its mission is to educate K-12 teachers and students about the importance of agriculture by providing them with web-based materials, workshops and awards programs that demonstrate how agriculture can be used to effectively teach core subject areas.