2009-08-06 / Local & State

Farm Bureau Selects Outstanding Ag In The Classroom Teacher

Teachers from schools across Pennsylvania successfully completed a weeklong Agriculture in the Classroom Training program, which culminated in the presentation of Pennsylvania Farm Bureau's Young Farmer and Rancher (YF&R) Outstanding Ag in the Classroom Teacher Award.

Tammie McCray, who teaches kindergarten students at the Early Childhood Learning Center in Titusville, Crawford County, received the 2009 Ag in the Classroom Outstanding Teacher Award during a dinner banquet in State College. American Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF) President Bob Stallman was the keynote speaker.

McCray organized "make and take" nights at her school, where students and parents learned about agriculture through various projects. McCray learned about "make and take" ideas during her training last summer in the Ag in the Classroom (AITC) Program.

Mathew Meals, Pennsylvania Farm Bureau (PFB) chairman of the State YF&R Committee and the AFBF YF&R Committee, along with Stallman and PFB President Carl Shaffer presented McCray with a check for $500. As part of the award, $350 worth of classroom materials will be provided to McCray's school.

"The Outstanding Teacher Award is given to a teacher that has participated in the Ag in the Classroom teacher workshop and has demonstrated new and innovative ways of incorporating agriculture into the classroom. Tammie McCray clearly met the criteria by incorporating numerous AITC programs in her classroom this past year," said Meals.

Meanwhile, 59 teachers attended this year's Ag in the Classroom workshops from July 12-17 in State College. The teachers learned about proper care for animals at a dairy farm and also visited a mushroom farm and a fruit farm, and engaged in hands-on classroom exercises to learn how to educate students in their classrooms about agriculture.

Ag in the Classroom is an accredited workshop sponsored by the Pennsylvania Friends of Agriculture Foundation, which is an educational foundation supported by PFB.

"Pennsylvania farmers are committed to helping secure the future of agriculture through educating students about food, from how it's produced to how it reaches their dinner plates. By supporting programs such as Ag in the Classroom, we provide an opportunity for elementary-and secondary-school teachers to learn about the many facets of modern farming and encourage those teachers to pass that information on to their students when they return to the classroom," said Shaffer.

Pennsylvania Farm Bureau is the state's largest farm organization with a volunteer membership of nearly 47,000 farm and rural families, representing farms of every size and commodity across Pennsylvania.

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