Nourish the Future (NTF) had two St. Louis events happening in tandem during the week of June 21. The first was a three-day Teacher Leader Conference that brought together the selected educators for NTF’s Community Class II. During that time, the group participated in peer teaching, curriculum writing and networking as well as an industry dinner at Jungermann Farms in Troy, Missouri, and a presentation and tour at the Melvin Price Locks and Dam in Alton, Illinois.
“This opportunity allowed me to bolster my science knowledge and also make some amazing connections with educators I know I can call up,” said Bernadette Harwood, who teaches at Cornell Cooperative Extension of Livingston County in New York. Harwood is an Agriculture in the Classroom teacher, and her job is to push into the pre-K through 12th grade classroom to teach students the science behind the food we eat. Through her experience at the conference, she states that “I now have that knowledge to go home and say [to other teachers], ‘You’re teaching this in your curriculum, and this is how it applies. Let me also help you make some industry connections to our local farmers that are using this technology.’”
And while the second cohort of teacher leaders was wrapping up their final day together, a group of middle and high school science teachers participated in a one-day community workshop, “Nourish the Future: Feeding and Fueling the World.” The participants explored water quality, biodiversity, soil health, and sustainability through hands-on activities and free supplies that they could take back to their classrooms.
Speaking to the workshop participants, NCGA Director of Research and Productivity Robyn Allscheid said, “This workshop gives you a taste of the Nourish the Future curriculum, and hopefully, it might inspire you to apply as a 2022 teacher leader. Our corn growers are interested in investing in education and know that the talented and passionate teachers involved in this program can make a difference in whether or not students feel inspired to consider a career path in agriculture.”
Nourish the Future is made possible through the assistance of the National Corn Growers Association, the nation’s corn farmers, and their state corn checkoff programs. For more information on additional 2021 workshops, curriculum, the upcoming NTF webinar series or local programs, visit nourishthefuture.org.