Working Strengthening the ISU High School Agriculture Connection

Jerry Weiss, Swine Field Specialist, Northwest

Problem Statement:

This project is an outgrowth of three years experience in offering State 4-H Conference workshops on pork quality and food safety. Our goal was to put the teaching materials that we developed for the 4-H conference together in an outline teaching form that could be given to high school Ag teachers. These educational material packets were personally delivered by myself and three of my swine field specialist colleages to a total of 22 high school Ag teachers throughout the State of Iowa. It was estimated that these materials would be used to teach approximately 550 students in various ag-related classes. 

Programmatic Response:

I personally met with the County Extension Educational Director in Calhoun County. He had invited five area Ag teachers to meet with us. I presented the material as if in a classroom setting. The teachers were very appreciative of this access to timely and accurate pork quality and food safety materials, and their direct connection with Iowa State and Extension personnel. One first-year teacher was very pleased to receive the information and incorporated much of it into her lesson plans. Another teacher new to his district referred one of his students to me directly. I worked with this student in putting together materials for use in her speech as part of the State Pork Queen Competition at the Iowa Pork Congress in January 2005.

I and Sherry Hoyer from the Iowa Pork Industry Center have worked closely together in the preparation of the teaching materials. The Iowa Pork Producers Association and the National Pork Board were supportive of the project as well by providing materials at little or no cost. Materials from the ISU recruitment office were also included in these packets.


At the end of 2005, a survey was mailed to the 22 identified teachers who received the introductory packet of materials. With the use of the survey plus some follow-up calls to the teachers, a total of 80% of the respondents said they did use at least some of the materials in their courses, all said they would like to receive additional materials for future use. Some also suggested possible future topics that they would like to receive teaching materials from ISU for their use.

We reached our goal by making personal contacts with these 22 high school teachers. We also met our goal in having these ISU teaching materials used by over 550 students. These same teaching materials were also used in three State 4-H Conference workshops with a total attendance of over 60 youth. We are certain that through our efforts we have increased awareness of Iowa State University in these high-school students which will lead to increased enrollment to ISU. 

September 2006

108 Iowa Pork Industry Center

Page last updated: September 29, 2006
Page maintained by Linda Schultz,