Monsanto Donates $10,000 towards Ag-Citing Youth about Agriculture
“We’re excited about the generous donation and program support that Monsanto provides to the Ag-Citing program,” says Iowa State University Extension Program Director, Bonnie Dalager. “This is the fourth year that Monsanto has donated $10,000 to help promote agriculture education with youth in NW Iowa. We are extremely grateful and appreciative of their support.”
Since its pilot in 1995, Ag-Citing has served youth from all 15 school districts within a 35-mile radius of Spencer. The program has been delivered to over 10,000 students, 1,600 adult chaperones, and 64 classroom teachers. Third and fourth grade students from 45 different classrooms are invited to participate in pre- and post-activities in their classrooms, as well as outdoor experiences at the Clay County Fair. They study about the history of our natural resources, as well as commodities in Iowa today.
"The goal of Ag-Citing is to excite students about agriculture!" explains Dalager. "With the majority of young people at least one generation removed from the farm, this is an excellent way to allow children to learn about agriculture through hands-on activities.”
Youth travel to the fairgrounds for a half-day program. Before they arrive, teachers utilize specially-designed Ag-Citing curriculum to prepare students for their experience at the Clay County Fair. Lessons meet standards and benchmarks for math, science, language arts, and more. During Ag-Citing, youth participate in hands-on opportunities to explore how food gets from the field to the table. They learn about soil composition; crops and livestock produced in Iowa; value-added products we get from each of these commodities; Iowa wind farms; and the impact of biotechnology in agriculture. When students return to their classrooms, they have additional experiments and activities to do that reinforce what they've learned.
A key part of the Ag-Citing experience is the many partnership opportunities the program provides with financial sponsors, local ag. business groups, individual volunteers, school districts, teachers, students, chaperones, and ISU Extension specialists. The program would not be possible without the strong financial support of partners like Monsanto, the Clay County Fair Association, the Clay County Growers Association, Clay/Dickinson/Emmet/Palo Alto and O’Brien County Farm Bureau Agencies, Farm Credit Services of America, ISU Extension, and numerous area business organizations and volunteers.
For more information on Ag-Citing Youth About Agriculture, please contact Bonnie Dalager, ISU Extension Clay County Program Director, at 712-262-2264 x11 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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