SAN ANTONIO, Texas — One fourth-grade teacher’s efforts to plant seeds of knowledge about agriculture has her harvesting the fruits of her labor in the classroom.
Julie Wester, a teacher at Creek View Elementary in College Station, was named Texas Farm Bureau’s (TFB) 2019 Agriculture in the Classroom Outstanding Teacher. The award was presented during TFB’s 86th Annual Meeting in San Antonio today.
Wester was nominated by Brazos County Farm Bureau (CFB).
“Julie goes above and beyond normal classroom expectations to correlate agriculture into daily curriculum,” Brazos CFB President Jared Klatt wrote in a nomination letter. “She is highly engaged in Farm Bureau teacher opportunities and incorporates multiple facets of agricultural production into her students’ lessons.”
Wester teaches science, math and social studies. Her students learn about agriculture through hands-on activities and visual lessons. They take field trips to the “Pizza Ranch” to learn about how food is grown and participate in Texas Farm Bureau’s school visit program, along with other engaging classroom activities.
When teaching students about the water cycle, she works with the Brazos County Soil and Water Conservation District to discuss agricultural water use and why farms and ranches need water. In another unit, students learn about crops, and the class works to identify renewable and non-renewable natural resources.
Nearly every classroom concept can be tied back to agriculture, according to Wester. Her passion for teaching is spurred by her students’ sense of wonder and excitement when lessons come to life.
“Julie is a wonderful example of the difference a teacher’s attitude can make for students,” TFB President Russell Boening said. “She teaches in an urban setting, where many kids aren’t exposed to agriculture. Through her engaging teaching style, she helps children make a connection between farmers and ranchers and our food, clothes, fuel and natural resources.”
Wester graduated from Texas A&M University with a bachelor’s degree in Food Science and Technology. She has been teaching for eight years and is the lead science teacher for fourth grade at Creek View Elementary.
In recognition of her accomplishment, Wester will receive a $600 cash award, as well as an expense-paid trip to attend the National Agriculture in the Classroom Conference next summer. Brazos CFB will also receive a $400 cash award for nominating Wester.
Wester will also be nominated for the National Excellence in Teaching about Agriculture award.
–Texas Farm Bureau
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