WACO, Texas — One teacher’s efforts to plant seeds of knowledge about agriculture has her harvesting the fruits of her labor in the classroom.
Janice Bludau, a kindergarten teacher at Sacred Heart Catholic School in Hallettsville, was named Texas Farm Bureau’s (TFB) 2022 Agriculture in the Classroom Outstanding Teacher. The award was presented during TFB’s 89th Annual Meeting in Waco today.
Bludau incorporates agriculture in fun and exciting ways for her students.
Each year, students focus on building unique farms during the Farm Unit. These activities, Bludau said, help reinforce creativity, enhance fine motor skills and allow students to recognize the importance of equipment, crops and livestock that are found on a farm. The farms are then displayed for the public during Catholic Schools Week open house.
Her passion for teaching agricultural concepts stems from the community’s rich farming and ranching heritage and her students’ sense of wonder and excitement when lessons come to life.
“Janice is a great example of the difference a teacher’s attitude can make for students,” TFB President Russell Boening said. “She truly wants her students to understand where their food and fiber comes from, so she creates engaging and hands-on lessons for them to learn these concepts. We’re proud to recognize her agricultural education efforts in the classroom.”
Bludau was nominated for the award by Lavaca County Farm Bureau (CFB).
“Mrs. Bludau has continued to educate her students about the importance of agriculture. I have heard about and seen some of the fruits of her teachings. I know she is respected by her peers, school administrators and current and former students,” Lavaca CFB President David Wagner said in the nomination letter. “She continues to teach the importance of agriculture to her students in their lives and how much we all depend on it.”
Bludau earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of Texas at Austin. She has been teaching for 29 years, with 21 years at Sacred Heart Catholic School.
In recognition of her accomplishment, Bludau will receive a $600 cash award, as well as an expense-paid trip to attend the National Agriculture in the Classroom Conference next summer. Lavaca CFB will also receive a $400 cash award for nominating Bludau.
Bludau will also be nominated for the National Excellence in Teaching about Agriculture award.
–Texas Farm Bureau