FRISCO, Texas — One Texas teacher’s passion for agriculture has earned her recognition from the state’s largest general farm and ranch organization.
Melissa Houchin was named Texas Farm Bureau’s (TFB) 2023 Agriculture in the Classroom Outstanding Teacher Award winner. Houchin was recognized during TFB’s 90th annual meeting Dec. 2 in Frisco.
Houchin teaches first grade ELAR, math, science and social studies at McGregor Primary School.
She incorporates agriculture in fun and exciting ways for her students.
“One of the neat things about agriculture is you can incorporate it into any subject in the classroom,” Houchin, who has been teaching for 26 years, said. “I try to provide my students with hands-on agricultural learning activities so that they can connect agriculture to what we’re learning here in the classroom.”
Her passion for bringing agriculture to the classroom stems from her background in agriculture. She grew up on a farm in Bell County and is proud to bring those experiences, information and opportunities to her students.
Houchin participates in TFB’s Ag Literacy Week Book program and Farm From School program. She also utilizes educational resources from other agricultural organizations and agencies.
In addition to classroom activities, her students assist with the school garden, building connections between what they’re learning in the garden to what farmers do on a larger scale.
“Melissa is a great example of the difference a teacher can make in a student’s life,” TFB President Russell Boening said. “Through creative, hands-on lesson plans and classroom activities, Melissa sparks interest and passion for agriculture in her students. We’re proud to recognize her agricultural education efforts in the classroom.”
She was nominated for the award by McLennan County Farm Bureau.
In recognition of her accomplishment, Houchin will receive a $600 cash award, as well as an expense-paid trip to attend the National Agriculture in the Classroom Conference next summer. McLennan County Farm Bureau also will receive a $400 cash award for his nomination.
Houchin will be nominated for the National Excellence in Teaching about Agriculture award.
–Texas Farm Bureau