OKLAHOMA CITY — Early childhood, elementary, middle school and high school teachers from across the state gathered at the Edmond Conference Center on July 21 for the annual Ag in the Classroom State Summer Conference.
At the conference, over 175 teachers had the opportunity to attend a wide variety of workshop sessions, hear from keynote speakers, chat with vendors of agricultural education materials, and network with other teachers. “Keep Calm and Teach Ag In Your Classroom” was the theme of the conference.
“During this conference, teachers whom have previously taught AITC curriculum share their experiments and classroom presentations with other teachers from across the state to demonstrate how they are used in actual classrooms,” said Melody Aufill, AITC state coordinator. “The department provides free resources for these teachers to take home and use in their classrooms for all age and curriculum levels.”
Oklahoma is home to both a 2020 National Excellence in Teaching Agriculture award winner Mrs. Christie Puckett and 2021 National Excellence in Teaching Agriculture award winner Mrs. Tammy Will. Christie and Tammy were named the State AITC Teacher of the Year prior to winning their national title. At the conference, AITC also recognized the 2021 State AITC Teacher of the Year, Ms. Dusti McCartney. In addition, Kelli Payne, Oklahoma National Stockyards President, was recognized as the 2021 Oklahoma AITC Ag Advocate. Payne was the Keynote Speaker for the conference.
“Our purpose is to ensure the teachers are adequately equipped to educate their students on the importance of agriculture in their lives, even if they do not live on a farm,” Emily Ague, AITC State Coordinator, said. “Hopefully, this excites these teachers to pass along agriculture knowledge to their students to help them understand where their food, clothing and shelter come from.”
AITC offers over 300 agriculture-based lessons aligned to the Oklahoma Academic Standards. If you are interested in learning more, contact a state coordinator by visiting www.agclassroom.org/ok
–Oklahoma Department of Agriculture, Food and Forestry
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