Summer bus tour allows teachers to become students

Wisconsin State Farmer
Twelve teachers from around the state participated in the Ag in the Classroom Bus Tour held July 13-14 in Beaver Dam.

MADISON - Teachers became students on the year’s Ag in the Classroom Bus Tour held July 13-14 in Beaver Dam.

Twelve teachers from around the state attended the event. Stops included Windy Drumlins (an aquaponics greenhouse), Horicon Marsh Explorium, Maple Leaf Alpacas, Hammer-Kavazanjian Grain Farm, Roessler Fish Farm, Propst Christmas Trees and Lepple Ridge View Dairy.

Technology in agriculture, sustainability, cow comfort and buying locally were just a few topics unearthed during the tours. Experiencing agriculture first-hand allowed educators to understand how food is produced in order to answer their student’s questions about how it ends up on their plates.

For example, at Windy Drumlins, an aquaponics greenhouse, teachers received lessons plans and ideas on how to incorporate aquaponics into chemistry, physics, and horticulture.

“It really brings back home what we can be doing in our own greenhouse and community,” said Peter Watts, who teaches seventh grade science at Riverside Middle School in Watertown.

“One of the ways that I look at agriculture is how I can take what I’m learning during these two days back to my classroom to teach my students how they can use Spanish in a practical sense,” said Darin Kubly, a Spanish teacher at Sun Prairie High School.

Not only did educators gain a glimpse into the daily workings of agriculture in the state, but also how this could translate into careers for their students. Wisconsin agriculture is an $88.3 billion community within the state, which employs one out of every nine Wisconsin residents.

To learn more about training opportunities through Wisconsin Ag in the Classroom, visit Ag in the Classroom is a national program that was developed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture to help students in grades PreK-12 understand the importance of agriculture.