Mishicot FFA leader one of four in U.S. spotlighted in Culver's social media event

Patti Zarling
Jamie Propson teaches agriscience to seventh through 12th grade students at Mishicot School District.

MANITOWOC – If it takes a village to teach a child, it also takes a community to teach kids about the importance of farming.

So says Jamie Propson, agriculture teacher at Mishicot High School. Learning about agriculture means studying science, biology, business, nutrition, animal care and more. She loves sharing her knowledge with students, and on Sept. 22 she’ll be sharing it with the country too.

She is among four teachers who are members of the National Association of Agriculture Educators chosen from around the U.S. to be part of Culver’s #FarmingFridays, in which participants' photos and videos are shared throughout the day on Culver's social media, including Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat and Twitter.

“It’s a ‘day in the life’ of someone who’s an ag expert,” said Jessie Kreke, a senior marketing manager for Culver’s. “This is an opportunity for them to show people who follow our social media how they work in or support agriculture.”

This is the second year of the #FarmingFridays initiative. Last year, the event was held six or seven times throughout the summer. Guests have included farmers, Alice in Dairyland and other influencers.

In addition to Propson, educators featured on Sept. 22 are:

  • Scott Faulkner, advisor for the Silent Springs FFA Chapter in North Pole, Alaska. He teaches art and agriculture to homeschooled children in sixth through 12th grade and advises the FFA chapter for homeschooled kids. He worked in the ag industry before moving into teaching four years ago.
  • Jessie Lumpkins, advisor for the McGavock High School FFA in Nashville, an urban FFA. She also teaches animal science to 10th- through 12th-graders.
  • Lacey Short, advisor for Bourbon County High School in Kentucky. In addition to advising FFA, she teaches about agriculture, greenhouses, floral design and landscape design at the school.

Propson teaches agriculture science to seventh- to 12th-graders in Mishicot and advises the high school’s FFA chapter, one of the fastest growing in Wisconsin, with 122 members last year.

“I’m so happy to be one of four in the country to be part of this,” Propson said. “One thing I really want to share is the belief it takes a community to get the word out about ag. I’m excited to show what’s going on in my classroom.  “

Mishicot agriscience teacher Jamie Propson poses for a picture in her classroom at Mishicot High School Thursday, Sep. 7, 2017, in Mishicot, Wis. Propson is one of four agricultural teachers across the country who will be featured in Culver's national #FarmingFridays social media campaign.

Kids interested in ag don’t have to become farmers, she noted.

“There’s IT and technology, nutrition, animal care and the business aspect," Propson said. “There are many career opportunities in an industry so important to Wisconsin.”

She also praised FFA.

“It’s a unique organization that provides leadership skills, which you can use no matter what you do in your career path,” Propson said. “It really prepares kids for so much.”

Kreke noted Propson already uses social media to spread the message. Propson said Twitter is a great way to connect with other teachers or to share exciting things happening in the classroom.

She and other teachers were recommended by the ag educators association, who were chosen as a way to represent different parts of the U.S.

The #FarmingFridays event is one of many ways Culver’s seeks to recognize farmers. The Prairie du Sac-based company also hosts a calendar contest in which students color sheets provided by Culver’s, and winning submissions are featured in a calendar shipped to many Culver’s stores.

The company applauds educators like Propson.

“FFA is the perfect example of ways to get kids involved in the modern side of ag,” Kreke said. “I think it’s so important to understand the importance of agriculture.”

Culver’s wouldn’t be what it is today without farmers, Kreke said. The company asks customers to support the national FFA organization through its Thank a Farmer program, which has raised more than $1 million.

“Farmers work 365 days a year and are on-call 24 hours a day,” she said. “We rely on farmers for the food we eat every day. With this program, we’re showing gratitude to farmers and helping ensure the future of farming and agriculture through FFA.”

To learn more click here or contact Jamie Propson at jpropson@mishicot.k12.wi.us.