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Conference Name Agriculture Awareness Day

Jennifer Rhodes

Summary

Jennifer L. Rhodes Senior Agent, Agriculture & Natural Resources, University Of Maryland Extension, Centreville, MD, 21617, jrhodes@umd.edu

Christine M. Johnston, Senior Agent, 4-H, University of Maryland Extension, Centreville, MD 21617 cjohnstn@umd.edu

Jon R. Moyle Agent & Extension Specialist, Poultry, University of Maryland Extension, Salisbury, MD, 21801, jmoyle@umd.edu

Nate Richards, Agent Associate, Agriculture, University of Maryland of Extension, Chestertown, MD 21620, nrichard@umd.edu

As the population continues to become more removed from agriculture, educational programs need to be developed to help prevent misinformation and conflicts between farmers and consumers. In order to help fill this void, a coalition of educators, researchers, agencies, and grassroots organizations was formed to educate students in Queen Anne’s County, Maryland. Additionally, the Board of Education and school principals were also interested in educating their students about the importance of agriculture and the many career opportunities it provides. This partners created an “Agriculture Awareness Day” for all 7th graders across the county. The students were excited to be out of the classroom and complete hands-on structured lessons, in which they could interact with farm animals, learn about grain, drones, technology, plants, oysters and much more. This allowed the students to better understand agriculture’s importance in feeding the world, protecting their environment, its role in their community and help to dispel myths about of the industry. Lastly, the students were educated about the 235 careers related to agriculture, which opened their eyes to the agriculture career pathway before high school. This Agriculture Awareness Day helps to open the door for the students to join 4-H and FFA, which will encourage them to join other agriculture organizations after graduation. The students participated in a pre and post-test through Google classroom. Since the first year was such a success with positive impacts the committee decided to make this an annual event.

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