Sarah Glenn, a fourth-grade teacher at Huntsville Intermediate School, is one of five national “Excellence in Teaching About Agriculture” award recipients. The U.S. Department of Agriculture gives the award through its Agriculture in the Classroom program.
Formal recognition for Glenn will come at the 2011 National Agriculture in the Classroom Conference scheduled for June 22 through June 25 in Fort Lauderdale, Fla.
Last year, Arkansas Farm Bureau named Glenn its 2010 Ag in the Classroom Outstanding Teacher.
Glenn says her main goals are to inform and educate students about the importance of agriculture to the world, the country, the community and the students as individuals. She says she also wants them to understand the role that Arkansas plays in a national and global economy in regards to agriculture.
“I realized that my students had little to no knowledge about agriculture, and most of them did not have a concept of their food coming from farms and ranches,” she said.
Glenn says she used Farm Bureau’s Ag in the Classroom program as the foundation for building her classroom curriculum.
“I started the curriculum and have built on it each year using Ag in the Classroom resources and materials,” she said.
That also included an on-site garden in the shape of the state of Arkansas that the students planted and grew using an Ag in the Classroom Garden grant from Farm Bureau.
Glenn says students new to the program have a limited understanding of the value of items – especially food – or the cost of everyday living.
“I hope that they will gain a better understanding of the scarcity of resources, the value of agriculture and the challenges that others in the world face when it comes to the basics of providing food, clothing and shelter for their families,” she said.
Guest speakers from all areas of agriculture, field trips and in-school projects like the garden and the egg incubator all are part of the program.
“I used an egg incubator to help teach about the poultry industry that is such a large portion of our agricultural economy,” Glenn said. “We acquired 50 eggs for our incubator but due to a power outage, only three eggs hatched. I used this as a lesson to teach the students how precarious farming can be.”