The Mission of Utah Agriculture in the Classroom
To improve agricultural literacy by developing programs that increase student awareness about agriculture and instill in students an appreciation for our food and fiber system.
Why should I teach my students about Agriculture?
We all partake of agriculture every day. Whether it's the food we eat, the clothes we wear, the sheets we sleep on, the medicines we use, or the homes we live in, agriculture is our "connection to life." Simply, agriculture affects our quality of life! Healthy food and a healthy environment equals healthy people. A disaster or a miracle in our agricultural system affects us all!
Farmers (less than 2% of the population) provide an abundance of food and fiber (fabric) products. The American family spends less than 10 percent of its total income on food, the lowest in the world. Economically, American agriculture employs 21 million people or 18.5 percent of the labor force, this includes all the labor, farm-to-fork. United States agriculture provides a safe supply of food that frees the rest of us to concentrate on other activities such as medical research, space travel, computer technology, art, music, literature, philosophy, and recreation. Simply put, U.S. agriculture is number one - this is reason enough to educate students about agriculture.
What is Agriculture in the Classroom?
Agriculture in the Classroom is a nationwide program designed to help students develop an awareness and understanding of our food and fiber system, and how agriculture impacts our daily lives. Utah Agriculture in the Classroom (AITC) provides training and resources for teachers and pre-service teachers to contextualize their curriculum in the areas of science, social studies, nutrition, and career and technical education. Resources have been developed to meet State Standards. All of Utah AITC resources are classroom-ready and can be accessed online. Listen to what teachers say about AITC.
- Each year 160,000 students are taught with AITC lesson plans through state required curriculum.
- Independent researchers found that students whose teachers had been trained with AITC resources were significantly more agriculturally literate; they knew how their food was produced.
- More than 800 pre-service teachers are trained annually with AITC resources.
- More than 300 in-service teaches are trained annually with AITC resources.
- Each year 50-100 teachers complete the AITC Food, Land & People course, requiring that they have provided at least 15 hours of instruction to their students about agriculture. More than 500 teachers have completed the course over the last ten years.
- Each year several resources are added or maintained to ensure high-quality teacher friendly classroom-ready resources.
- Our e-Store annually ships more than 400 orders to classrooms statewide.
- The AITC newsletters are distributed to 2,500 elementary (Bee-line) and 930 secondary (AgroWorld) teachers.
Who supports the Utah Agriculture in the Classroom?
The Utah Agriculture in the Classroom program is supported by Utah State University and the Utah Foundation for Agriculture in the Classroom, a nonprofit organization that receives financial support from interested individuals and organizations. Consider donating now! You will receive a receipt for your records.
Utah Foundation for Agriculture in the Classroom Board of Directors
Leonard M. Blackham, President, Utah Department of Agriculture & Food
Aurline Boyack, Vice President, Utah Farm Bureau Federation
William "Buddy" Deimler, Secretary, Ag Education Specialist, Utah State Office of Education
Kyle R. Stephens, Treasurer, Deputy Commissioner of Agriculture & Food
Dolores Wheeler, Gossner Foods Inc.
Chuck Gay, Associate V.P. Utah State University Extension
Leland J. Hogan, Utah Farm Bureau Federation
Kevin C. Kesler, Utah State University Extension
Bruce Miller, Utah State University, School of Applied Science
Brent Tanner, Utah Cattlemen's Association
Karen Koncar, Utah Dairy Commission