Ag in a Day Teacher Workshops

The Mercer County Farm Bureau along with the Henry, Knox, Stark, and Warren-Henderson County Farm Bureau's hosted "Ag in a Day" teacher workshops. The workshops were held on June 10th in Coal Valley and June 11th in Aledo. The teachers could either come to one day or both days depending on their interest and availability. The teachers received lots of door prizes and free resources to make incorporating agriculture into their curriculum a little easier. 

The first workshop was held in Coal Valley at Happy Joe's. The day began with Illinois Ag in the Classroom Education Manager, Jackie Jones, talking to the teachers about the various resources that Illinois Ag in the Classroom has to offer as well as different lessons and activities that the teachers can do with the students regarding agriculture. Next, Knox County Ag Education Specialist Teresa Sanford presented "Butterflies" to the teachers. She told them about the importance and migration of butterflies as well some lessons and resources teachers can use in their classrooms.

The teachers then went to the Niabi Zoo where they met with a zoo volunteer who is spearheading the zoo's efforts to attract butterflies to the zoo to aid in their migration to Mexico. Next, the teachers were were taken to the Colobus monkey exhibit where they learned fascinating facts about these primates native to Africa. Following the monkeys, the teachers learned about the zoo's three giraffes. The teachers were then able to enjoy free time at the zoo.

The last stop of the day was Lavender Crest Winery where the teachers were able to learn about the wine tasting process from the owners and wine makers. They learned about the grapes and equipment used to make wine. They even got a demonstration on how the wine is bottled, corked, and labeled. They then had the opportunity to taste the delicious wines the winery has to offer.

The second workshop was held at Oak View Country Club in Aledo. The day began with Knox County Ag Education Specialist Teresa Sanford showing the teachers the various kits available to check out from the Illinois Department of Natural Resources as well as some activities that they can use to teach about the animals native to Illinois in their classrooms. Next, Ken Russell, Illinois Department of Natural Resources Fish Biologist, talked to the teachers about the importance of fish and their natural habitats in Illinois. Following Ken, Elene Waters talked to the teachers about the many lessons that can be taught to students to encourage recycling in an attempt to aid in the conservation of our environment.
The teachers then enjoyed lunch followed by Teresa Kirwan, Mercer County Ag Literacy Coordinator and Sandy Bertelson,

Warren-Henderson Ag Literacy Coordinator showing the teachers several lessons and activities that teach the students about soils. The teachers then took out golf carts out and received a tour of the Oak View Country Club golf course. They learned about the chemicals and equipment used to care for the course. The final stop for the day was at the farm of Jason Kellett of Landmark Landscaping. He talked to the teachers about his landscaping business as well as the various wildlife and conservation programs he has his acreage enrolled in.

The ag in a Day teacher workshops reached over 30 teachers and gave the teachers resources, ideas, and lessons about agriculture that they can easily incorporate into their classroom curriculum.