Book Club – Farm Anatomy: The Curious Parts and Pieces of Country Life

Learning about agriculture may seem intimidating if you do not come from an agricultural background or don’t have previous experiences in the industry. Don’t let this discourage you. There are a multitude of different resources that are easy to comprehend and will make learning about agriculture enjoyable. A great example is the book, “Farm Anatomy – The Curious Parts and Pieces of Country Life” by Julia Rothman.

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Teaching about American Indians and Agriculture

November was National Native American/American Indian Heritage Month, but it is always the season to honor and reflect upon the traditions, stories, and current events of the many different tribes who first called Oregon home, and who do so to this day. For non-Native educators whose own knowledge of the cultural diversity, heritage, and agricultural/resource management traditions among Native Oregonians may be limited, it is important to develop the skills necessary to identify culturally sensitive, responsive, and accurate curriculum resources.

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Expressing Agriculture through Art

Oregon students in grades 7 through 12 submitted artwork for the Second Annual Oregon Agriculture in the Classroom Young Artist Contest this past school year. The purpose of the contest is to showcase the beauty of Oregon agriculture while creating a positive learning experience for students. The contest also helps further students’ understanding of agriculture’s impact on our daily lives.

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Harvest of the Month

October is National Farm to School Month! This national celebration is all about highlighting innovative programs that foster connections between students’ taste buds, minds, and their local food system. One program gaining traction around the country is the Harvest of the Month. Each month, schools feature a local food item either in the cafeteria or in students’ classrooms. Students conduct taste tests, and learn about the nutritional content of the item. Some schools serve recipes in the cafeteria that feature the item all month long. Harvests are not limited to fruits and vegetables, but can include dairy, meat, or even a locally significant fish like salmon!

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What’s Going On? – Ear Notching

Along with the changing leaves, pumpkin patches and spooky thrills, October is dedicated to the appreciation of pork. Pork is the most consumed meat around the world and serves as a very important food source. In the United States, the pork industry is booming with about 60,000 pork producers that raise around 115 million hogs annually.

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I Soiled My Undies…and You Can Too!

Fall is here, bringing cooler temperatures and shorter days. In the garden, it is time to start harvesting the few remaining summer crops, making room for cold hardy plants like garlic and onions. As the season changes and garden productivity wanes, soil that once housed a plethora of warm season plants can begin to look sparse. In the Pacific Northwest, where winters bring heavy rains, a garden left unprotected can lose not only substantial amounts of soil, but may also leach nutrients essential to plant health. For schools (and home gardeners like myself), time is a limited resource. Rather than losing your soil and replacing it next year, the most economical and efficient thing is to keep and improve upon the soil that you have. The best part about soil health? If you play your cards right, your garden will do the work of maintaining soil health for you.

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Celebrating Young Artists

The 17th Annual Oregon Agriculture in the Classroom Calendar Art Contest wrapped up with a reception at the Oregon State Fair on Sunday, August 26, 2018. Thirteen students were honored at the reception held on the Creative Living Stage in Columbia Hall. Parents, grandparents and educators attended the reception to celebrate the young artists.

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Farm Safety

Farm safety is important for everyone even if you do not live or work on a farm or ranch! Farms, like many workplaces, have many potential hazards. There are several things visitors to farms and ranches need to be aware of. Upon your arrival for a trip to the farm, the farmer or tour guide will generally give your group a brief overview on what to be aware of in terms of safety and if there is anything you are unsure of, ALWAYS ASK, safety is always their number one priority!

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