Making a Mark on the Future of Agricultural Education

As a sophomore in high school, I was more than hesitant to become an FFA member – after all, I didn’t have livestock, didn’t live on a farm, and I sure didn’t know the first thing about parliamentary procedure. After some constant hounding from a few older members, I reluctantly paid my dues and became an FFA member, having no idea of how the FFA would impact me for the rest of my life.

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Bulb Forcing

My mother loves tulips. She is as faithful to this bloom as the pickiest of pollinators. Even in spring, when tulips are plentiful at the farmers market and grocery store, she will drive the extra 45 minutes to a tulip farm—just for the added choice. Only yesterday over dinner, I noticed a bouquet of deep purple tulips on her windowsill, set against the backdrop of a rainy January evening. I love tulips because my mother loves tulips, and because of the the color they bring to an otherwise typical gray Portland day. In winter, these flowers bring with them a foreshadowing of spring, and can warm the people sitting around a kitchen table. Tulips, and other bulbs, can do the same thing for a classroom.

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The 6 F’s of Oregon Agriculture

When you hear the word agriculture, what comes to mind? Is it an older man in a straw hat and overalls? Is it a big red barn amidst a sweeping rural landscape? Or is it the Ram Truck commercial commemorating Paul Harvey’s “So God Made a Farmer” poem that aired during the fourth quarter of the 2013 Super Bowl?

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Oregon’s Bountiful Harvest

For people all over the word, the end of harvest is a time to celebrate work completed and enjoy the bounty of the year. Although harvest festivals and traditions differ between cultures, the theme of celebration and gratitude is a common component. In the United States, many people celebrate this season by celebrating Thanksgiving. Usually celebrated by the preparation of a special Thanksgiving meal, it’s a time to reflect on the year and share with family and friends. Most Thanksgiving traditions include a colorful feast cascading across the table.

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Falling into the Pumpkin Patch

Every young person should have the opportunity to experience a pumpkin patch by taking a class field trip. Pumpkin patches ooze fun, but they also burst with opportunities to teach. A trip to the pumpkin patch allows teachers to enrich the minds of their students while giving them a hands on learning experience.

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Why Choose Agriculture?

Imagine a man in his late fifties with tired eyes and calloused hands. His 4:30a.m. alarm clock just went off as it does seven days a week, 365 days a year.

His daily tasks involve the expertise of a veterinarian, a water conservationist, an economist, a meteorologist, a mechanic, and a business owner. He was up all last night talking care of newborn calves but could not sleep in this morning because he has to get the hay crop in before it rains tomorrow. It’s also his birthday.

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Stepping on an Essential Resource

You’ve heard that soil is the root of all life. And physically, soil does hold all the roots and provide a substrate to support roots for plants and trees, but what else does it do?  Isn’t it just an inert substrate beneath our feet, and the stuff we put in flower pots, meant to provide structure for our plants?

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Teacher Feature

This month, our Teacher Feature is Danielle Geissler of Mountain View Elementary School in Corvallis. She was one of our nominees for AITC Teacher of the Year for her impressive year-long commitment to teaching with agricultural themes. When we interviewed Danielle, her passions for teaching and the sciences come to life through her classroom activities.

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