“Food comes from a farm. That is the beginning of the story, not the end.” -Peg Herring, Oregon’s Agricultural Progress.

Since 1989, Summer Agriculture Institute (SAI) has been helping teachers explore and understand the topic of agriculture as a subject that is not only worth bringing into their classrooms but how it can also be used as a context for teaching the state standard subjects. Agriculture lends itself very naturally as a theme for teaching math, science, history, social studies, and even literature! It is the mission of Summer Agriculture Institute to give Oregon educators who have little to no exposure to production agriculture an immersive, unique and fun experience exploring the diversity and unquestionable economic and social value of the agriculture industry here in Oregon and beyond.

For five days 20-25 teachers from all around the state of Oregon gather either either in Corvallis or La Grande to attend Summer Agriculture Institute.

During this time they will see how a working dairy farm operates, learn about high technology precision agriculture, walk down into a soil surveying pit, hold a slide covered in pollinating honey bee’s, learn about niche markets that are vital to Oregon’s economy such as Christmas trees, hazel nuts, and specialty greenhouse, berry, and seed crops. They will hear presentations from the Dean of the College of Agriculture at Oregon State University, a representative from the Oregon Department of Agriculture, and even stay overnight on a real working farm.

Working with Oregon Agriculture in the Classroom and an Oregon State College of Agricultural Education Instructor, teachers will be guided on how to apply what they have learned throughout the week in their classrooms specific to the age and subjects they teach!

By completing this program, teachers who are licences and employed in the state of Oregon can either earn 3 upper division credits from Oregon State University to put towards earning a masters degree or 60 professional development units.

The only cost to teachers to attend this program is $600 which covers lodging, food, and transportation for the entire week AND tuition! That is a savings of over $3,000 thanks to funding from Summer Agriculture Institute’s generous support base made up of agriculture businesses and organizations from around Oregon.

“The experience I had during SAI was unforgettable and unmatched by any other PD opportunity. We were treated so well by the faculty and the farmers. Abundant resources were provided to us, as well as the connections to access more resources if needed. I highly recommend SAI to all teachers.”

“One of the best classes I have ever taken!!”

“This an excellent program that is well worth your time and investment. I was introduced to many different possibilities of concepts to teach, the lending library and resources to check out, many take home materials and great field trips that showed ag at work and gave ideas of how to use local area resources to enhance my classroom lessons. Also, it was great to meet other teachers from other areas and collaborate.”

“Best week ever!”

“The family visit was a great opportunity to see what ag means to the farmer and what they go through to make a living and to provide for the rest of us consumers.”

For more information about Summer Agriculture Institute, contact either one of the project coordinators:

Rachel Noble, Summer Agriculture Institute, West Coordinator
June 23-28, 2019 in Corvallis, Oregon
(541)-231-5348 | sai.west@oregonstate.edu

Kim McKauge, Summer Agriculture Institute, East Coordinator
July 14-19, 2019 in La Grande, Oregon
(541)-532-5129 ext. 21 | sai.2.east@gmail.com