Agriculture Education Is On The Move This Fall In Missouri Elementary Schools
JEFFERSON CITY, MO – Elementary students around the state are learning about the role of agriculture in their lives this fall with Agriculture Education on the Move™ (AEOTM™). Through AEOTM™, an educational program of Missouri Farmers Care, passionate educators spend time in classrooms across Missouri helping elementary students build agricultural literacy.
During the ten-week program, students learn about crops, livestock, soil and water conservation, nutrition and careers in agriculture. The STEM-focused lessons and curriculum meet state learning objectives in the areas of science, math, social studies and language arts. Hands-on activities are incorporated in each lesson, providing fun and interactive ways of learning as students make soybean germination necklaces, corn plastic, butter, feed rations, soil profiles and more. Through the curriculum, students learn about Missouri farm families and how the dedication and year-round efforts of these farmers and ranchers impact their lives.
“Agriculture education in elementary classrooms is a valuable experience for all involved,” said Heather Fletcher, AEOTM™ program director. “Students, teachers and even AEOTM™ educators and partners are connecting to the world around them, where their food comes from and how agriculture affects daily life. We value each participating school and look forward to returning year after year.”
Hundreds of Missouri FFA students partner with Missouri Farmers Care to teach AEOTM™ to students in their local school districts. Through this opportunity, FFA members serve as educators, gaining hands-on experience in the classroom and as advocates for agriculture in their community. Missouri Farmers Care’s AEOTM program equips FFA partners with the curriculum, training and materials to teach in their local communities. In 2023, 535 FFA members in 83 FFA chapters joined the effort to educate Missouri’s third-graders about the agriculture industry.
“We appreciate each Missouri FFA student serving as an Ag Education on the Move™ FFA Partner Educator,” continued Fletcher. “These high school students serve as role models for the elementary students they are teaching, sharing their knowledge and passion for agriculture. At the same time, they are building communication, management and leadership skills they will use throughout their careers.”
AEOTM™ will engage over 10,000 third-grade students through ten weeks of in-classroom programming this year, more than doubling the program’s reach since 2021.
“The entire community benefits from Agriculture Education on the Move™ as local students experience the thrill of germinating seeds, understanding the basics of how their food is produced and opening their eyes, many for the first time, to the agriculture all around them,” said Ashley McCarty, Missouri Farmers Care executive director. “The connections the students make this semester will help inform their perspectives as future consumers and help them see the potential of agriculturally-related careers.”
AEOTM™ is funded through Missouri Farmers Care, a coalition of more than 40 Missouri agriculture groups. Missouri soybean farmers and their checkoff and the MFA Oil Foundation support the program, along with contributions from Missouri Corn Merchandising Council, FCS Financial, MFA Incorporated, Missouri Beef Industry Council and the Missouri Fertilizer Control Board.