Agriculture Education on the Move™ Impacts More than 3,500 Missouri Elementary Students this Summer

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 1, 2024

Heather Fletcher

heather@agmoves.com 

(573)286-0013

More than 3,500 elementary students across Missouri participated in hands-on lessons about agriculture during programming this summer with Agriculture Education on the Move™ (Ag Moves). Local schools and summer programs partnered with Ag Moves to provide elementary students with ten foundational lessons on the topics of agriculture. Local Ag Moves educators facilitated lessons, helping the next generation of Missouri consumers make connections to agriculture in their daily lives.

“Agriculture education in elementary classrooms is a valuable experience for all involved. Students, teachers, and Ag Moves educators 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,” said Heather Fletcher, Agriculture Education on the Move™ program director. 

Taking a look inside! At the conclusion of the poultry lesson, students had the chance to apply their knowledge in identifying the parts of a hard boiled egg.

Ag Moves is a proactive, educational effort that brings enthusiastic, trained educators to classrooms to build agricultural literacy at elementary ages. During a ten-lesson program, students learn about crops, livestock, soil and water conservation, nutrition, and careers in agriculture. The lessons are STEM-focused, and the curriculum meets Missouri classroom objectives. Students make soybean germination necklaces, corn plastic, butter, animal feed rations, soil profile bookmarks and more to make their learning interactive and fun. Students are exposed to Missouri farm families and learn about their dedication, compassion, sacrifice, and work ethic. Ag Moves is provided at no cost to schools or enrichment programs by the Missouri Farmers Care Foundation.

Ag Moves Summer Intern and Educator, Kate Rogers, distributes vegetable oil for the corn plastic activity following the Missouri Corn lesson.

“Connecting students with fundamental agricultural education through Ag Moves creates immense value to entire communities. Students experience the thrill of germinating seeds, understand the basics of how their food is produced and see, many for the first time, the agriculture all around them. Agriculture is the $97 billion economic engine that drives Missouri’s economy; many of these students will land in careers in agriculture, food, and forestry down the road,” said Ashley McCarty, Missouri Farmers Care executive director. 

Ag Moves educators, 4-H leaders, University of Missouri Extension and Missouri FFA partner educators taught lessons this summer across the state. Twenty-one college interns have served with Ag Moves this summer, reaching thousands of students while developing their teaching skills and experience. With a shortage of agriculture educators in Missouri, the Ag Moves program is helping close the gap by providing opportunities for tomorrow’s teachers to prepare for their careers. The program’s impact continues to grow, reaching over fifty percent more students when compared to successful efforts last summer. Through extensive partnerships, the program had a positive influence in the lives of more than 10,000 elementary students in Missouri during 2023.

Students excitedly check in on the progress of their soybean germination necklaces created during the first Ag Moves lesson featuring Missouri Soybeans.

As summer schools conclude, the Ag Education on the Move Coloring Fun App can extend learning for elementary students through the summer months. The free app gives youth an opportunity to virtually explore their connection to food, fiber, fuel, and other farm products as they color their way through the farm. The app is available on Google Play, Apple App Store and Amazon Appstore at https://www.agmoves.com/aeotmapp. Free, downloadable partner resources are available at www.agmoves.com/resources to provide additional summer fun and learning.

Ag Moves is funded through Missouri Farmers Care, a coalition of more than 40 Missouri agriculture groups. Missouri soybean farmers and their checkoff, the MFA Oil Foundation, FCS Financial and MFA Incorporated, support the program, along with contributions from Missouri Corn Merchandising Council, Missouri Beef Industry Council, and the Missouri Fertilizer Control Board. To learn more, to connect your school with the program, or to become a partner, visit www.agmoves.com.  

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AGRICULTURE EDUCATION ON THE MOVE (Ag Moves)

Ag Education on the Move™ (Ag Moves), a program of Missouri Farmers Care, is a proactive, educational effort that brings passionate, trained educators to the classroom to build agricultural literacy at elementary ages. The ten-week hands-on education program works to increase general understanding of agriculture through interactive educational experiences in the classroom and on the farm. www.agmoves.com

MISSOURI FARMERS CARE 

Missouri Farmers Care is a joint effort by Missouri’s agriculture community to stand together for the men and women who provide the food and jobs on which our communities depend. The coalition of more than 40 leading Missouri agricultural groups promotes the growth of Missouri agriculture and rural communities through coordinated communication, education, and advocacy. www.MOFarmersCare.com