State Reports

State Summary 2015 — Nebraska

State Contact

Ms. Courtney Schaardt
Nebraska Farm Bureau Foundation
5225 South 16th Street
Lincoln, NE 68501
P: 402.421.4461

Classroom Resources

The Nebraska Map Project has been completed. It supplements 4th grade Nebraska studies lessons and also features lesson plans correlated to social studies, math, language arts, and science standards.

Beef It Up curriculum is a new resource created as a packet containing a teacher’s guide with math and language arts lessons about beef cattle and the environment, beef cattle products, and beef cattle time lines.

The Science of Soy is a new resource created as a joint project with the Nebraska Soybean Board as a teaching tool that meets Nebraska state standards for grades 3-12. The guide contains 20 lessons focused on science and soybeans. Examples of lessons include:

Growth Requirements 1. Growth Requirements on Trial: Soil 2. Growth Requirements on Trial: Water 3. Growth Requirements on Trial: Light 4. Growth Requirements on Trial: Light Color 5. Growth Requirements on Trial: Light Angle 6. Growth Requirements on Trial: Leaves 7. Growth Requirements on Trial: Temperature

Soybean Activities: 8. Perfect Pollination 9. Burn a Bean 10. Soybean Soup 11. Surrounded by Soy 12. Life Cycle Timeline 13. Hoop it up for Predicting Soybean Yields 14. Comparing Cousins 15. Discovering DNA 16. What’s in a Soybean 17. Soy Yummy 18. Harvesting Headaches? Not anymore! 19. Agronomy Expert 20. Fact or Myth

Major Program Accomplishments or Outputs

Continued Pre-Service Presentations in 10 colleges across the state. Over 790 education majors are being reached through 2-3 hour sessions during their education method classes.

Nebraska Interactive Map Project is live at

The Ag Pen Pal Program continues to reach elementary students by linking a classroom with a farmer or rancher. This year we had 165 active classroom to farm/ranch matches.

Through the AITC Endowment Fund, 4 teachers were awarded $500 mini-grants. These grants provide the teachers with funding to purchase resources, literature books, field trips, science fair projects that are related to agriculture.

Our golf tournament was held for the 16th year bringing in close to $30,000.

Continued offering 10 of our lessons via Skype to educate classrooms. This program allows us to Skype into classrooms and give them a thirty minute agricultural lesson. This teaching tool allows for direct dialogue between the students and the Ag in the Classroom Coordinator. We found through surveys that teachers are more comfortable with us teaching ag lessons than themselves. More than 800 students directly reached through this method.

Major Program Impacts or Outcomes

98% of pre-service teachers reported an increase in agricultural knowledge gained due to participating in a pre-service workshop.

95% of the pre-service teachers said they will utilize three or more AITC lessons in their future classrooms.

98% of pre-service teachers say because of the AITC pre-service workshop they are more comfortable talking about agriculture.

100% of classrooms participating in Skype series noted a gain in agricultural knowledge.


Courtney Schaardt is the Manager of Outreach Education of the Nebraska Farm Bureau Foundation. She coordinates all efforts related to the ag pen pal program which reaches classrooms across Nebraska along with building and managing all outreach education opportunities within. Courtney is a graduate of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln with a degree in Agricultural Education-Leadership and minors in Animal Science and Agribusiness.