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National Agriculture in the Classroom


Summary 2019 — Idaho

State Contact

Mr Rick Waitley
Idaho Agriculture in the Classroom
55 SW 5th Ave, Suite 100
Meridian, ID 83642-8638
P: 208.888.0988

Classroom Resources

none were developed

Major Program Impacts or Outcomes

The impact of Ag Expo's continues to increase. The program started primarily with FFA Chapters but now has expanded to include a North Idaho Fair sponsored field day Farm to Table - field day expo for 5th graders and a combined three county Extension effort for National Ag Da with a drive through breakfast Idaho AITC staff have become the resource coordinators for all commodity groups in Idaho. Materials for various grade levels are placed in our office and when requests come we compile the teacher and student packet for each group based upon what they will be teaching. We have also been asked to advise on "teaching stations" for several of these expos. The impact of the Expo's is having a community resource effort to teach the importance of agriculture. Once the door is opened, relationships developed we are hearing stories of agencies, agribusinesses and farmers/ranchers returning to assist in student education about agriculture after the expo is over. "On the Road Workshops" were held in three locations. the teachers traveled on a bus for a two day experience in agriculture. We provided each teacher with two handouts - one for class copies and one for resources. Throughout the tour we distributed and talked about various AITC and commodity resources. We filled the orders at the end of the first day and the teachers took them home on day #2. They were very well received with increased enrollment. Teachers enjoyed meeting, experiencing and having a more hands on approach to the summer workshops. We continued our partnership with the ARTitorium in Idaho Falls for the month of October and their emphasisAGtober. We coordinated educational materials and exhibits about Idaho agriculture. Our partners included Food Producers of Idaho, Leadership Idaho Agriculture Foundation, Idaho State Department of Agriculture and the Idaho Preferred Program. The ARTitorim was open six days a week with thousands of visitors. Idaho AITC undertook a project to create an agriculture wall mural (35'Long) in a tunnel that connects State building in our capital mall complex. We contacted several commodity and agribusiness group, located the artist and helped in the design. The mural was not complete until half way through 2019 and will be dedicated in February during the Idaho Ag Summit event held in conjunction with the legislative session. The quality of the mural has caught the attention of other natural resource groups to join us with additional murals which are seen by hundreds of visitors and state employees. The word AGRICULTURE is spelled out in 3.5 foot high letters in a very prominent location in the tunnel with high traffic. T


The Idaho AITC program is housed at Association Management Group (AMG) in Meridian, Idaho. AMG provides association management and legislative lobbying for over 40 different agriculture groups in Idaho. Rick Waitley, State AITC Director is President of AMG. Waitley grew up on an Idaho farm and received his BS from the University of Idaho in AgEd. Waitley taught high school agriculture before joining the staff of the National FFA in Alexandria, VA. Waitley returned to Idaho and worked for the Idaho Dairymen's Association and in 1977 became a registered lobbyist. Waitley's first contract with Idaho AITC was in January 1994. Waitley is married to a retired Kindergarten teacher who taught for 35 years. Rick Waitley received the Governor's Award for Excellence in Agriculture in the area of Education/Advocacy in 1998. Waitley serves on a variety of boards and commissions in Idaho and has received numerous awards and recognition for his investment in Idaho agriculture.