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National Agriculture in the Classroom


Summary 2023 — Minnesota

State Contact

Ms. Sue Knott
Minnesota Agriculture in the Classroom
625 Robert Street North
St. Paul, MN 55155
P: 651.201.6486

Innovative Programming

Harvest of the Month - The Minnesota Department of Agriculture/MN AITC program, in collaboration with the MN Department of Ed and U of M Extension, received a USDA Farm to School grant in 2020 to develop and launch a Harvest of the Month (MN HOTM) program with the goal of building strong connections between community (farmers), cafeteria (school meal programs) and classrooms. MN AITC has been heavily involved in this development and launch process - especially in the classroom component. The Harvest of the Month website launched with many connections to Ag in the Classroom. Our MN AITC team is working to expand lessons and educational resources that use locally grown foods as the context for learning in science, social studies and health/nutrition.

Virtual Theme-based professional development - MN AITC hosted quarterly teacher professional development via Zoom. The 45 minute sessions focused on lessons related to a monthly theme. MN AITC staff demonstrated the lessons and led a discussion among the attendees about the applications of the lesson and related resources. Several participants at each session won lesson kits and books.

Major Program Impacts or Outcomes

At the conclusion of our summer teacher tours, participants responded to this question: On this tour, have you learned strategies to use agriculture as a context for science, social studies, language arts and health/nutrition education? 68% responded with "I have learned a lot of new strategies", 32 % with "I have learned a few new strategies" and 0% said "I have learned no new strategies".

Pre-service teachers who participated in a MN AITC professional development workshop were asked to respond to the statement "I plan to utilize agricultural topics and examples in my future curricula and classroom." 60% strongly agreed, 36% agreed and 4 % were not sure. These pre-service educators were also asked "The agricultural ideas and resources presented can be used to assist my students in achieving the MN K-12 academic standards in Science, Social Studies, English Language Arts and/or Math." 69% strongly agreed, 30% agreed, 1% were not sure and 0% disagreed or strongly disagreed.

Before middle school students participated in our Farm Camp held in East Grand Forks, MN, 37% percent responded with "yes" to the prompt "I can name five ag careers in my community.” After participation, 85% percent responded with "yes" to this same question.

Program Leader Biosketch

Sue Knott's agriculture roots were established on her family's farm in southwestern Minnesota. Experiences in 4-H, FFA and helping raise crops and livestock, inspired her to earn a degree in agricultural education from the University of Minnesota. She taught high school Agricultural Education before joining the Minnesota Agriculture in the Classroom team as Education Specialist in 2011 and took on the role of State Contact in 2016.