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National Agriculture in the Classroom

affiliates

Summary 2019 — New Jersey

State Contact

Ms Caroline Etsch
New Jersey Farm Bureau
168 W. State Street
Trenton, NJ 08608
P: 732.794.6785
E: njagliteracy@gmail.com
Website

Classroom Resources

The NJFBWLC uses the MyPlate.gov resources to create lessons and exercises explaining healthy food choices and meals. With colorful food group plates and “fake” food, children and adults learn how agriculture produces valuable resources for their bodies and how to maintain healthy lifestyles. Resources can be found at www.choosemyplate.gov. In working with NJ Ag Society's new bookFrom the Garden State to Your Plate", we created a teacher's guide of lessons to bring to life the importance of NJ Agriculture. Lastly, we presented an Educator's Math and Literacy Workshop which highlighted 7 books, each with lessons, learning standards and a usb drive with reproducible lessons. Each school then received a book bundle of the 7 titles, to be used in their schools. The New Jersey Agricultural Society in 2019 published a 32-page children's book on New Jersey Agriculture. the book highlights 10 important fruit and vegetable crops grown in New Jersey and includes a map showing the counties in which these commodities are grown. The book also includes information on beekeeping in NJ, machines that NJ farmers use and a section onwhere to find locally grown fruits and vegetables. It includes many pictures of NJ farms. The NJ Ag Society's website contains 85 lessons available to teachers. It also includes Basic Gardening lessons that teach students what they need to know about gardening. These lessons can be found in the Learning through Gardening’s Teacher Toolbox at: www.njagsociety.og/teacher-toolbox.html. Also included is a list of 160 fiction and nonfiction children’s books related to gardening and agriculture, and a list of garden songs and poems for young children. The Teacher Toolbox pages also features a lesson of the month. More information can be obtained by contacting: learningthroughgardening@gmail.com. The Agricultural Literacy Center in Sussex County, NJ uses onsite visits with visiting “stations” to provide hands-on learning to students. With units providing information on current farm operations, plant programs and agricultural time machine, farming present and past, this busy center teaches students much about their local area, as well as general agricultural practices. http://agriculturallearningcenter.com/html/programs-and-class-trips.cfm

Major Program Impacts or Outcomes

NJFBWLC reached 3300 students and 200 adults were reached in 2019 through our classroom visits and programs, professional development workshops, on-farm visits and county fairs. 15,302 students were given the opportunity to grow and harvest their own vegetables in NJ Ag Society's Learning Through Gardening school garden. 1,300 teachers were given access to Learning Through Gardening curriculum, training, seeds, and materials. 68 teachers from 20 schools throughout New Jersey attended the Learning Through Gardening program’s annual Best Practices school garden workshop. About 350 people per month visited Learning Through Gardening’s Teacher Toolbox on the New Jersey Agricultural Society’s website (www.njagsociety.org). In addition, December 2019 saw materials for growing gloves and seed necklaces given out to 268 teachers at 22 schools, for a total of 11367 students. The Agricultural Learning Center reached 1,390 students with visits to the Center and 209 students with classroom presentations. In addition, 110 kindergartners and their parents visited the center as a pre-curricular program. Lastly, 16 teachers, reaching approx. 480 students attended the teacher’s workshop at their location. The Agricultural Learning Center booked several new districts in 2018 providing programming to over 1600 students. In addition, two new programs were added for classroom presentations.

Biosketch

Caroline Etsch is a farmer in Middlesex County, NJ. She works with the NJFB Women’s Leadership Committee to present and develop programs for students, educators and the public of NJ to engage with farming on many levels throughout the state. She runs an Agri-Tourism business from her farm in Middlesex County, teaching 3rd graders in Monroe Township about modern agriculture each fall. She has attended many AITC conferences in the past and continues to learn from her peers. She is a Veterinary Technician by trade, a gardener by hobby and an educator at heart.