Summary 2022 — New Mexico
For our New Mexico Grow Project grant, which provides a classroom hydroponic system and a 4x8 raised bed with hoop system and drip irrigation system, we made some adjustments to the training model. We focused on the one day training on the raised bed components of the grant and moved the hydroponic system to step by step Zoom set up. We provided 6 Zoom sessions with step by step instructions and troubleshooting with participants asking questions and support on how to incorporate it into the curriculum. The sessions were recorded to provide flexibility to teachers and to have the information readily available to them when they decided to set up the hydroponics system. We have seen more success with teachers using the system and sharing their experience with other teachers with this model.
We are developing a program that will help support ag organizations across the state to host an ag day event for schools in their local area. We did a successful pilot program of a sample event in order to start setting up a template of suggestions for organizations to provide support in set up, organization design, presentation topics, etc. It is our goal to help ag organizations/ groups across the state come together to host quality educational ag day events as there is a growing concern that schools will ultimately no longer allow volunteers into their classrooms for security reasons.
Major Program Impacts or Outcomes
NMAITC saw a lot of growth in 2022, and we are looking forward to hiring a third team member to help continue growing our outreach in grades K-12 across the state. We had a 50% increase in teacher trainings last year as well as a 184% increase in the number of students impacted by educational presentations for classrooms. We also saw increases in our website users by thirty-seven percent. The reach across our social media platforms totaled more than 58,000 which was up 101%.
Program Leader Biosketch
Traci Curry graduated with a degree in education from Eastern New Mexico University. She spent eleven years in the classroom as a K-8 certified elementary teacher before coming to New Mexico Farm & Livestock Bureau and the New Mexico Agriculture in the Classroom (NMAITC) program. She has been the NMAITC program leader since 2011.