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National Agriculture in the Classroom


Summary 2020 — North Carolina

State Contact

Ms Heather Willoughby
North Carolina Farm Bureau AITC Foundation, Inc.
P.O. Box 27766
Raleigh, NC 27611
P: 919-782-1705 ext. 8423

Innovative Programming Conducted and Educational Resources Developed

  1. Pork Ag Mags: created and written from a Kenan Programs Fellowship
  2. Strawberry Ag Mag and K-8 lesson plans: created and written from a contract by the NCDA&CS
  3. Summer intern worked virtually to help develop support materials for existing curriculum

We developed the following resources:

  1. NC Pork Ag Mag
  2. NC Strawberry Ag Mag
  3. K-8 NC Strawberry Lesson Plans
  4. NC Sweetpotato Ag Mag Companion Activity
  5. Book of the Month Archive Activity Sheets
  6. AITC Video Series

Major Program Impacts or Outcomes

19% increase in Twitter followers

17% increase in Facebook followers

2,690 ag books purchased in our Book of the Month program

19 grants were awarded to K-12 teachers in 16 counties for a total of $8298.66 in 2020. This brings our Going Local grant to the following statistics since its inception in 2013: 395 grants awarded in 80 NC counties for a total of $183,625.33

Program Leader Biosketch

Michele Smoot grew up on a 4th generation farm in southeast Virginia growing peanuts, cotton, soybeans, wheat, corn, beef cattle, and market hogs. She received her BS degree in Animal Science from Ferrum College and later earned a Master's degree in Adult Education with a concentration in Curriculum and Instruction from Central Michigan University. In her past, she has worked for Carroll Foods, Southern States, and has taught in the K-12 classroom. Before becoming the Director of North Carolina Farm Bureau Ag in the Classroom in 2012, she was an instructor at Chowan University School of Education located in Murfreesboro, NC. At Chowan, Michele utilized AITC curriculum for training pre-service teachers its importance and relevance for effective teaching in the K-5 classroom. In her free time, Michele enjoys spending time with her three children and husband, Les while also riding, training, and showing her horses.