Illinois elementary teacher connects with students though agriculture


Illinois elementary teacher connects with students though agriculture

Photos courtesy of Laurie Bitting

The third-grade teacher for Illinois’ Bureau Valley School District is tying agriculture and dairy farming into all school subjects to help her students learn.

Laurie Bitting tells Brownfield the journey began by choosing and naming a dairy calf through the St. Louis Dairy Council’s Adopt-A-Cow program.

“Every month the farmer will send you videos and they tell us about what the calf might be consuming at the time, how much feed, how much water and how much it has grown.”

Bitting says her students love activities like mapping out their own farm to learn about perimeter and area or making snacks from locally sourced milk.

“My students are all from a rural area, however most of them do not live or have experiences on working farms.”

Since Bitting grew up on a farm, she says sharing her agricultural experiences helps her form strong connections with her students.

“You never know, when you are talking to a student something that you might say to them might some day inspire them to go on and be part of the agriculture community.”

Bitting says her participation in the program and her farm themed room decorations have students throughout the school asking questions about agriculture.

And she says the various job opportunities in agriculture could offer those students a bright future.

Interview with Laurie Bitting

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