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        teaching today Wisconsin | Spring 2023, Volume 1                                                                                       Page 5

                    Wisconsin Educator Selected as 2023 national Excellence in teaching

                    About Agriculture Award recipient

                                            by  staying  current  on  past  and  present  agri-
                                            cultural practices, as well as sharing personal
                                            experiences  and  values  from  her  family   Agriculture in the Classroom Grants
                                            farm. Casual conversations and well-planned
                                            lessons are a part of her daily teaching. Rettler   Wisconsin Farm Bureau Foundation’s   •  Madison  Country  Day  School  —
                                            has  integrated  agriculture  into  almost  every   Agriculture in the Classroom program has   “School Garden Revamp”
                                            core subject allowing her students to improve   awarded  $4,000  to  educators  and  agricul-  •  Walworth  County  Fair  —  “Global
                                            their  reading,  writing  and  problem-solving   ture  literacy  programs.  Grant  dollars  will   Gardens/Freshly Picked”
                                            skills  through  partnerships  with  Wisconsin   support innovative core curricula initiatives   •  UW-Madison   Collegiate   Farm
                                            Agriculture  in  the  Classroom, Adopt-A-Cow   that incorporate agriculture concepts while   Bureau — “2023 Ag in the Classroom
                                            classroom program, and Hancock Agricultural   helping  students  meet  academic  standards   visits”
                                            Research Station.                    and develop career readiness skills.
                                               While being a farmer and a teacher are   Groups,  schools,  and  educators  can   •  Waupun  Parks  and  Recreation  —
                                            not required to bring agriculture to the class-  apply for up to $500 as part of the Ag in the   “Agriculture in the Parks”
                                            room, it has certainly helped Jessica’s efforts.   Classroom’s  ‘Ag  in All  Classrooms’  grant   •  Henry David Thoreau School, Mil-
                                            Her  family’s  farm  has  provided  produce  for   program.                waukee — “Chickology”
                                            the school’s lunch program which has sparked   Agriculture  literacy  programs  that
            Jessica  Rettler,  a  teacher  at  Tri-County   conversations  and  young  minds  alike  about   have been awarded funding include:   •  St.  Mary  School,  Richland  Center
        Elementary, has been selected as one of eight   how food is produced and the farmers who are   •  UW-Platteville  Collegiate  Farm   — “Herbs Galore!”
        recipients of the 2023 National Excellence in   raising and growing it.      Bureau  —  “Agriculture  Day  on  the   •  SAGES, Fox Lake — “Food Science
        Teaching About Agriculture Award.      “I  can’t  think  of  a  better  way  to  spend   Farm”                 Fundamentals”
            The  National  Agriculture  in  the  Class-  my life than teaching, farming and inspiring                •  Green  Bay  East  FFA  Alumni  &
        room   Organization   (NAITCO),   u.S.   others to be healthy, happy, helpful, and good   •  Cranberry Learning, Inc. — “Cran-  Agriscience  —  “Laboratory  Lessons
        Department  of  Agriculture’s  National  Insti-  stewards  of  the  land.  We  are  what  we  eat:   berry Learning Career Profiles”   in Livestock Breeding”
        tute of Food and Agriculture and Farm Credit   mind, body, and soul,” said Rettler.     •  St.  Mary  St.  Michael  Catholic,
        partner  each  year  to  honor  teachers  in  pre-  Rettler will receive prize packages valued   Clarks Mills — “vermicomposting”   Funding opportunities for educational
        kindergarten through 12th grade from around   at over $3000 and will receive the Excellence   •  Washington   School,   Wisconsin   projects  and  initiatives  occur  year-round
        the country for the innovative ways they use   in Teaching About Agriculture Award Program   Rapids — “Grow our Own Produce”   and  can  be  found  at
        agricultural concepts to teach reading, writing,   presented by the u.S. Department of Agricul-            Wisconsin  Ag  in  the  Classroom  is  now
        math, science, social studies, STEM, STEAM   ture’s  Ag  in  the  Classroom  program  at  the   •  SAGES, Fox Lake — “Agriculture in   accepting proposals for the Fall 2023 Ag in
        and more.                           National Agriculture in the Classroom Confer-  the Art Room”           ALL Classroom Grants. Proposals are due
            In December, Jessica Rettler was named   ence in Orlando, June 26-30, 2023.                            June 30th.  Apply at
        the 2022 Wisconsin Agriculture in the Class-  The Wisconsin Farm Bureau Federation’s
        room  Outstanding  Educator.  Rettler  is  a   Ag in the Classroom program is designed to
        fourth-grade educator at Tri-County Elemen-  help K–12 students understand the importance
        tary  School  in  Plainfield.  The  Outstanding   of agriculture. The program is coordinated by
        Educator Award honors K–12 educators who   the  Wisconsin  Farm  Bureau  Foundation  in
        work to enhance student learning and achieve-  cooperation with the u.S. Department of Agri-
        ment in core subjects while increasing student   culture, with funding from the Wisconsin Farm
        awareness and understanding of the important   Bureau Foundation, other agricultural groups
        role agriculture plays in students’ daily lives.  and a grant from the Wisconsin Department of
            “I  believe  human  survival  and  sustain-  Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection.
        ability rely upon agricultural literacy,” Jessica   Learn more at
        stated in her application. “The basic needs of   Contact: Beth Schaefer, Wisconsin Ag in
        air, food, water and protection from environ-  the Classroom Coordinator, 608.828.5644
        mental dangers sustain life. Agriculture is key
        to those basic needs. By increasing the level
        of any form of literacy, we empower others to
        make good choices.”         
            For  the  past  21  years,  Rettler  has  inte-
        grated agricultural literacy into her classroom

                                                The Wisconsin Ag in the Classroom program provides teaching resources and lesson plans
                                         to help K–12 students develop an understanding of the nation’s largest industry: AGRICULTURE.

                                                                                                    Check out the Events, Lessons and Grants
                                                                                                              available to all across Wisconsin.

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