The fact that almonds grow on trees is knowledge our community often takes for granted. In fact, many students in California don’t actually realize almonds grow on trees. Additionally, some are unaware of the abundance of agricultural commodities we grow here.
In an effort to expand students’ knowledge on the importance of their state’s agriculture, Almond Board of California (ABC) developed a partnership with California Foundation for Agriculture in the Classroom.
On July 14-15, more than 150 California educators gathered in Visalia, CA for the annual California Foundation for Agriculture in the Classroom Conference.
Liz Baskins, Outreach Coordinator for California Foundation for Agriculture in the Classroom, said, “The purpose of this conference is to promote agricultural education to K-12 educators.”
“We do this by providing workshops and Make ‘n’ Takes that give teachers new ideas for different lessons to teach in the classroom, we hear from keynote speakers and a farmer panel on how important agriculture is in our everyday lives, and [we] provide tours so teachers can get a better feel of all the hard work that goes into getting the food on our tables and the fibers (clothes) on our body,” Baskins said.
The conference also offers varying breakout sessions where attendees can learn from other teachers and experts in different agricultural professions about the lessons and curriculum they can incorporate in their classrooms.
This year, for the first time, ABC hosted a workshop featuring an overview of the educational resources that are available for educators to incorporate in the classroom.
ABC’s Jenny Nicolau, manager, Industry Relations, and Rebecca Bailey, program coordinator, Industry Relations, orchestrated the workshop. The duo gave two, hour-long presentations to more than 30 educators.
“The goal of the presentation was to equip teachers with tools and techniques to educate students about California’s #1 export crop. And in doing so, the teachers couldn’t believe how much they learned,” Nicolau said. “Answering some basic questions about our industry’s dedication to sustainability, innovation and water efficiency, while sharing lesson plans and almond activity books, was a win-win for everyone.”
Educating students about agriculture in a fun and engaging way may help them better understand where their food comes from, and expand their knowledge of agriculture, the environment and natural resources.
“The California Almond industry is dedicated to teaching children about almonds and, more importantly, the wonderful world of agriculture,” Nicolau said. “By planting these seeds early, our hope is to spark an interest that they pursue for years to come.”