On-farm workshop held for teachers

Mrs. Wendy Schnorr, second grade teacher at AFC Elementary, drove a tractor with the help of Ethan Pratt. During the tractor ride, Pratt explained the use of GPS and auto-steer on the farm. Photo submitted

DIXON — On Thursday, Sept. 5, 25 teachers from Lee, Ogle, DeKalb and Whiteside counties attended Cultivating Your Classroom, a unique on-farm teacher workshop hosted by the Pratt Family on Grand Prairie Farms. 

The workshop invited teachers to the farm to collect engaging agriculture-themed lessons and activities designed to boost current ELA, math, science and social science curriculum. Katie Pratt, Lee County Ag in the Classroom coordinator, planned the event.

“I really wanted this to be a highly interactive event,” Pratt said. “Attendees learned about technology use on the farm and then drove one of the tractors outfitted with GPS and auto-steer technology.”

Teachers visited with presenters from Illinois Agriculture in the Classroom, Nutrients for Life Foundation, U of I Extension, Facilitating Coordinators for Agriculture Education, and Whiteside County Ag in the Classroom.

In addition to activities for the classroom, teachers visited with Deanne Frieders, blogger at This Farm Girl Cooks about meal preparation tips. 

“Teachers work in a high stress environment every day,” Pratt said. “We wanted to ensure they not only received information for their classrooms, but for their life too.” 

KSB Community Wellness was also on-site talking about stress management and healthy eating. 

Teachers left with a tote of classroom materials sponsored by Lee County Soil and Water Conservation District and Lee County Farm Bureau Foundation. 

Refreshments were provided by funding from Lee County Soil and Water Conservation District. 

Lee County Ag in the Classroom provides agriculture themed lessons and materials to Lee County teachers grades K-12. For more information about this program, call 815-857-3531. 

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