Does Your School Have an Ag Class?

Rachelle showing her hog at the county fair.

Our daughter, Rachelle, was so excited for this quarter of school to begin.  She had waited all year for 4th quarter, not because it meant school was almost over, it was because she got to take Ag class with Mr. Larrick.  I’m certain part of her excitement was who the teacher was, all the kids love Mr. Larrick.  However, I know her excitement also came from the subject matter.  Growing up on a farm, Rachelle loves learning about agriculture but she knows she hasn’t learned all there is to know yet.  That’s why when she found out they offered the course in middle school she was so excited.  She couldn’t wait to absorb what Mr. Larrick was going to share with her.

Rachelle is a good student and likes school but I have never seen her so excited about one of her classes before.  Each night she will tell her dad and I what she learned in Mr. Larrick’s class.  She has learned how to build a bird house and how to safely use hand and power tools to build it with.  Using power tools properly is something Kevin hasn’t had the time to do enough of.  We are very excited Mr. Larrick had the opportunity to help us teach her this useful skill.  Thanks to Mr. Larrick’s ag class, each night Rachelle asks her dad and I about the different jobs we perform on our family farm. 

This last week her class has been focusing on beef.  To make learning fun, Mr. Larrick held a beef quiz bowl and divided the kids into teams.   We have a small cow-calf herd on our farm so Rachelle wanted to see if she knew more than we did.  It was a lot of fun listening to Rachelle quiz us and ask us questions like “what is a freemartin?”  (A freemartin is what you call a heifer (female) that is born with a twin brother (bull).   A heifer that is born with a twin brother can’t reproduce because the testosterone from her twin brother affects her hormones and ability to grow normal reproductive organs.  However, the male is able to reproduce.)   Rachelle is very excited for her class to focus on pork for a week since she has more experience with hogs.

Not every school offers agriculture classes which I think is a shame.  Rachelle and her friends are learning how food reaches the grocery stores and their family tables.  These kids are learning the basics which many adults don’t even know because they were not offered this course in school.

I am very proud that my children’s school is offering agriculture classes to our kids at an early age.  Kevin and I can teach our kids a lot by living and working on the farm, but it’s nice to have Mr. Larrick and our school helping us to educate our kids about agriculture as a whole and the benefit it has on every American’s life.   Mr. Larrick has made a huge impression on many kids lives, and I know he is one of Rachelle’s favorite teachers.  His work may go unnoticed by some but to those of us who see the impact he has on our children, it is a breath of fresh air.  I know each child in his class will walk out of his room at the end of the year knowing their food was produced by a farmer who cared; and this is because he cared!

About Chris Chinn

My husband, Kevin, and I are 5th generation farmers. We live on our family hog farm in Missouri with our two children. Our dream is that our children will have the opportunity be the 6th generation of farmers in our family.
This entry was posted in agchat, agriculture, education, family, FFA, food, livestock care and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Does Your School Have an Ag Class?

  1. So proud! I’ve never lived in a place where agriculture classes were offered — and having lived in SEVERAL states, I agree, its a shame that kids don’t see the option.

  2. Cheryl says:

    We have a very basic class at the highschool here.

  3. Pingback: Monday Links | Food and Agriculture Law Blog

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