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June 22, 2009   Email to Friend 

TEACHERS HARVEST NEW IDEAS AT AITC SUMMER INSTITUTE
Debra Davis
(334) 613-4686
June 22, 2009

Teachers toured farms in Autauga and Elmore counties during the annual Alabama Ag in the Classroom Summer (AITC) Institute earlier this week. Autauga County Farmers Federation President Andy Wendland, center, examines corn with, from left, AITC State Steering Committee Chairman Kim Earwood, Donna Etheredge of Autaugaville Elementary, John Mark Waynick of Barkley Bridge Elementary School in Morgan County and LaQuisia Williams of Redland Elementary School in Elmore County.
PRATTVILLE, Ala., -- Even the scorching heat didn't cool the enthusiasm teachers had for learning about agriculture during the annual Alabama Ag in the Classroom Summer Institute held earlier this week.

More than 80 teachers and other educational professionals from around the state attended the institute held in Prattville June 16-18. The AITC program is funded largely from support of the Farming Feeds Alabama ag tags.

Much of the institute focused on outdoor activities, including workshops that incorporate farming and nature into math, reading, history and science lessons teachers can use into their classrooms.

Teachers also toured several farms in Autauga and Elmore counties where they talked with farmers and learned about the care farmers give to their crops and livestock.

Autauga Farming Co., owned in part by Autauga County Farmers Federation President Andy Wendland, was among the stops on Wednesday's farm tours. He said farmers should be willing to show the public what their jobs entail.

"There are so many groups out there that are supporting and promoting misconceptions about agriculture and livestock production. I think it's important for us to share the real truth with the public, particularly teachers, about what we do," Wendland said. " It's especially important for people to see the attention we give our crops and the animals we care for."

LaQuisia Williams of Redland Elementary School in Elmore County said she enjoyed the craft ideas she learned during the institute, but added the farm tours were her favorite. "I had never seen a cotton plant before and it was very interesting," she said. "AITC is a great program, and I would definitely recommend it to teachers who wants to learn new things for their classrooms."


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