Agriculture in the Classroom

Growing up in the middle of Omaha and growing up with agriculture I got the unique opportunity to see first-hand the disconnect between consumers and producers. I grew up on my family’s 38-acre farm with sheep, goats, horses, and pigs. My farm life experience taught me more than just about what the world agriculture means. It taught me responsibility, respect, leadership, how to be caring, work ethic, and determination; Each day I am thankful for the way I was raised.
With many Nebraskan’s removed from farms and ranches, a responsibility is given to us to share the story of agriculture. I have taken this responsibility personally. As an Agricultural and Environmental Science Communications major at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln I am learning and growing as a communicator. I have found new tools and perspectives to help me reach a variety of audiences and then help them realize how important agriculture’s story is to me and why it should be important to them. One of those tools is the Agriculture in the Classroom Program.


catherine-aitcThe Nebraska Farm Bureau Foundation’s signature program is Agriculture in the Classroom. This program creates standard based materials for Nebraska Youth and Educators. Nebraska provides resources such as books, posters, activities and lesson plans about beef, pork, corn and soybeans. Each of these resources explains what happens from production to the everyday use of agricultural products of consumers.  A part of Ag in the Classroom in Nebraska is the Ag Pen Pal program. This program helps urban classrooms in Nebraska relate with the agricultural community in Nebraska.
catherine-ag-in-the-classroom-logoThe Nebraska Agriculture in the Classroom Program is a part of a larger program called National Agriculture in the Classroom (AITC). National AITC is supported by the United States Department of Agriculture and helps provide a network of opportunities. AITC is striving to help community members appreciate and understand the food and fiber system that supports us all. Their goal is to see agriculture is valued by all.

catherine-ag-in-the-classroomNational Agriculture in the Classroom is where I began my search for curriculum and resources that I use to teach urban youth in Omaha. Having teaching aids at your fingertips makes it impossible to say that you cannot share your agriculture experiences with whomever might have a question or misconception. If in any situation I need a resource to help communicate the ins and outs of agriculture production I can be sure to have unlimited help with the National and Nebraska Agriculture in the Classroom Programs at my side.


catherine-ag-in-the-classroom-websiteWith many Nebraskan’s removed from the farm, a responsibility we now have is to share the story of agriculture. It is so important to me to see our society becoming agriculturally literate because the agricultural community has made me who I am. I owe my work ethic, friends, family, and future career to the agriculture industry.
I hope to someday have a career that allows me to help integrate agriculture into school curriculum, that reaches out in the marketplace to the general public about the real story of the products they are purchasing and that makes the importance of agriculture known on a local, state and national level.



Why You Should Give to Nebraska Farm Bureau Foundation for Agriculture

While watching the morning news this weekend with my son, I heard a fun fact. NASA put a man on the moon using a computer that had less computing power than a TI-83 calculator which is used my many kids in school today. I was more than a little surprised not so much by the fun fact but by my son’s reaction. “Ya mom, learned that one in 5th grade…it’s no big deal.”

Well, with that comment our conversation immediately shifted to a discussion about other fun facts about Nebraska as only a good Nebraska mom would do. First question, tell me about what crops Nebraska produces. My son, corn and cows mom…that’s easy. Learned that in 4th grade. And what else? No answer. What about dried beans? We are the 2nd largest producing state of pinto beans in the USA. Soybeans, we are the 5th largest exporter of soybeans? Popcorn….you know that stuff you inhale after school every day…Nebraska is the largest producer in the country.

His response…he shared that his XBOX was more powerful than the computers on the original space shuttle mission. Where did he get that one…science class 3rd grade? My next response, okay, you know that and not about Nebraska agriculture.

give to lincoln agAnd why should you care…Nebraska Farm Bureau Foundation for Agriculture (NFBFA) works every day to help our kids understand where their food comes from and works to give teachers the tools to use in their classroom by providing curricula that assists with teaching Agricultural literacy skills.   To learn more check out We work in Lincoln and across our state to provide consumers with education on food, fuel and fiber and to help develop the next generation of agriculture leaders by supporting leadership programs, scholarships and student loan forgiveness grants are also things we focus on each year.

Give to Lincoln Info GfxAgriculture represents more than 290,000 jobs in Nebraska. Over a fourth of our economy in our state can be attributed to agriculture. And more importantly, we all need food to fuel our bodies.

As you think about Give to Lincoln Day, please think about Nebraska Farm Bureau Foundation for Agriculture and the work we do you keep our state strong. Please consider making a gift to NFBFA.

Laura Schabloske

Interim Executive Director

Nebraska Farm Bureau Foundation for Agriculture