- The Mobile Science Activity Centers operated by the Kentucky Department of Agriculture is visited by more than 24,000 students and 1,100 teachers each year. That number is only expected to grow as a third activity center was added this spring.
- The Agriculture Adventures mobile program has provided a show and hands-on activities to more than 15,000 students, teachers, volunteers, and administrators in the past two years. New to the schedule was providing the program to four Boys and Girls Clubs in June and July.
- We have had a significant presence at the Kentucky State Fair for the last two summers. KyAEC and the KDA has showcased our programs and resources to an estimated 7,000 visitors in 2015 and 2016.
- In early 2015, KyAEC participated in a Kentucky Science Center environmental sustainability exhibition. More than 54,000 visited the Louisville museum during the 3-month program.
- This year, we hosted our first Agriculture Literacy Network workshop, providing education tips and resources to 95 farmers, volunteers, and agribusiness professionals who provide programs to thousands of youth and adults collectively. We currently have 160 members; 4-H youth extension agents, County Farm Bureau, Conservation District, and FFA advisors make up the largest percentage of network membership, and we receive success stories on how they are using their new resources in their communities on a regular basis.
- KyAEC participated in the Kentucky Farm Bureau Regional Teacher Workshops, and shared new Kentucky-based curriculum and five gigabytes of agriculture literacy resources with nearly 400 teachers. Our current teacher database includes just under 1,200 K-12 teachers, and we email them regularly about ways to use agriculture lessons throughout the school year.
- When you provide training and resources with teachers and educators, there is a wonderful multiplier effect. They may be using their new knowledge and lessons with 10-500 students each year for the next several years. We estimate our annual student reach through teacher programs to be 100,000-130,000.
- Next month we will begin offering pre-service teacher workshops for education majors to encourage agriculture incorporation from day one of their teaching careers. We hope to reach 250 beginning teachers by spring 2017. And for the Kentucky Pork Producers, one of our most supportive sponsors, we just mailed out 100 pork-focused curriculum packages to high school family and consumer science educators.
The great thing about goals is that once you have reached them, you can set your sights higher, and we have much more in store. I’m considering increasing the mark to 10 percent of the Kentucky population by the end of next year.
None of this could be possible, however, without our dedicated farm organizations, businesses, and individuals. Thank you, Kentucky Agriculture Development Board and our many other sponsors and supporters, for helping KyAEC grow agriculture literacy in the Bluegrass.
If you are interested in supporting this effort, thanking our sponsors, or taking advantage of our programs, visit www.teachkyag.org to learn more.