The National Agriculture in the Classroom Organization (NAITCO), U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and Farm Credit has announced that an Iowa teacher is one of eight general education instructors from around the country who have been selected as winners of the National Excellence in Teaching about Agriculture Award for 2017.
Dr. DeEtta Andersen of Center Point was presented the Iowa Excellence in Teaching about Agriculture Award at the Iowa Pork Congress in Des Moines on Jan. 24. She will join the other award winners at the National Agriculture in the Classroom Conference June 20-23 in Kansas City.
The winning kindergarten through 12th grade teachers won for the innovative ways they use agricultural concepts to teach core subject areas of reading, writing, math, science, social studies, STEM and more.
Andersen incorporates agriculture technology into her biology and physical science classes by engaging students in learning about land use, conservation, crop production, genetics, and the need for alternative fuels. She teaches about maintaining healthy livestock and her curriculum grows out of local issues. The awards program is a project of the Iowa Agriculture Literacy Foundation and is supported through a grant from the CHS Foundation.
Andersen is in her 9th year of teaching at Center Point-Urbana High School, where she also serves as the drama director. She earned her doctorate in education from Walden University in Minnesota. As an Iowa State University graduate, she has strong ties to agricultural careers and helping her students find a pathway toward future careers in agriculture science and technology.
“We’re proud of these award-winning teachers who demonstrate so well how effective agriculture can be when used as a teaching tool,” said Dr. Victoria LeBeaux, the National Agriculture in the Classroom Program Leader for USDA’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA), which provides federal leadership and annual funding for Agriculture in the Classroom.
“These teachers exemplify how easily connections to agriculture can be made in classroom instruction,” said Chris Fleming, president of NAITCO. “We honor them for the strides they make in agricultural literacy in their classrooms every day.”
NAITCO is a non-profit organization representing most of the 50 state Agriculture in the Classroom programs around the country. Its mission is to educate K-12 teachers and students about the importance of agriculture by providing them with web-based materials, workshops and awards programs that demonstrate how agriculture can be used to effectively teach core subject areas.