Corn Conversations is designed to give a virtual glimpse into TCP’s efforts through the checkoff and association. On June 25, Texas Corn Producers (TCP) held the second installment of “Corn Conversations.” The “Growing Minds” episode featured one of the pillars for the state’s checkoff: education. TCP Executive Director David Gibson and Education Director Hannah Dast visit with a TCP education contractor about details inside the exciting activities, experiments and lessons available for teachers and students.

Steven Yoder, a farmer form Dalhart, Texas, and the advertising, promotion and education committee chairman for TCP kick-started the webinar by explaining the board’s hand in education.

“Planting a foundation of agricultural knowledge is an important part of helping future generations of young Texans understand their role in getting food on their plate at dinner time and even beyond in their lives,” Yoder said. “This is the first step in building an open dialogue about the importance of a domestic food supply, sound farm policy, conservation and agriculture’s role in contributing to our society.”

Leigha Pate, Ed.D., a teacher at Plainview ISD and education contractor for TCP, works alongside Dast in developing TEKS-aligned science curriculum and facilitating free education workshops for teachers across the state.

In the presentation, Pate went over the K-5th grade “Corn in the Classroom” curriculum and explained the purpose behind each lesson, the best way to use the materials and suggested practices for implementation in the classroom. Due to coronavirus concerns, Pate gave ideas on how to adapt the resources available for distance education. By the end of July, TCP will have worked with teachers in eight separate workshops across seven regions in efforts to integrate corn curriculum in Texas schools.

“I feel strongly that if we can get agriculture into our science classrooms we will be benefiting our students,” Pate said.

Teachers who attend Corn in the Classroom workshops are provided materials to supplement their agricultural education curriculum, including planters, seed, soil and watering supplies, all to take back to their classroom and give their students a hands-on experience while learning about the agriculture industry.

Learn about how to implement this curriculum into your classroom by watching the free recorded “Corn Conversations – Growing Minds” webinar here, or by viewing the curriculum here.

To find out more about this and other education efforts funded by the corn checkoff board in Texas, click here.

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