Florida Teacher Wins National Award

Jacqueline HolmesCongratulations to Jacqueline Holmes, the overall Florida Excellence in Teaching About Agriculture winner, for being named one of eight the National Agriculture in the Classroom winners! Jacqueline is a third-grade teacher at Triangle Elementary in Lake County, who turned a love of horticulture into a school wide garden initiative to teach students reading, writing, math, science and social studies, good nutrition and the value of giving back to the community.

The National Agriculture in the Classroom Organization (NAITCO), U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and Farm Credit partner each year to honor teachers in kindergarten through 12th grade from around the country for the innovative ways they use agricultural concepts to teach reading, writing, math, science, social studies, STEM, STEAM and more.

“These teachers are examples of how using agricultural concepts in the classroom can successfully deliver important reading, writing, math, science and social studies lessons to students,” 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 NAITC. “The real-life connections teachers make by using items students use every day resonates with them.”

“The students these teachers reach learn about the importance of agriculture, and the careers that are available in this important industry,” said Willie Grenier, president of NAITCO and executive director of Maine Agriculture in the Classroom. “We honor them for the strides they make in agricultural literacy in their classrooms every day.”

“Farm Credit’s commitment to rural communities and agriculture extends to our support of initiatives that build the next generation of agriculture advocates,” said president and CEO of the Farm Credit Council Todd Van Hoose. “These outstanding teachers represent the best and brightest ideas in agriculture literacy education. Farm Credit is proud to support their innovative work.”

She will be honored at the National Agriculture in the Classroom Conference “Agriculture for ME on Land and Sea” June 27-29 at the Holiday Inn by the Bay in Portland, Maine. NAITCO is a non-profit organization representing Agriculture in the Classroom programs in most of the 50 states across 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.

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