Teacher of the Year
The annual Excellence of Agriculture Education Award recognizes a Louisiana teacher for his/her achievements and efforts in teaching students the importance of agriculture.
How to Apply
To apply, simply print and complete the application form.
Who is eligible?
Any certified teacher integrating agricultural concepts into non-agricultural curricula at the Pre-K through 12 grade levels.
What will the winner receive?
- Trip to the National Agriculture in the Classroom Conference, June 25-28, 2013, in Minneapolis, Minnesota (Valued at $1,200)
- $500 Cash Award
What to include with the application?
- A completed nomination outline.
- Program description statements.
- Written permission to use submitted materials at future AITC functions, on the website, or other appropriate public forums.
- Any additional supporting information deemed essential to clarifying a nomination may be included in an appendix. The appendix should not be used, however, to provide additional program descriptions. The appendix is only for supporting information such as pictures or student-generated projects.
How can applications be submitted?
Applications must be received no later than March 10, 2013 to:Lynda Danos
Louisiana Farm Bureau Federation
PO Box 95004
Baton Rouge, LA 70895-9004
2012 Teacher of the Year
North Live Oak Elementary School
Sometimes it’s easier to get children to plant their vegetables than to eat them.
Kimberly Hastings’ fourth graders are busy making biodegradable tomato planters from newspaper. The project is part of a larger program helping students here at North Live Oak Elementary learn more about the importance of agriculture.
The students will take their tomato plants back home, plant them and catalog their growth over the summer. Caring for plants was just one phase of several environmental initiatives undertaken by students at North Live Oak, including a save the honeybee project. The projects were instrumental in Hastings being named the Louisiana Farm Bureau’s Ag in the Classroom teacher of the year for 2012.
“We were able to incorporate the save the honeybees project into our daily lessons, so that really got us interested in stepping outside the box and away from the textbook,” Hastings said. “The students moved from awareness to action. It’s something that I will continue to teach my student. Agriculture is very important and especially in our state.”
Before planting their tomatoes the students learned about the soil types best suited for growing tomatoes. In addition to the tomatoes Hastings’ class planted bell peppers, while students in her neighboring class planted citrus trees near the playground. She said the school has made a commitment to teach students the importance of agriculture while stressing sound environmental practices.
Hastings said the entire school participated in the Save the Honeybee project. The project succeeded in getting the city of Hammond to lift a ban on beekeeping inside the city limits, a ban that stretched back all the way to 1952. The school also is working with state lawmakers in Baton Rouge to develop a vehicle license plate that promote honeybees. Proceeds from the sale of the vanity plate will go to college scholarships for entomology students who commit to studying ways to keep the Louisiana honeybee population healthy.
“I do feel like the kids and I have worked very hard on the project,” Hastings continued. “I feel that we have done good work, especially intergrading agriculture into the curriculum. It’s something I’ve never done before but after experiencing all of the wonderful learning opportunities I know it’s something we’ll continue to do here at North Live Oak.”
This was the 12th year the Farm Bureau has chosen its Ag In the Classroom Teacher of Year. Lynda Danos, Farm Bureau’s AITC coordinator and a veteran science teacher, said Hastings’ initiatives gives students a small taste of what it means to be a farmer.
“Our teacher of the year program is certainly one of the best and we really stay in touch with the majority of our past winners,” Danos said. “Many of our past winners are our curriculum writers or reviewers. When we develop a new lesson or program we run many of the aspects by them. They will give us input so we can make adjustments to those lesson plans and really give teachers what they need.”