QA’s students attend local ag event
CENTREVILLE, Md. — A flurry of Queen Anne’s County Public School seventh graders attended the fourth annual Agriculture Awareness Day on March 30-31, an educational experience to learn the county’s and state’s agriculture industry.
A coalition of agricultural educators and professionals hosted the event at the Queen Anne’s County 4-H Park during school hours, with volunteers and sponsorship from more than 40 groups, farms and businesses.
“The agriculture industry has shaped me into the person I am today, which is why I enjoy being able to give back and hopefully make an influence on other kids to take that same opportunity as they advance into college and their careers,” said Jessica Clarke, a crop insurance agent for MidAtlantic Farm Credit and coalition member. “It amazes me at the 60-plus volunteers we get each day from throughout the community that are willing to do the same. This event wouldn’t be possible without all of them!”
Stevensville and Matapeake Middle attended on March 30. Centreville and Sudlersville Middle schools visited the next day.
Visiting educational stations throughout the day, students participated in activities covering the variety of industries within agriculture while being introduced to its career opportunities.
Going back to the first Ag Awareness Day in 2017, Michael Page, Queen Anne’s County Public Schools’ supervisor of instruction for environmental literacy, health, physical education, and science said that middle school is the point in which many students make decisions about the type of career they want to pursue.
Introducing them to the career opportunities in agriculture gives them a better idea of what’s out there.
The annual program utilizes the Next Generation Science Standards and Maryland Environmental Literacy Standards to educate students about agriculture.
“Educating the youth on agriculture and careers is a vital component of ensuring the long-term viability of the agriculture industry,” said Jenny Rhodes, principal agent for agriculture and food systems at University of Maryland Extension, Queen Anne’s County. “With Agriculture Awareness Day, our goal is to expose the 7th graders in Queen Anne’s County to many facets of agriculture and the potential career options available to them.”
Local educators facilitated these stations covering technology in agriculture, in-season produce, aquaculture, animal production, and grains grown in the county.
“The Agriculture Awareness Day is an event that really connects our kids in the county with our strong agriculture community, said Clarke. “They see so much agriculture around them every day in Queen Anne’s County and it is a pleasure to be able to have this event to really make them aware of what they are seeing as they ride down the road and put all the pieces together.