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Thomasville youth planting seeds for the future through Ag Moves


Seeds are being planted across Missouri this spring as elementary students participate in Agriculture Education on the Move (Ag Moves). Through Ag Moves, an educational program of Missouri Farmers Care, students learn how their lives are connected to agriculture through hands-on learning led by passionate educators in their classrooms. 

During the 10-week program, students learn about crops, livestock, soil and water conservation, nutrition, and careers in agriculture. The S.T.E.M.-focused lessons and curriculum meet state learning objectives in the areas of science, math, engineering, technology, social studies and language arts. Hands-on activities are incorporated into each lesson, providing fun and interactive ways of learning as students make soybean germination necklaces, corn plastic, butter, feed rations and soil profiles, explain program officials. Through the curriculum, students learn about Missouri farm families and how the dedication and year-round efforts of these farmers and ranchers impact their lives.

Locally, students in the Thomasville Homeschool Group are benefiting from the program, learning about food, fuel, and fibers with local Ag Moves Educator Harly Bettis this spring in cooperation with the Oregon County 4-H program.

“It’s truly inspiring to see the seeds of knowledge being planted in classrooms across Missouri though Agriculture Education on the Move. This program not only teaches students about the vital connection between their lives and agriculture but also ignites a passion for learning and understanding where their food comes from,” said Denny Mertz, Missouri Soybean Merchandising Council outreach and education chairman. “We’re proud of the dedication of our FFA partners and the enthusiastic educators who make this program possible, and we’re excited to continue growing and expanding its impact in communities statewide.”

Through partnerships with 535 FFA members in 91 FFA chapters, Ag Moves professional educators and collegiate education interns, Ag Moves engaged over 10,000 third-grade students in 2023, said officials, adding the program’s reach has more than doubled since 2021. Missouri Farmers Care Foundation, which hosts Ag Moves, provides the supplies and curriculum at no cost to participating schools. A list of elementary schools receiving Ag Moves programming this semester can be found at www.agmoves.com/blog/spring-2024-elementary-school-enrollments.

“The entire community benefits from Agriculture Education on the Move as local students experience the thrill of germinating seeds, understanding the basics of how their food is produced and opening their eyes, many for the first time, to the agriculture all around them,” said Ashley McCarty, Missouri Farmers Care executive director. “The connections the students make this semester will help inform their perspectives as future consumers and help them see the potential of agriculturally-related careers.”

Ag Moves is funded through Missouri Farmers Care, a coalition of more than 40 Missouri agriculture groups. Missouri soybean farmers and their checkoff and the MFA Oil Foundation support the program, along with contributions from Missouri Corn Merchandising Council, FCS Financial, MFA Incorporated, Missouri Beef Industry Council and the Missouri Fertilizer Control Board. To find out more or to become a partner, visit www.agmoves.com.