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Stateline students learn the impact agriculture has locally and around the world

COUNTY COALITIONS TEACHING STUDENTS ABOUT THE FOOD AND AGRICULTURAL INDUSTRY. ((MIMI)) STUDENTS AT A LEE COUNTY MIDDLE SCHOOL ARE LEARNING ABOUT AG FROM AN EXPERT IN THE FIELD. IT’S TONIGHT’S EDUCATION MATTERS. Jeff Svendsen is an agriculture teacher at Paw Paw Junior High. He’s more than qualified for the position with plenty of practical experience. With a degree in Agra Business, Svendsen worked in the grain industry for 30 years. And now… Jeff Svendsen/Ag teacher at Paw Paw jr high “We farm about 13,000 acres of corn and soybeans. And then we feed out about 20 head of cattle that I sell locally.” Svendsen or Mr. Jeff to his students, got certified to teach ag in order to keep the high school from losing it’s FFA program. He believes all kids should learn about the diverse field. Jeff Svendsen/Ag teacher at paw paw jr high “There are so many opportunities available to the students as they grow up. I mean it ranges, not only from farmers, but we need chemists, you need salesmen, all those different types of jobs.” Katie Pratt shares Svendsen’s passion for agriculture. She’s the Literacy Coordinator for Lee County Ag in the Classroom. Many of the students in Lee County live in rural America. Pratt wants them to appreciate the world around them. Katie Pratt/Ag Literacy Coord , Lee Co Ag in the Classroom “They go to school in small towns and they’re surrounded by corn fields and bean fields and cattle and pigs, learn about that. Understand why it’s important to our communities and then at the same time why it’s important to our economy and our world and how that’s where your food comes from. Your fiber and your fuel and your feed.” Mr. Jeff’s students are starting small, learning what it takes to grow plants. Kylee Cooper/5th grade “I’m growing some types of flowers. Some types of vegetables, watermelon and catgrass.” Brie Clayton/5th “I planted a few flowers, a sensitive plant and like tomatoes” 18:20:10:19 “I just thought that they were kinda cool and I could experiment how they grew.” Students say they’re learning about the vital role farmers play. Tori Fox /5th grade “I think it’s very important what they do. Why? Because if they didn’t farm, we wouldn’t have corn , we wouldn’t have wheat and we wouldn’t have soybeans.” Having an actual farmer teaching ag offers a great advantage to students. Jeff Svendsen/Ag teacher at paw paw jr high “I give them the antidotes and what nots of what happens on the farm, what really happens.” ((MIMI)) EXPERTS SAY INCREASING AG EDUCATION IN THE CLASSROOM WILL HELP MEET THE SHORTAGE OF STUDENTS PURSUING COLLEGE AGRICULTURAL DEGREES. ((MIMI)) IT’S REALLY COOLED OFF IN THE LAST 24 HOURS. ((ERIC)) AND ANOTHER ROUND

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