LOCAL

Agriculture classroom on wheel visits Ascension Parish Schools

Staff Report

Over the past two months, students at six primary schools in Ascension Parish Public Schools participated in the Seed Survivor Mobile Classroom, a program that educates students in grades 3-5 about the importance of agriculture.

In a partnership with the Louisiana Farm Bureau’s Agriculture in the Classroom program, Nutrien and Nutrien Ag Solutions sponsor the initiative called Seed Survivor. Seed Survivor is a “classroom on wheels,” a free, curriculum-based learning experience that encourages children in elementary school to understand what makes plants grow.

Students at six primary schools in Ascension Parish Public Schools participated in the Seed Survivor Mobile Classroom.

"It is exciting when community partners bring resources to our schools that enhance educational opportunities for our students," said Ascension Public Schools Superintendent David Alexander. "This program may spark interest in our students to pursue careers in agriculture, science, or engineering. Or this may simply give them a better understanding of ecosystems and sustainability as well as pique their interest as lifelong gardeners. The key is putting classroom learning into practical applications."

Students from Bluff Ridge Primary, Central Primary, Galvez Primary, Oak Grove Primary, Sorrento Primary and Sugar Mill Primary had an opportunity to compete as virtual farmers, dig for real fossils and learn how they relate to agriculture, and plant a sunflower seed to take home and grow. Additionally, private school students at Ascension Christian and St. Theresa Middle schools participated this fall.

“Seed Survivor is a fun and engaging way to teach students the importance of agriculture and what plants need to grow,” State Coordinator for Louisiana Farm Bureau’s Agriculture in the Classroom Program Lynda Danos stated in a press release. “It’s a great resource for teachers, and students love planting their very own sunflower to grow in the classroom or at home.”

Six Nutrien-sponsored displays travel North America year-round, visiting 100,000 total children. In Louisiana, the Louisiana Farm Bureau (LFBF) coordinates the mobile tour, which fills the gap between farm and table by providing students with a better understanding of where their food comes from.

Seed Survivor was created in collaboration with industry experts and teachers to ensure the program is factual and curriculum-based.

Nutrien is the world’s largest provider of crop inputs and services, producing and distributing approximately 27 million tonnes of potash, nitrogen, and phosphate products world-wide. It has over 2000 retail locations under the name Nutrien Ag Solutions.

Nutrien created Seed Survivor to educate the next generation about the importance of agriculture. They wanted to give back to communities where they operated and to share their knowledge about growing healthy plants.

“Every year, our Seed Survivor program reaches approximately 100,000 students across North America,” Nutrien’s Education Program Coordinator Chloe Sprecker stated in a news release. “Our hope is to get children interested in agriculture, build their confidence in growing healthy plants, and understand where their food comes from.”

“The simple fact is less children are growing up on or have family members to visit on the farm, so they aren’t exposed to agriculture,” Sprecker said. “Every presentation explores how to grow healthy plants, how much of the earth can grow food, and what can be grown locally.”

Louisiana Farm Bureau Agriculture in the Classroom is a non-profit organization providing resources and training for teachers to integrate agriculture across the curriculum. Their goal is to help students gain a greater awareness of the role of agriculture in the economy and society, so that they may become citizens who support wise agricultural policies.

Interested teachers can contact the Louisiana Farm Bureau Federation (LFBF) for more information at www.lafarmbureau.org/aitc. For more information about Nutrien, visit www.nutrien.com. For more information about Ascension Public Schools, visit AscensionSchools.org.