Hundreds of teachers in the South Valley for a celebration of agriculture

VISALIA, Calif. (KFSN) -- In the heart of the number one Ag producing county in the nation, more than 200 teachers from across California convened to inspire the next generation.

"It is such an important industry and yet fewer and fewer people know about where their food comes from," said Judy Culbertson, California Foundation for Ag in the Classroom Executive Director.

The National Ag in the Classroom Program aids teachers and instructors on implementing Ag and nutrition in their lesson plans. In all, subjects from arts and science to math.

"If you're planning a garden, you can measure the spacing of the garden-- you can graph the height of the plants as they grow," said Culbertson.

"We'll use zucchini to cut and divide fractions and we'll make a soup out of that. We use green beans to show about ratios and proportion," said Julie Cates, 6th grade teacher.

Cates of Linwood Elementary in Visalia is attending the conference for a fourth time. Her 6th grade class continues to be amazed by the Ag-ventures they embark on.

Cates and her teaching partner Amy Downs are showcasing their new breakout game for grades five and up.

"We link technology and geography; it's like a treasure hunt that's going to be all about Asian Citrus Cyllid which is attacking California citrus."

Some of Cates' lesson plan-- inspired by conference keynote speaker Lori Taylor-- aka the Produce Mom and her challenge calendar.

"She and I worked together and strategically put together a curriculum that fit academic standards."

Taylor's emphasis for the conference is to empower educators by giving them the tools and resources to make a difference with our youth.

"Shedding light on what kind of community building and outreach can be done on social media."

Over the next two days, educators will get the full farm to table experience. They will be taking tours of various Tulare and Fresno County operations followed by a taste of California dinner.
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