Mark O’Neill, Media and Strategic Communications Director
Casey Langan, Sand County Foundation
For Immediate Release: July 15, 2019
Pennsylvania Farm Bureau Selects 2019 Teacher of the Year
(Camp Hill) – Pennsylvania Farm Bureau’s (PFB) Agriculture Promotion Committee has selected Schuylkill County teacher Patricia “Trish” Zimmerman as the 2019 Teacher of the Year.
Zimmerman teaches science to 7th and 8th grade students at Pottsville Middle School. She specifically credited her participation in the Pennsylvania Friends of Agriculture Foundation’s Educator’s Ag Institute last summer for inspiring her to incorporate more agriculture-related studies in her science classes over the past year.
“I took it on as a challenge to see how much more agriculture I could infuse into an urban setting school, where the students are not as familiar with agriculture,” said Zimmerman. “It was a challenge to change the agriculture studies already in my curriculum, but it was exciting to see how much more I could get in there.”
The award was presented to Zimmerman during the Educator’s Ag Institute, which is a weeklong gathering held in State College that includes hands-on classroom sessions, farm tours and materials for teachers to take home for use during their classroom activities.
“Trish is a true success story for our Ag Educator’s Institute. She took information and personal experiences from tours and seminars and incorporated those experiences into her classroom setting,” said Agriculture Promotion Committee Chair Chris Hoffman, who also serves as PFB Vice President. “Teachers participating in the yearly gathering in State College help the foundation meet its mission of promoting and preserving agriculture by placing a special emphasis on educational programs for children across the Commonwealth.”
Zimmerman grew up in a rural area and “lived” agriculture, participating in FFA and as a fair princess and queen. Zimmerman says she covered a variety of topics in her regular classes and in additional STEM classes, which offered multiple agriculture extension activities with science themes. Some examples included Reduce, Reuse, Recycle (RRR), Hydroponics, DNA Extraction and Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs).
“Our textbooks highlighted genetic engineering, but the information was dated. We incorporated videos, current event articles and discussed GMO labeling,” added Zimmerman. “When we evaluated GMOs, we considered whether it was important to grow something that can be eaten up by little worms or grow something that people can eat.”
Pennsylvania Farm Bureau is the state’s largest farm organization, representing farms of every size and commodity across Pennsylvania. The Pennsylvania Friends of Agriculture Foundation is an educational charitable organization supported by Pennsylvania Farm Bureau.
For Immediate Release:March 21, 2019
Thousands of Young Students Learn about the Role Farmers Play in Producing Food
(Camp Hill) – Hundreds of Pennsylvania farmers went back to school this week to read a book to young students to celebrate Ag Literacy Week, which is sponsored by the Pennsylvania Friends of Agriculture Foundation (PFAF), a charitable group supported by Pennsylvania Farm Bureau (PFB).
More than 200 Farm Bureau members visited more than 1,460 classrooms and reached approximately 36,000 students in 54 counties during the third annual celebration of Pennsylvania Ag Literacy Week, March 18-22.
The Foundation selected the book “Right This Very Minute,” which was read to students in kindergarten through second grade. The author of the book (Lisl H. Detlefsen) describes it as a table-to-farm book about food and farming.
“We think it is increasingly important for young people to gain a better understanding about the role farmers play in producing the food they eat. The future success of agriculture may depend upon a society that understands the value of farm families and how farm businesses positively impact local communities,” said PFB President Rick Ebert, who is also chairman of the Friends of Agriculture Foundation. “The book provides accurate information about how farmers care for their animals and their land, while working to produce healthy food for children and their families.”
Aside from the book reading, students participated in a fun and interactive game that invited them to review what they learned from the book by matching meal times on a clock to the work farmers do to produce the foods in those meals.
“Ag Literacy Week helps students make the connection between the foods they eat at home and the farms they come from. It also gives farmers the opportunity to relay personal stories about what it is like to live on a farm and the type of work they do to put food on everyone’s tables,” added Ebert.
For more information about Ag Literacy Week, go to https://www.pfb.com/about-ag-literacy-week.
Pennsylvania Farm Bureau is the state’s largest farm organization, representing farms of every size and commodity across Pennsylvania.
The Pennsylvania Friends of Agriculture Foundation is an educational charitable organization
supported by Pennsylvania Farm Bureau. The Foundation’s mission is the preservation and promotion of agriculture
with an emphasis on creating educational programs for children.