South Dakota Agriculture in the Classroom
Headquartered in Sioux Falls, SD, SD Agriculture in the Classroom (SDAITC) is coordinated by the 501c(3) nonprofit, Ground Works-Midwest. The goal of SDAITC is to inspire students in grades 4-8 to become agriculture literate consumers and leaders as adults. SDAITC education is guided by six values:
- To follow STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, Math) principles
- To fulfill SD education standards
- To enhance agriculture literacy
- To honor SD production agriculture and agribusiness
- To promote careers in SD agriculture industry
- To empower students to become agriculture literate consumers and leaders
South Dakota Road Trip- Exploring SD’s Agriculture and History
The Exploring Agriculture – A Road Trip Through South Dakota program is a fun and educational way for students to learn about South Dakota history and South Dakota agriculture. Students take a virtual tour of the state, visiting 22 towns each year. State and local history and the basics of agriculture are covered through lessons, games and hands on activities. All content is based on South Dakota education standards as well as the National Agriculture Literacy Outcomes. The program is available for public and private schools, as well as other organizations that provide educational services and programs. The program is offered free of charge through sponsorships and partnerships with state and local organizations.
The Exploring Agriculture Road Trip incorporates a creative approach to learning about the agricultural foundation and history of our state. Agriculture and history activities are linked to the town’s name or history. For example: In Lemmon, learn about beef cattle and cattle brands. In Mitchell, students learn about corns, grains and the Corn Palace.
Features of the Exploring Agriculture – SD Road Trip program include:
- A “South Dakota Road Trip” website that includes interactive grade 4 lesson plans, games and activities.
- Designed for cross-curricular delivery. Activities include standards-based STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) and English language arts, social studies, art, and school counseling (careers).
- Content based on the National Agriculture Literacy Outcomes which sets the framework for student agriculture education in grades K-12.
- Program content organized in a workbook/Travel Guide format with separate pages for individual South Dakota towns. Topics are reinforced by lessons, games, and activities.
- Interactive history and agriculture and passport activities provide hands-on learning opportunities for students.
- An “Ag Weekly” blog gives information on current events and topics in South Dakota.
- An online journal provides for research and writing activities on agriculture and history topics.
- An interactive map features agriculture articles, videos and career information.
- An interactive timeline and sequencing feature allows for student creation of timelines as well as outlining steps in a process – such as the steps in the Farm to Table process.
- Town and state history and agriculture themes/topics drive the content for the individual town ‘visits’ and activities.
- Newsletters provide program updates and supplemental classroom activities.
- Professional development includes email, onsite, web-based, and conference presentations.
- A Facebook pages provides opportunities for networking and sharing of best practices.