March 2018 Teacher Feature

Educating the next generation of producers and consumers about where their foot comes from, how it is grown and where the world would be without technology and agriculture is something Sara Sloan always knew she wanted to play a role in. She decided the best way for her to do this was to teach 8 through 12 Agriculture Education at Colby High School in Colby, Kansas.

As an Ag teacher in a state where agriculture is the #1 industry, Sloane knows the importance of integrating all aspects of the agricultural industry into her classroom. She has always been passionate about agriculture and now, a high school agricultural educator, that passion is put to good use.

Growing up in Eastern Colorado and spending time on a feedlot operation, Sloane learned the in’s and out’s of production agriculture, and after completing an internship as a slaughter floor supervisor for Cargill Meat Solutions and farming with her husband for almost ten years, Sloane decided it was time to share her passion with others by teaching the next generation

A few of the things that Sloane feels her students enjoy most about her classes are the dissections, reading and teaching elementary students about agriculture, guest speakers, and hands-on learning projects.

Sloane firmly believes that it is so important for students to learn about agriculture at a young age because they need to realize where their food comes from and how it is grown and produced, and the important role sustainability plays for not only our future, but the younger generations as well.

 

One piece of advice that Sloane would like to offer other teacher is this: “Take in the world around you. Whether you live in a city or in a rural community agriculture surrounds us. Take the time to educate your students on where their food, fiber, and fuel comes from so they are more educated consumers and can help squash negative and false information from the media.”

“With each lesson I teach, I try to create a connection to agriculture that students will see and hopefully they will come to realize that without it, we truly have nothing.”

In May 2017, Livermore took her enthusiasm for agriculture education a step further and organized the first Agriculture Day at her school for over 400 students at Florence Wilson Elementary. Students rotated through 11, 15-minute sessions covering various agriculture topics including pollination, planting pumpkin seeds, agriculture careers, soil science, farm animals and nutrition.

“It was very rewarding to watch students begin to understand that their community not only has an impact on the citizens of Garden City, but also people all over the United States and other countries,” Livermore said. “They have a newfound respect for agriculture.”

 

Livermore is currently participating on a writing team led by KFAC with other teachers across the state to create new lesson plans about wheat genetics and plant growth. The lesson plans are slated for release during the fall 2017 semester.

For Livermore, finding ways to challenge herself and continue growing in her profession is what makes her a better teacher.

“I think the key to being an effective teacher is to never quit learning yourself,” Livermore said.

Her passion and enthusiasm for agriculture education are contagious and her target audience is her students.

KFAC is excited to feature Sarah Sloane for the February 2018 Teacher Feature! Congratulations!

Sloan can be reached at ssloan@colbyeagles.org.