Teachers, vets take part in agricultural literacy course

Staff Writer
Geneseo Republic

?Tracy Fausett of Orion Middle School was one of 23 Quad City area teachers who took a five-day graduate credit course from the Rock Island County Agriculture Literacy Coalition.During the Summer Ag Institute, Jay Solomonson, ag instructor at OMS and Orion High School, helped present materials.

Speakers also included Dr. Becky Polage and Dr. Staci Slager of Orion Veterinary Service.

Sheryl Solomonson is the Ag Literacy Coordinator for the University of Illinois Extension office in Rock Island County.

Participants in the institute get a first-hand look at area businesses and companies and learn how each one is related to agriculture. 

Participants also learn how to share what they learned with their students.

Teachers spent the first day touring Whitey’s Ice Cream production facility and John Deere Pavilion. 

Other stops during the week-long course included Bohnert Dairy, Modern Woodman Park, River Gulf Grain, Reason’s Prairie Pride Meats, Kenny & Marilyn Bush’s Farm and the HyVee on John Deere Road, Moline. 

Teachers heard from representatives of Monsanto, Illinois Corn Growers Association, Illinois Soybean Association, Illinois Beef Association, Illinois Pork Producers and Midwest Dairy.

Presenters included Steve Bush of Bush Seeding & Turf, Diane Baker of U of I Extension, Marilyn Andress of Rock Island Soil and Water Conservation District, Kelly Murphy of the Illinois Agriculture in the Classroom program and Gary Metivier of KWQC-TV.

Teachers who complete the required assignments, including a class review, reflective journal and grade-appropriate lesson plan, are eligible to receive three graduate credits from Aurora University or 30 continuing education credits from the Rock Island Regional Office of Education.