Several members of Riverside High School’s FFA Chapter volunteered with the SAGE Center to teach students at Sam Boardman Elementary School about agriculture and a bit of its history in Oregon.

The lesson, said Stefanie Swindler, SAGE Center education coordinator, is part of Oregon Agriculture in the Classroom’s 2018 Ag Literacy Project. The volunteers led a hands-on activity connecting an American folk literature story with modern-day farming and some of the challenges that farmers must overcome.

“After learning more about the Ag Literacy Project, I knew it would be a great opportunity for Boardman’s FFA Chapter to promote agricultural awareness to our youth,” Swindler said.

Sam Boardman Elementary librarian Anne Orcutt invited the group of volunteers to present their ag lesson during the students’ library time. They presented information about the “Six F’s of Oregon Agriculture” — farming, food, fiber, fishing, flowers and forestry. Students also listened to “Apples to Oregon,” a story which offers a fun-filled glimpse into the real story of how Oregon’s first orchards began.

As part of the lesson, students divided into small groups to play an apple farming card game. Each group was responsible for their own apple orchard — facing different scenarios, they made decisions regarding their farms. Riverside FFA vice president Alexis Villegas said it was fun and exciting to participate in the project.

“The volunteers did an excellent job of modifying their lesson to accommodate our younger students,” Orcutt said. “I especially loved that all the kids learned a new word, ‘agriculture,’ and its relevance to our community.”

The Oregon Agriculture in the Classroom project is in its 11th year. For more information, visit www.oregonaitc.org.

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