"Understanding Agriculture" Teacher Training Workshop

Think Globally, Eat Locally

Dear Chester County Teacher,

Are you comfortable with the Agriculture and Society components of the new Academic Standards for Environment and Ecology? Maysie's Farm Conservation Center offers a two-day workshop to help you and other K-12 teachers approach the new standards as opportunities rather than obstacles. The workshop offers an inspiring, experiential way for you to get the dirt on how to address the standards using exciting projects such as sowing seeds in your classroom, starting a garden on your school grounds or establishing a relationship with a local farm.

On Day 1, after receiving a practical, in-the-field introduction to the basic principles and practices of organic agriculture, you will plant, transplant, water, mulch and harvest a variety of crops and create a fresh-from-the-field luncheon. By condensing a growing season into a few hours, you will get a good sense of where your food comes from and how your lifestyle choices affect the health of the planet as well as your own health. You should leave with enough knowledge and skill to start your own school garden and with a commitment from Maysie's Farm Conservation Center to provide support for your own agricultural initiatives.

Day 2 is designed to help you understand Integrated Pest Management (IPM) and learn hands-on activities that will assist you in meeting the Academic Standards for IPM. You will explore the garden for pests and beneficial insects and then catch, observe, classify and identify what you have found. After reviewing various control techniques, you will participate in games, learning exercises and demonstrations. All will come away with a working understanding of the IPM triangle and an appreciation of IPM as a vehicle for encouraging critical thinking and developing decision-making skills. You will also leave with a list of helpful resources including Internet sites, books and magazines. A field trip to a local elementary school will assist you in visualizing how these activities could be accomplished in a school setting.

The workshop runs from 8:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. each day, and will be held on July 8 and 10, 2008. Sign up early; the session is limited to 25 participants. The $125 registration fee covers instruction, 13 hours of Act 48 credit, resource lists, a fresh-from-the-field lunch, take-home plants and follow-up consultations. Register by phone at 610-458-8129 or print out and mail in our registration form.

Maysie's Farm Conservation Center is a nonprofit educational organization dedicated to increasing public understanding of the importance of conservation and ecological thinking. We accomplish our mission by demonstrating and advocating organic agriculture, farmland preservation and Community Supported Agriculture and by offering unique educational programs. We work with individuals, families, communities, and educational institutions to encourage ecological living and to promote the development of communities based on local, sustainably produced food supplies.


Samuel M. Cantrell
Executive Director