Oregon Aglink Blog

Engaging Students with Adopt a Farmer: Year-End Recap

Posted on July 12, 2022

All of our current farm and school matches have finished the 2021-2022 school year participating in our signature education program Adopt a Farmer.

Students from Victor Point school learn about proper dairy cow nutrition at AJ Dairy

After two years of closures, delays, and modifications to the program, our coordinators Leah Rue and Liz Schaecher have managed to retain old matches and even establish new connections for Oregon farmers wanting to reach a wider audience.

Teachers from Rachel Carson Environmental Middle School were excited to see Molly McCargar at Pearmine Farms again for the multiple days of field trips it takes to get every one of their students out to the farm. Students at Victor Point Middle School visited a new participating farm, AJ Dairy in Mt. Angel, where they visited with cows and learned about the importance of special feed and animal care. A field trip to the Pure Seed research facility in Canby taught students about the science of breeding better grass seed.

Tasty treats for the Virtual Field Day activites about pollination and soil profiles

One unique opportunity for learning came about with a Virtual Field Day event organized in partnership with Oregon Agriculture in the Classroom. Oregon Aglink volunteers helped pack hundreds of green Adopt a Farmer bags with materials for four virtual activities. After delivering them to the participating schools, Oregon Aglink staff led virtual classrooms through activities such as building their own edible soil profiles, tasting different varieties of honey while learning about pollination, and the agricultural origins of everyday favorites like potato chips.

Whether it’s learning about hops climbing clockwise up their twine at Crosby Hop Farms or the importance of nursery stock setting good roots at KG Farms, students participating in Adopt a Farmer get an up close look (and smell, and feel, and taste) of many aspects of Oregon agriculture.

A lesson about propagating plants at KG Farms is easily brought into the science classroom at Perrydale Middle School

And just because the 2021-2022 school year is complete doesn’t mean that staff will be taking the summer off! Planning is already underway for class visits and field trips to resume in the fall. A large postcard campaign to enlist new teachers has yielded many promising leads with schools around the state and in the heart of Portland. Oregon farmers and ranchers will have even more opportunity to reach middle school classrooms and their eager students when school starts again.