Yeah, that's me in a yearbook pic circa Lord-Knows-When on Crazy Hat and Tie Day!
This big guy and I go way back to his sophomore year of high school, which was, uhm, 20-some years ago! (And the picture was taken by his wife, also once a student!)
Oh you might not know it from the occasional errors you will find in my posts, but some days it’s pretty crazy behind the scenes here, and I just have to hit the “Publish” button and pray it all makes sense. And (yes, I know you are not supposed to start a sentence with And, but it’s one of the perks of having your own blog), I do miss teaching, especially the writing part of it all. To sit down with a student, talk about an idea, and watch a blank piece of paper come to life with his or her own idea is an incredible experience. It’s not always an easy one, and sometimes there are MANY attempts before it all melds together, but like farming, if you work at it (ok, and use the right kind of fertilizer if needed), it will grow into a beautiful essay!
So you can just imagine my ears perking up and my heart smiling when I learned that Indiana Family of Farmers and Indiana Humanitiesare sponsoring an Ag Essay for kids grades 4-12! WOW! It almost makes me want to bust out my purple grading pen! (That’s the color I used because red looked, well, just so violent at the end of a graded paper!). I LOVE this idea for many reasons. 1. It makes kids stop and think about where their food comes from and asks them to consider how hard the people work to get it to them. 2. It asks the writers to consider that farmers do care for the animals being raised on farms for food or to provide food in the case of our Hoosier dairies and egg producers, and 3. It helps them to understand how important it is for farmers and all of us to take care of the ground we live on and grow food in so it will last us for many meals in the future.
These are very important concepts for our children to understand, and I like that by thinking about each issue, they will learn how hard we work on the farm to keep our animals healthy, the grain we grow safe and healthy, and the ground that provides for us in the best state of production. Farmers are not wasteful people, and I believe this message will come through the thought process of the students who participate in the essay contest.
And now for the cool part, instead of getting a great grade, winners will be chosen to receive great prizes! Students have the opportunity to win either Apple iPad or Beats by Dr. Dre Headphones for writing a prize-winning essay! There are three age breaks: grades 4-6, 7-9, and 10-12. Essays are due February 1. Entry guidelines can be found at www.indianahumanities.org or www.indianafamilyoffarmers.com.