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'It's a Sweet Life!'

Have you ever questioned how agriculture is best integrated into K-12 curriculum? Is it possible? Can one commodity such as North Carolina Sweetpotatoes be the solution? The answer is “yes!” In this session we’ll explore how best teaching practices, research based theory, STEM based curriculum, and teacher experiences were the core of creating a K-12 curriculum and an Ag Mag based on North Carolina Sweetpotatoes. This approach can be utilized with any other agricultural commodities for elevating student’s knowledge while tied to teaching standards for all grade levels.

Workshop Session (all workshops will be 60 minutes)
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Michele Smoot
Email: michele.smoot@ncfb.org
Speaker Order: 1
Author Order: 1
Person Type: Primary Presenter
Biosketch: Michele Smoot grew up on a 4th generation farm in Virginia. There her family grew peanuts, cotton, soybeans, watermelons, and corn while raising beef cattle and market hogs. Currently those farms are in full operation with her guidance. She received her BS degree in Animal Science. Upon graduation she worked for Murphy Brown and later launched a career in management with Southern States.Later she began a career in K-8 schools teaching math & science. While teaching she earned a Master’s degree in Adult Education with a concentration in Curriculum and Instruction. In 2006 she began teaching at Chowan University in the Teacher Education department. She utilized AITC content for training university students its relevance for effective teaching. Michele currently resides in Zebulon, NC with her husband Les and holds the position as Director of AITC for NCFB. She has three children all of whom work in the Ag Industry.
Organization/Affiliation: North Carolina Farm Bureau Ag in the Classroom
Erica Edwards
Email: emb0923@gmail.com
Speaker Order: 2
Author Order: 1
Person Type: Primary Presenter
Biosketch: Erica Brown grew up in eastern North Carolina in Rose Hill. She now resides in Beulaville with her husband, Justin and their two beautiful children, Sadie (4) and Oliver (1). She has worked in education for 8 years in various positions including a classroom teacher and school administrator. Erica utilizes agriculture as a tool to impact students learning as it applies to STEM education. Teaching has allowed her to integrate agriculture into her student's learning based on her personal experience as a farmer’s daughter and wife. She loves experiencing a student’s new discovery as it enhances their abilities. She obtained her Doctorate of Curriculum and Instruction from Gardner Webb University located in Shelby, NC. Through her dissertation research, not only did she promote the integration of agriculture into the K-5 curriculum, but she also conducted research to prove its benefit for student learning. From this flourished many opportunities and partnerships; consequently, this is how she developed lesson plans and an Ag Mag for the North Carolina Sweetpotato Commission. These STEM based lessons support student learning for core standards through the integration of agriculture.
Organization/Affiliation: Gardner Webb Unversity