The 13th annual Ag Sack Lunch program, designed to increase awareness of the importance of agriculture in Nebraska to fourth-grade students and their families, heads into the spring semester offering both in-person and virtual presentations to schools across the state.
The in-person version of the program is offered to classes visiting the State Capitol building in Lincoln as part of their curriculum. Virtual presentations are available for schools which, for a variety of reasons including distance from Lincoln, cannot feasibly make in-person State Capitol visits.
This spring, many schools have resumed their Lincoln visits, so in-person reservations are full, according to Karen Brokaw, program coordinator.
“While our in-person reservations are full, we encourage teachers to sign up for virtual presentations,” she said. The virtual presentations provide an opportunity to reach students in schools across the state. Teachers can register online for a virtual presentation by visiting AgSackLunchProgram.com.
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For fourth-grade classes choosing to make the trip to Lincoln to visit the State Capitol building, the program provides free sack lunches to the students while they listen to a short presentation about the importance of agriculture in Nebraska. They also receive card games that feature Nebraska agricultural facts to take home to play with their families.
The sessions are led by “ag ambassadors,” students from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln College of Agriculture.
Students at schools opting for virtual presentations hear the same interactive presentation about Nebraska agriculture, connecting the food we eat with Nebraska farmers. They also receive the card games to play with their families.
Teachers who have had their classes participate in the program, both in-person and virtual, say the presentations are very informative, and their students learned a great deal about the importance of agriculture in the state.
“The virtual presentation provides basic information to the students, and the cards are a great way for them to review what they learned and continue learning more,” said Jennifer Alder, teacher at Stuart Public School in Stuart, Nebraska. “The virtual presentation was very informative and relative to what we were studying. The deck of cards will be a great reminder of what Nebraska offers. The students were excited to take them home and show their parents!”
Ag Ambassadors for the spring semester include Emily Zimmer, Pleasanton; Jadyn Fleischman, Herman; Karlie Gerlach, Wellfleet; Megan Vrbka, Staplehurst; Mikayla Martensen, Humphrey; Samantha Oborny, Garland; Emma Schmidt, Bridgman, Mich.; Emily Hatterman, Wisner; Alexis Jansen, Gretna; Holly Schacht, Orchard; and Jessie Lamp, Ashland.
The Ag Sack Lunch Program is sponsored by the Nebraska Corn Board, Nebraska Soybean Board, Nebraska Pork Producers Association, Nebraska Beef Council, Midwest Dairy, Nebraska Poultry Industries and Nebraska Wheat Board.
For more information, call Brokaw at 1-402-432-2299.