July 11, 2017 Meeting Minutes (Ag in the Classroom)

President Joan Smith called the meeting to order at 12:35 p.m. in the Goss Conference Room of the National Grange Building in Washington, DC.  Also present were Potomac Grange Steward Amanda Brozana Rios, Lady Assistant Steward Jessie Cope, Flora Stephanie Wilkins, Secretary Richard Weiss, National Grange Program Director Loretta Washington and interns Christopher Sebastian, Benjamin McEvoy, Cait Cady, Kennedy Gwin, Mandy Bostwick, and Ferderica Cobb.

The purpose of the meeting was to develop a plan to carry out Potomac Grange’s new role as the Washington, D.C. contact organization for USDA’s Ag in the Classroom Program.

President Smith started the meeting off with a description of the June 20 – 23 National Agriculture in the Classroom Conference which she attended in Kansas City, Missouri. Attendees included school teachers, Ag in the Classroom state contact representatives, ag industry suppliers and USDA officials.  There were speakers, seminars and award ceremonies.  Joan showed us samples of materials that are available for use in the classrooms.

Potomac Plans

  • Market target – Urban youth.
  • Grade Level – Mandy Bostwick, who is a teacher, recommend grades two to four as children at that level tend to still pay attention.
  • Objective – Create awareness of agriculture’s role and importance in our lives.
  • Methodology – Become and educational resource for teachers. Give them resources to use in the classroom.  Mandy pointed out that, to be useful to teachers, our program must meet their educational standards, objectives and priorities.  Math and reading are top priorities at this level.  Initial thoughts are to offer reading material that delivers the ag message while fitting the teachers’ curriculum.
  • Roll out – Loretta Washington alerted us to Back to School week to be held at the DC Convention Center in August. The event includes vendor booths offering materials and programs to the schools. Joan will pursue a booth at the event with the purpose of getting an understanding of what might work with DC schools and teachers and generating interest in the Ag in Classroom program. We can pass out AG TODAY

In the first year, implement the program at the second grade level in a single test school.  If the initial program works at the test level, roll it out further in the second year while continuing to test programs at the third and fourth grade levels in the initial test school.

Amanda suggested that, because of our relationship with Gallaudet University for the hard of hearing, we consider doing a program with the affiliated Kimball Demo Elementary School.

There was no further business.  The meeting adjourned at 2:00 p.m.


Respectfully Submitted,

Richard Weiss, Secretary
Potomac Grange #1