Ag Outside the Classroom

I miss teaching Ag in the Classroom.

A lot.

For me, Ag in the Classroom was so much more than a job. It was something I was truly passionate about. So I enjoy taking every chance I can to continue sharing information about agriculture. My blog and other social media accounts have provided me with the opportunity to reach many different audiences of various age levels. I have been sparking so many great conversations lately, and it feels awesome! But I miss those days in the classroom watching student’s faces light up when they learned new things. Those connections just aren’t the same from behind a computer screen.

Lucky for me, William is the Ag Teacher at our local high school, and I get to help him out with some of the different events the FFA hosts.

Today he invited his Pre-Veterinary class out to the farm for a hands-on lab processing piglets. First of all, I love watching William teach. He’s so natural and just has this knack for it that I honestly didn’t expect. Second, I was amazed at how the students jumped right in and were so excited to learn. It made me think back to my very first Animal Science lab at Blackhawk. I can remember being so nervous and scared, but at the same time being so excited to try new things. No matter how many books you read or lectures you hear, nothing compares to those real-life lessons you can learn in a barn!


We started out by explaining our record keeping procedures, and after one quick demonstration from William, it was the students’ turn. Everyone was given the opportunity to count underlines, clip needle teeth, ear notch, and give iron shots. William demonstrated how to castrate boars, and one student volunteered to try that as well! (Keep in mind here friends, I haven’t even clipped teeth or castrated boars, so these kids really got the full experience today!) They all looked so natural working with the pigs, and they all seemed to really enjoy themselves. I’m so glad we were able to offer the students this opportunity.

The students learned about ear notches in class, so they had no problem doing it in real life!


Clipping teeth made everyone a little nervous, but they did a great job!


Of the 5 students that came out to the farm today, only 2 have experience raising livestock. But if you ask me, they all looked so natural working with the piglets.


After everyone had the chance to process piglets, our veterinarian stopped by. We are taking a couple pigs to a show in Texas at the end of the month, and each one needs a blood test and an ear tag. Knowing the veterinarian would be coming around this time anyway, William was sure to ask her to stop by when the students would be here so they could watch her work. She was so great about explaining what she was doing and why. And it’s always a great idea to let students hear from an actual industry professional. I can only hope we inspired some of them to consider a future career working with livestock!

Overall, we had such a great day. It felt good to be working with students again, this time on our very own farm. It was so hard for me to leave my job as an Ag in the Classroom coordinator, but I am incredibly thankful that I get to continue sharing my passion with others. I’m even more thankful that William and I get to do it together. I can’t wait for more opportunities to invite his students out to our farm, and to help coordinate other farm visits so they can learn about the many different aspects of the Agriculture Industry. I will always miss Ag in the Classroom, but I have to be honest, teaching Ag Outside of the Classroom is even better!

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