Pike-Scott County Farm Bureau announces hiring of new Agriculture Literacy Coordinator

By Blake Schnitker on April 12 at 10:20am

The Pike and Scott County Farm Bureau is announcing the hiring of a new Agriculture Literacy Coordinator.

Rachel Smith is a 2017 Summa Cum Laude graduate from Truman State University, and is taking over the Pike and Scott County Farm Bureau’s Agriculture Literacy program. The first recipient of th Pike County Farm Bureau Scholarship back in 2014, Smith is also a member of the Pike-Scott Farm Bureau Young Leaders committee.

Executive Director of the Pike and Scott County Farm Bureau Blake Roderick was in charge of the hiring process. He explains some of the duties Smith will have in her new position as Agriculture Literacy Coordinator.

“What that job entails is is working with the schools, particularly we get into the third grade and work directly with the teachers and the students, talking to them about agriculture. And our programs fit into the criteria that they need to meet, in the STEM education and all of those types of things, where we talk about different aspects of agriculture and have some fun, interactive type of activities for the kids. We also highlight the different aspects of agriculture, and how that’s important to them and to their communities,” explains Roderick.

Roderick provides examples of the different educational aspects Smith will be teaching.

“An example might be genetics, or soils, or chemistry, taking raw products and turning them into ice cream, those sort of things. But the other aspect of what (Smith) is going to be doing is working with our farmer members on getting them into the classrooms and talking to the students also about what they do as farmers. Maybe even have a day where we’re bringing kids out to the farm for a field trip, talking about animals, agriculture, crops, those types of things,” says Roderick.

Roderick says that the Pike-Scott County Farm Bureau has identified third graders as a solid age group to work with in terms of their Agriculture Literacy program.

“Third grade’s a great time for kids, their minds are open, they’re enthusiastic, and the education-type of stuff that we bring to them fits right into the program that they’re doing at the third grade level. The third grade kids are a fun age to work with, and it’s also at that period of  time where they haven’t gotten into that structured. switching classes type of format, they’re all still in the same classroom for the most part,” Roderick explains.

Under Smith’s leadership, the Pike-Scott County Farm Bureau will travel to third grade classrooms in Bluffs, Winchester, Pleasant Hill, Western, Pittsfield and Griggsville-Perry, teaching the various aspects of their Agriculture Literacy program.