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Wes Crawford

A Three Pants Day

Posted by Wes Crawford Jun 1, 2011

Today was a three pairs-of-pants day today.  Fortunately (?), it was planned.


Ag teachers like to boast/vent that our day is different every period.  But when you need to plan to bring three pairs of pants to school, the evidence is apparent:  we do a lot of different stuff a day.  Let's break it down:


Pair of Pants #1 – As the school year ends only I/any-ag-teacher would plan outside half-day labs and trips.  Today the 31 Ag Biology students and a handful of forestry students headed out to Hinkle Creek after third period, a forest research area on private ground just outside our fair city.  The ten-year study involves 5,000 acres of prime forestland, comparing how current forest practices affect fish habitat.  It’s a very cool study and fits perfectly with their self-guided forestry inquiry.


Granted, when one plans for a June (June!) field trip, one should be able to count on sun.  Ha.  So we did this one in the rain, but eventually it slacked off and we finished our tour and investigation of forest test plots, watershed gages, and fish counting gates.


Pair of Pants #2 – In order to complete their ANS 198 college credit for reproduction seminar, some juniors and seniors met up after school to head out and practice artificial insemination.  Hence, a different pair of pants.  We had to do this one after hours as I had apparently used up my allotted sub days this year.  Apparently a while ago.  Oops.  Nothing like getting kids elbow deep – for some, truly a personal growth experience!  All in all, it’s impressive to get six seniors to show up after school on their very last day, but we’ve got an impressive group of seniors this year.  But when dealing with the south end of a north-facing cow, a slightly dingier pair of jeans is in order.


Pair of Pants #3 – Well, I’m about to change into those, as tonight is our Underclassmen awards here at the high school.  Each department recognizes the Outstanding Freshmen, Sophomore, and Junior by department (took care of seniors last week).  While some teachers are less than excited to extend the day that long, this is a bonus for those of us in agricultural education – first, we’re here that late anyway; secondly, this is one of those golden opportunities for you to explain to the general parent population what it is you do, highlight the great things your kids do, and recognize some of the best and brightest in your program.


So there it is, a three-pants day in the life of an ag teacher.  However, I’m sure all would agree that it is better to have the day where you plan to wear three different pairs of pants, than the day where you end up having to change your pants three times.  But that post is for another time.


READER RESPONSE:  share your best example of how crazy diverse and different the day of an ag teacher can be!

Matt Eddy

Let the summer begin...

Posted by Matt Eddy Jun 1, 2011

While most teachers were checking out, finalizing their grades or making chit-chat about their summer of leisure activities; I was ... well, eh.. ahem... elbow deep in education....

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My Summer Advanced Animal Science LAB course students were out at the pasture making a final preg-check for our Animal Learning Center cows that we manage.  With the Iowa State Fair a scant 10 weeks away, we have started our fair prep in earnest.

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In a little under an hour and a half, my students were able to process 23 head, give shots, pour on some wormer, a good dose of medicine and get some real 'hands-on experience' in the animal sciences.

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For all the extra work, it sure is a great learning experience and we couldn't be so lucky if it weren't for the partnership with the Iowa State Fair and great supporters like Palco and Dr. Gene Hoy who supervises and teaches the kids all about the animal sciences -- both in the field and during the fair with the other 6-8 species of agricultural animals.


In the picture below, we are consulting with Dr. Hoy and the kids are choosing which cows to cull, since they haven't met with production demands or our program.  6 will be sent on to greener pastures someplace else next Friday.

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So as your year ends up - best of luck this summer.  Summer is such an exciting time to be an Ag Teacher.


Just like being home on the farm, try not to waste the daylight and make hay while the suns' shining.


Catch you later, ME

Twitter = @AgEd4ME

Facebook = Southeast Polk FFA

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