Sarah Howard Receives Excellence in Ag Literacy Award

Posted on Dec 1, 2018

Sarah Howard, a teacher at Newton Parrish Elementary School in Daviess County, is the recipient of Kentucky Farm Bureau’s (KFB) 2018 Excellence in Ag Literacy Award. The announcement was made at the organization’s 99th annual meeting, held at the Galt House Hotel in Louisville.

Vicki Bryant, Chair Kentucky Farm Bureau Women's Committee; Sarah Howard, Literacy in Ag Winner.

KFB’s “Excellence in Ag Literacy Award” is designed to recognize and reward teachers who excel in their efforts to incorporate agricultural concepts throughout their core academic studies. Nominations were made for a variety of pre-kindergarten through 12th grade teachers who use their classrooms to help integrate agricultural concepts into non-agricultural curriculum. The curriculum helps students comprehend the value of agriculture as it impacts their personal well-being economically, environmentally and socially.

For winning the award, Howard received $500 cash and an expense-paid trip to the National Ag in the Classroom Conference June 18-21, 2019 in Little Rock, AR where she will represent Kentucky in the national competition.

Howard has been teaching for the past 12 years at Newton Parrish Elementary School in Owensboro, KY. Howard grew up in rural Daviess County. Upon entering the teaching profession, she quickly noticed that her rural background was very different from the lives of most of her students. Recognizing the importance of her experiences and what the agriculture community provides, Howard made it a priority to teach her students more about rural life.

With that goal in mind, Howard developed Ag Day for Newton Elementary. Students and teachers alike learn about things like where the ingredients for pizza come from, the lifecycle of a cow, how to pet a farm animal correctly, what machinery is used in food production, and more. The knowledge students obtain on Ag Day makes other curriculum, like math, reading, and science, more relatable throughout the entire school year.

“Sarah is an asset to the Owensboro/Daviess County Community. She is working hard to incorporate agriculture into her classroom and her school’s curriculum,” wrote Joan Hayden, President of the Daviess County Kentucky Farm Bureau. “Sarah is not only a teacher, but a leader that gives unselfishly of her time to benefit agriculture, farmers, and her community.”

Ag Day uses an interactive experience to encourage excitement and learning among all the students. The annual tradition has not just changed the way students view farming but has helped them understand how each of them are connected to it. From drones to GPS, from math problems to commodity pricing, from conservation to soil treatments, Howard’s Ag Day program is exceeding all expectations from its beginning 5 years ago.

The community has seen the program’s benefits and made a point to be involved as well. The program has seen presentations from Kentucky Ag Adventures, seed companies, poultry industry representatives, local farmers, business owners that depend on farms to be successful, bee keepers, Kentucky Farm Bureau, chemical companies, tractor dealerships, the Mobile Dairy, among others.

“Ms. Howard brings an impressive array of experience and skills- her strong leadership as a standout teacher and her work as an advocate for agriculture and literacy,” stated Nicholas Brake, Owensboro Public Schools Superintendent. “Whether as a teacher leader or community agriculture advocate, Sarah can be depended upon to generate thought, lend a creative viewpoint, work as a team member, and contribute fully to the betterment of our world.”

Howard graduated with a bachelor’s degree from Western Kentucky University and received her master’s degree from University of the Cumberlands.

Kentucky Farm Bureau, with over 473,000 member families statewide, is the state’s largest general farm organization. Approximately 2,000 members attended KFB’s 99th annual meeting in Louisville, November 28 – December 1, to recognize this year’s individual and organizational achievements and adopt policy for 2019. To view all the updates released from this year’s annual meeting, visit KYFBNewsroom.com.

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