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Teaching Teachers About Cattle

There is a significant shortfall in the number of qualified applicants for jobs in agriculture-related fields. To help engage future agricultural professionals, Dr. Linda Atkinson and Heather Shaffery at the University of Oklahoma are working with kindergarten through community college teachers from across Oklahoma through 'Authentic Research Experiences for Teachers (ARET)." With support from NIFA's Agriculture and Food Research Initiative, they collaborated with scientists Drs. Xiangming Xiao and Brekke Peterson-Munks to use a different approach of connecting rural America to the world. Participating teachers spend four to five days in the field with research scientists learning to collect data and conduct research related to beef grazing practices while increasing their knowledge of challenges faced by rural America.

These lesson strategies provide experiences through which students construct knowledge for themselves by practicing science as scientists do “in the wild.” Four of the lessons learned from ARET are located at K20 LEARN. Since the summer of 2015, the K20 LEARN website had 29,496 visits from 101 countries, with 96 percent of the visits originating in the United States.

Learn more at K20 LEARN.

Want to read about more impacts like this? Check out Fresh from the Field, a weekly bulletin showcasing transformative impacts made by grantees funded by NIFA.

Farm Bill Priority Areas
Animal health and production and animal products;
Agriculture economics and rural communities
U.S. States and Territories
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