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‘Ag in Action’ Lab on Wheels Brings the Farm to Alabama Schools

Many partners, including NRCS, helped create the Ag in Action, a traveling environmental education tool in Alabama. NRCS photo.

Many partners, including NRCS, helped create the Ag in Action, a traveling environmental education tool in Alabama. NRCS photo.

A new 26-foot learning lab on wheels enables Alabama’s elementary and middle school students to experience farming through hands-on activities and audio visual technology. The “Ag in Action” lab is the first of its kind in Alabama and one of only four in the nation.

USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service and Farm Service Agency partnered with seven soil and water conservation districts and other groups to create this education tool.

“Ag in Action is an amazing way to bring agriculture to life and teach students about agriculture,” said the lab’s coordinator, Sarah Butterworth. “Using the lab, students will learn where their food and fiber grows and how it is produced.”

The lab boasts life-like farm scenes of cattle, poultry, crops, trees and other agriculture products. Inside the lab, a simulator allows students to drive a combine, riding in a vibrating seat and viewing a large screen television with videos of harvesting cotton, corn and soybeans.

The lab’s interior also has videos of a cattle ranch, chicken house and forestry operation. Four computer stations allow students to learn the importance of farming using touch screen technology.

A large screen TV is mounted on the exterior of the trailer, providing an additional learning station that shows virtual visits to local farms and agricultural-related venues.

“Teaching youth today about conservation is important because what the future environment looks like will depend directly on them,” said William Puckett, NRCS state conservationist in Alabama. “NRCS is proud to be a partner in the Ag in Action lab. It is a teaching tool that allows students to learn about conservation education in a fun, hands-on way.”

The Ag in Action lab is already visiting schools and other agricultural events in the seven-county area in northeast Alabama.

Alabama students “harvest” cotton in the Ag in Action trailer. NRCS photo.

Alabama students “harvest” cotton in the Ag in Action trailer. NRCS photo.

8 Responses to “‘Ag in Action’ Lab on Wheels Brings the Farm to Alabama Schools”

  1. Cathy Blackburn says:

    I noticed this is being used in northeast Alabama.
    Would it be available for a school in LaFayette, AL?

  2. Kay Burnham says:

    This is great! I hope this Ag in Action trailer will be able to visit schools in Escambia, Alabama.

  3. Alvin Mascarenas says:

    Where are the other 3 Labs located. we have a “OUR LANDS TO YOUR HANDS” program where we try to teach 4th graders about “farming” in Boulder County, Colorado Last year we saw nearly 2000 4th graders in 3 days. we need something like this in Colorado.

  4. Jennifer Stanley says:

    This is AWESOME!! I sure hope it can go all over the state of AL. What is the contact information to see if it would be available for south Alabama schools?

  5. Renee says:

    How can we get them to come to our schools in Central AL?

  6. Dawn Peters says:

    This is AWESOME :-) hope we will see the AG in Action trailer in Ozark, AL (Dale County)!!!! :-)

  7. Fay Garner says:

    Right now, the Ag in Action lab is visiting counties that funded it — Etowah, Cherokee, St. Clair, Blount, DeKalb, Marshall, and Calhoun. Additional funding will need to be secured to expand the area. The person reserving it, Jennifer Childers, (Butterworth accepted a new position) said to call her and talk to her about reservations. There is more info on Facebook:
    https://www.facebook.com/pages/AG-in-Action/548286825230585
    Jennifer Childers – Etowah County – (256) 546-4841 ext 3 email: jchilders@etowahcounty.org

  8. Patricia Gable says:

    I am also very interested in seeing who to contact and the availability for schools in Covington County. We might be able to pay hotel expenses etc. to sponsor a multi-school visitation to make the most of your trip and manpower.

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