Grant Winner Update: Weber Ranch

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Hi again from Weber Ranch! I am Michelle Weber and together with my husband we own and run a natural and sustainable ranch here in Northwest Ohio. We specialize in pastured meats and eggs. Through this wonderful grant I was able to create a farm-to-school program, educating K-5 students on where their food comes from, how their food grows and ways to eat healthier. This is what we’ve been up to over the past three months.

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I have done sixteen individual classroom presentations and one large group presentation for 112 students! Students have been very enthusiastic and really get involved with the hands-on lessons I have created. I have discussed a wide range of topics with students as well. My kindergarten classes identify different fruits and vegetables and sort them into categories. My first grade classrooms talk about animal habitat, specifically farm animals. I talk about the pigs on our farm and how they live in the woods and have a healthy diet of grass and bugs. We discuss what healthy diets are. My third grade classes classify how a fruit and vegetable grow (underground, on a tree, etc) and create a diagram for it.

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 I sent my teachers a survey a few days later so I could make my program more beneficial for my students. Here is just one comment:

“The Farm to School Program was a perfect tie-in to our first grade study of farm           habitats. Michelle Weber did a wonderful job presenting the different kinds of                     pigs. I especially enjoyed the “bonus” words she had the students learn and recite               back to her. My class and I enjoyed the Farm To School Program and would                       recommend them to anyone looking for a fun, interactive, farm presentation!”
-Kathy S.
1st Grade teacher, Woodland School

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My biggest challenge with the program is not having enough time to work with the students. Even though my presentation and hands-on learning is an hour long, having a little more time with them can make all the difference. How this challenge will be fixed for the future is for classes to have a field trip to our farm. This way students can really explore the concepts we would discuss in class.

-Michelle Weber

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