riverboat tour
Science teachers from all over the country, including five from Toms River Regional Schools, enjoyed a riverboat tour on their last night together in Oklahoma for the On the Farm STEM program. Story below.

June 20, 2022-- The week of June 12, a group of intermediate and high school science teachers including Dinean Batchelder, Regina Feliz, Jessica Kurtz, Cherri Worth, and Christine Girtain traveled to Oklahoma to participate in a four-day program entitled On The Farm STEM, conducted by the American Farm Bureau Foundation for Agriculture and funded by beef farmers and ranchers through the Beef Checkoff. The program brought together teams of educators from across the country with experts in science and agricultural education.

The mission of the program is to build awareness, understanding, and a positive perception of agriculture, engaging learners and helping them to understand where their food comes from and inspiring students to take action and be empowered to use agriculture to improve society.

Farm STEM 2

All geared up to tour Lopez-Dorada Foods, where beef and sausage patties are produced for McDonald’s. It is the nation’s largest Hispanic-owned protein processing company, and also produces poultry products for McDonald’s and Tyson.

While at Oklahoma State University, the teachers visited the Animal Nutrition and Physiology Research Center and participated in vaccinating cattle against bovine respiratory disease. At OSU’s Food and Agricultural Center, the teachers learned about food safety and prepared their own lunch, a delicious Greek steak bowl. Next they visited Pfeiffer Angus Farms where they were able to look at ultrasounds, observe how ranchers determine how pregnant a cow is, as well as learn about artificial insemination. On a tour at Lopez-Dorado Foods, teachers learned about the production of beef and sausage patties for McDonald’s. Visiting the USDA Grazinglands Research Center, was an exploration of soil health and an investigation into the carbon cycle. The Express Cattle Ranch is home to the most registered Angus cattle. While at this ranch, teachers were able to meet Tigger, a Clydesdale horse, and look at cattle embryos under a microscope. On the last day, the teachers were invited on a guided tour of the Oklahoma City National Memorial Museum.
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Doing ultrasounds of cows to see which ones are pregnant.

Together as a team, the teachers brainstormed about connecting phenomena to develop learning experiences for their students. The opportunity to engage in discourse with scientists, agricultural specialists, and other educators was valuable, impactful, and energizing.

Farm STEM group pic
From left to right: Dr. David VonTungeIn, District 3 Director Oklahoma Farm Bureau; Rodd Moesel President of Oklahoma Farm Bureau; Regina Feliz, Intermediate South life skills teacher; Jessica Kurtz, Intermediate South science teacher; Dinean Batchelder, Intermediate South science teacher; Cherri Worth, Intermediate South science teacher; Mignon Bolay, Women’s Leadership Chair Oklahoma Farm Bureau; Christine Girtain, High School North and South science teacher; and Blake Blaze, DataClassroom.com