LINCOLN, NE – The Nebraska Farm Bureau Foundation surprised Schuyler Elementary School teacher Ann Sobota with the 2023 Nebraska Agriculture in the Classroom Teacher of the Year award at a school assembly on Jan. 26. The award is given to outstanding teachers that incorporate agriculture into their classroom through innovative ideas and lessons.
“Ann Sobota is a dedicated teacher who incorporates yearlong learning with Nebraska Agriculture in the Classroom. Her active participation makes her a great fit to be awarded for integrating agriculture into core classroom learning. The Nebraska Farm Bureau Foundation is pleased to honor her,” said Courtney Shreve, director of outreach education.
Sobota, a kindergarten teacher at Schuyler Elementary School, has been teaching for seven years. She participates in the Ag Pen Pal Program and Classroom Visits and was awarded a field trip grant for her classroom to take a trip to a dairy farm this spring.
“I’m so excited to take my students to the dairy farm this spring. This will be the first time visiting an actual dairy farm! Most of my students have never seen a dairy cow up close before and have never seen how we get milk from them,” said Sobota. “The field trip will also be a great way for my students to see the technology that goes into getting milk. It will definitely be an experience for everyone to remember for the rest of their lives.”
Sobota also participates in Nebraska Agriculture in the Classroom’s Classroom Visits. During these visits a professional educator comes into the classroom and teaches a grade-specific, hands-on lesson where students learn agriculture is their source of food, clothes, and shelter.
“My students have really loved the lesson, Apples Inside and Out. The students are super engaged and excited throughout this Nebraska agriculture lesson because they are able to put what they just learned into some real-life experiences,” said Sobota.
Sobota’s class also participated in the Ag Pen Pal program where they are paired with a Nebraska farmer to exchange letters. Sobota’s students love looking at the pictures that they receive from their pen pal.
Sobota will receive an expense-paid trip to the National Agriculture in the Classroom Conference, an accurate agriculture book bundle featuring 12 books and corresponding literature guides, and a $250 cash prize. The conference, held June 26-29, 2023, in Orlando, FL, brings educators together from all over the United States to learn how to use agricultural concepts to effectively teach core subjects such as reading, math, science, and social studies. The conference features recognition for Teacher of the Year honorees, educational workshops, traveling workshops to agribusinesses and research facilities, and farm tours.
The mission of the Nebraska Farm Bureau Foundation is to engage youth, educators, and the general public to promote an understanding of the vital importance of agriculture in the lives of all Nebraskans. The Nebraska Farm Bureau Foundation is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit. For more information about the Nebraska Farm Bureau Foundation, visit www.nefbfoundation.org.