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Education

WAIC holds ag and natural resource science institute in southwest Wyo

Wyoming Agriculture in the Classroom (WAIC) welcomed 39 educators to the Bridger Valley June 9-11 to highlight southwest Wyoming’s agriculture and natural resources.  

The days were packed with tours, hands-on learning and lessons to take back to the classroom. WAIC would like to thank all the sponsors, presenters and the community members for an amazing experience.

The first day participants traveled to Solvay for an underground look at how trona is mined and tour the processing plant. 

Then educators loaded the bus to head back to Lyman and tour a portion of the Sims’ Ranch and bottle-fed lambs. After a presentation from Shaun Sims, Travis Deti with the Wyoming Mining Association presented, and the Proffitt family provided cowboy poetry entertainment as participants roasted marshmallows and enjoyed an evening campfire.

The second day was just as busy, with presentations including the Bridger Valley Electric Association, Wyoming State Forestry and Wyoming PBS. 

Participants heard from Ken Fackrell about the unique water resources in the county, WAIC’s 2013 Educator of the Year Tomi Sue Wille and local rancher Carol Hamilton. 

The afternoon brought Jessica Baxter and her team from the Boys and Girls Club to facilitate a Code of the West training for educators to implement the values into their classroom. A highlight of the conference was a book signing for the participants by Jim Owen, author of Cowboy Ethics. The community was invited for a keynote by Owen and the evening was truly a memorable night, says WAIC.

The schedule did not slow down for the last day as participants toured a wind farm and the Micheli Ranch. The institute concluded with an auction with “ranch money” participants had won and lost throughout the three days, and they left with materials for their classroom and University of Wyoming or Professional Teaching Standards Board credits. 

“Wyoming Agriculture in the Classroom believes our state offers an invaluable outdoor classroom for our educators to experience,” says WAIC Executive Director Jessie DaFoe. “We are grateful for the communities who welcome us each year.”

Since 1986, WAIC has served as an educational resource for Wyoming focusing on critical thinking, problem solving and hands on learning. WAIC’s many educational resources include agriculture and natural resource curriculum, educator professional development and recognizing student and educator achievement. WAIC is committed to growing Wyoming’s next generation. 

For more about the Institute or WAIC’s programs, visit the organization at wyaitc.org.