State Reports

State Summary 2017 — Washington

State Contact

Ms. Kristen VanValkenburg
Washington Agriculture In the Classroom
975 Carpenter Road NE
Lacey, WA 98516
P: 360.770.3383

Classroom Resources

Teacher Resources


WAIC publishes a student activity magazine targeted at fourth grade students. Three issues are produced each school year and class sets are mailed to subscribing classrooms in late September, early January, and mid April. The magazines are free to requesting Washington teachers. Ag@School is designed to help teachers develop agricultural literacy without adding to an already heavy teaching load. All lessons and activities are geared to Washington's educational standards. Class sets come with a Teacher Guide that includes a quick reference to standards, background, discussion starters, vocabulary definitions, and activities & answers.

The previous 5 year's magazines and Teacher Guides are available for viewing and/or download from the WAIC website.

We also worked with the Seattle Times to develop a Newspapers in Education (NIE) insert about WA agriculture focused on technology targeted at high school students. This was also used as adult piece and inserted into the Sunday Times in correlation to Earth day.

Major Program Accomplishments or Outputs

Ag@School, a full-color 8-page student magazine aimed at 4th grade, is currently our main outreach. Each of the three annual issues of Ag@School has a central theme- general Washington agriculture, agriculture technology and stewardship. Articles and activities meet WA educational standards and are easily incorporated into the existing school curriculum. The included teacher guide provides discussion starters and complementary activities.

In conjunction with The Seattle Times, WAIC produced a Newspapers In Education, 8 page color supplement focusing on Stewardship in Agriculture. The supplement reached 1000 teachers and over 30,000 students in Washington State, in addition to the 800,000 print & online Seattle Times subscribers. The project was the most requested NIE insert in 2017 and printed copies ran out.

Our literacy projectWho Grew my Soup" continues to be used as our focused project for K-2. We equip volunteers with the lesson plans and resources to volunteer within the classrooms.

Major Program Impacts or Outcomes

Ag@School magazine:
We completed the 2016-17 school year with a mailing to 219 educators and 7619 students

NIE-e-edition and print copies:

  • Visits: 3,871 to electronic version (up 417 from last year)
  • Received by more than 1,110 teachers
  • Locations: 642 (up 32 locals from last year)
  • Districts: 156 (up 14 districts from last year)
  • Weekly Average NIE Circulation: 34,138
  • Daily average use by students: 55,690
  • Received by The Sunday Seattle Times full 1,200,103 readership (hard copy or digital)
  • 10,000 copies distributed to NIE classrooms


Kristen VanValkenburg, Washington Ag in the Classrorom PR director grew up on a small cattle and hay operation in Western Washington. She actively participated in 4-H, and FFA with a variety of projects throughout her youth. She graduated with honors from Washington State University with a degree in Agriculture Education and later earned a Masters degree from WSU. She taught high school agriculture for eight and a half years and then entered the private sector by accepting a job at the Washington Farm Bureau. She was laid off unexpectantly in 2012 and eagerly accepted a modified position with the Farm Bureau Young Farmers & Ranchers program and a PR job with Washington Ag in the Classroom. Agriculture education has always been her passion and spurs her on as she recently took on the additional role as the state contact.