Teacher Center

2009 National Excellence in Teaching about Agriculture Award

Mr. C.O. Marricle, New Mexico

C.O. Marricle's classes have been involved in Agriculture in the Classroom activities for the last twelve years through an Outdoor Classroom. Each year he strives to make it a better place for the entire school population to enjoy and use in educational activities.

Fifth grade students did the initial planning using grid paper to map the area and plan the layout. They are currently enlarging the garden, preparing a compost tumbler, and using drip irrigation systems. They work to be self-sufficient by applying for grants, propagating plants from cuttings, and making and selling crafts.

Through support from local farms, Mr. Marricle has been able to provide his students activities and produce that enhance their education. Many class activities involve preparation of food, as it has proven to be an easy way to involve parents and the community. He feels that parental involvement in his class is higher due to Ag in the Classroom.

Each year students express concern at the end of the school year that they won't be able to enjoy the benefits of their efforts. Mr. Marricle tells them that is the very foundation of agriculture in the U.S. It's not for today, it's for the future. It's not just for their class, it's for the community.The legacy of the first class's planning and planting continues today. Each new addition students make will effect students and the community for years to come.

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