Talk about a rare sight. Agriculture Education students sitting in a classroom. Rare, because the real learning happens right outside the door.
That's when they get to enjoy life in Jay Murray's learning environment.
“When I was younger my Dad farmed and I had a high interest in agriculture at that time,” Murray says. “And as I got older he became an Ag teacher himself. I was too poor to farm so I decided to become an Ag teacher. I enjoyed agriculture, all aspects of agriculture, and I wanted to share it with students and hopefully build their interest in it a little bit.”
These kids are very interested. It all starts in 6th grade when they get introduced to agriculture and find out where things come from.
“7th grade, we work on Ag mechanics,” Murray says. “They do a little bit of lawn mower driving, and do a little bit of wood working over the semester I have them. 8th grade, we concentrate mostly on doing a small garden, a 4 x 4 garden, and they learn just how to grow a garden at home that they can do on their own.”
It's an approach that pays off here, and in Mr. Murray's own household.
“I have small children at home and they love to do a little garden. It doesn't always look pretty but when we get it done, they learn the aspects of it, they learn how things grow and they also build self-confidence in the fact that they've produced something and now they're eating it on their own.”
What a great way to learn. By feeding or chasing, or just appreciating what agriculture will always mean to our society. All because Jay Murray followed in his father's footsteps to teach.