A new science- and math-based curriculum for an agricultural program in the North Scott School District got a jump-start Monday from the Scott County Farm Bureau.
A grant, for up to $10,000 at first, will go to the Future Farmers of America, or FFA instructional program. It will help to implement what is called the Curriculum for Agricultural Science Education.
The program allows students in the FFA program to get science and math credits in agricultural sciences, a concept promoted by Mike Holst, Farm Bureau president, and Jim Klindt, a Farm Bureau member who has a son in the FFA program.
Both men attended a meeting of the North Scott School Board and presented a check to board president Paul Dierickx.
"We will open doors to the agricultural field through this curriculum," Holst said, adding that Farm Bureau members see lots of potential in the initiative.
The brainchild of the program is Jamie Gray, FFA instructor. It is hoped that the curriculum will bolster the program, which is the only FFA program in Scott County, said Frank Wood, associate principal at North Scott High School.
Wood said the program, referred to by the acronym CASE, will be installed in 2014, and the Farm Bureau contribution will go to staff development and instructional needs. Gray was unable to attend the session, but Wood said she is very excited about instituting the curriculum at North Scott.
Holst explained that Gray approached the Farm Bureau to seek support for the idea. The curriculum is intriguing, he said, adding that students may be excited by the classes offered.
Wood also pointed out students interested in agriculture at North Scott can take college classes at Muscatine Community College that are linked to the district. This way, they can earn college credit.
Holst described the initial grant as $7,000, and up to $3,000 in matching funds. In the future, more funding may be possible, he added.