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Reedsburg Teacher Recognized for Agricultural Teachings
Wisconsin Ag Connection - 12/28/2009

A fourth grade teacher at South Elementary School in Reedsburg is the recipient of the Wisconsin Agriculture in the Classroom's Outstanding Teacher Award. Dana Westedt was selected by members of the Wisconsin Farm Bureau's Agriculture in the Classroom program, which recognizes teachers for their efforts in teaching students the importance of agriculture.

"Dana is very deserving of the award because the variety and scope of the activities, lessons, tours and speakers she uses to help her students learn more about agriculture and the environment," said Darlene Arneson, WFBF's Ag in the Classroom coordinator.

Westedt offers many field trips for her students including the Wisconsin Cranberry Discovery Center, MacKenzie Environmental Center, cranberry bogs, dairy farms and cheese plants. She has also utilizes the Reedsburg School Forest. She also provides cheese sticks to all school students on Wisconsin Day, brings in beets from her husband's garden, uses dairy facts in math class, and brings in Wisconsin-made treats including root beer, ice cream, popcorn, mustard and beef sticks. Her students use Wisconsin maps to learn where the products come from and where they can shop for locally grown products.

Meanwhile, she also incorporates plant science into her lessons by receiving seedlings from the Department of Natural Resources on Arbor Day, and planting flower and vegetable seeds in March that end up as Mother and Father's Day gifts. She also invites a nursery owner in to talk about seeds and propagation. Westedt has taken teacher training classes from the Wisconsin Ag in the Classroom program.

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