Leah LaCrosse, Huron City Schools 8th grade science educator and GrowNextGen teacher leader, visited Commodity Classic 2019, the largest farmer-led, farmer-focused agricultural and educational event in America:

Walking into Commodity Classic initially felt like landing on the shores of a foreign land. The conversations and presentations had a lingo that I was unfamiliar with, and the topics were ones for which I didn’t really have much depth of knowledge. However, after I listened carefully and asked follow up questions of the various attendees, I started to form a clearer picture. Through the fantastic support of people from Ohio Soybean Council-sponsored GrowNextGen and educationprojects.org, I began to build an understanding of the people, concerns, and amazing future potential of this community. The level of commitment, ingenuity, and passion in the people around me was exciting! I am amazed by the complexity and potential of agriculture. The way STEM is ingrained in this culture in such natural and imperative ways is impressive. This was such a surprise for me! From engineering better spray nozzles to working to protect crops from nematodes and fungi, the science is off the charts.

I enjoyed learning about the various ways soy is present in our everyday world. I just didn’t know about these things before this experience. I’m excited to grow my level of expertise and help contribute to the resources available to bring agriculture back into our students’ educational experience. I’m already at work on an app that teaches students about the power of the soybean!