Local ag leaders support literacy day in schools

DEIDRE CRUSE
PARISH JOINS NATOIN IN AG STUDIES...Crescent Elementary School students and others participating in Agriculture Literacy Day include, from left in front, Meghan Blankenburg, Cristy Abshire, Madison Hebert, Amber Granger, Chase Avants, Nathaniel Clause, Gracie Trahan and Kyiarra Domingue, and, from left in back, Jeanie Wilcoxon, Crescent Principal Kathleen Schmit, Iberville Supervisor of Elementary Curriculum Geralyn Callegan, Nancy Christensen, farmer Cecil Ramagos, and librarian Allison Rhorer.

Iberville Parish agricultural leaders participated in a recent  “Agricultural Literacy Day” for elementary school students, an educational event that was part of a national effort called “Agriculture in the Classroom.”

The Iberville Parish School System hosted the event for students at Dorseyville, North Iberville Elementary, Iberville Elementary, Crescent Elementary, and East Iberville Elementary, as well as St. John Elementary.

"Here in Iberville, this Louisiana Agriculture Literacy Day was designed to demonstrate the important impact that agriculture and related fields impact each student in their daily lives," said Geralyn Callegan, elementary school supervisor for the local school system.

Participating in the event were local agriculture business leaders and educators, including Cecil Ramagos, sugar cane and hay farmer; Nolan Himel, sugar cane farmer; Jerry Hall, District Conservationist; Louis Lirette, County Agent; John Gay, sugar cane, wheat and soybean farmer; Joel Ducote, County Executive Director of Farm Service Agency of West Baton Rouge, and Iberville; Edwin M. Reeves Jr., Administrative Manager for A. Wilbert's Sons, LLC/Parish Council Member; Katie Ramagos, Farm Bureau Women's Committee, 4-H advocate, farming advocate; Martin Fontenot, Farm Loan Manager for Farm Service Agency; Clayton Hurdle, cattle, soybean, corn, sugar farmer; and Dale Purpera, Jr. sugar cane and wheat farmer. Dean Deslatte, Petroleum Land Manager for A. Wilbert's Sons, LLC spoke to St. John students.

In addition to the book, "Oh Say Can You Seed" donated to each school's library, kindergarten through 4th grade teachers also received a packet of plans and hands-on activities to incorporate into their science lessons. 

Cecil and Katie Ramagos assisted Callegan in organizing the event.

"We cannot thank these ag experts enough for the time they dedicated in our classrooms," Callegan said.

"The study of agriculture in this community is vital to its continual growth and prosperity and helps our students to learn important aspects of science and career development," said Dr. Edward Cancienne, Iberville school superintendent.

Further information is available from Geralyn Callegan at 687-4341 or on the web at ipsb.net.

LOCAL EXPERTS TEACH...Students Kionna Carlin, Tyrin McCoy, Annie McLin attending an Agriculture Literacy Day program listen to a presentation by Iberville Parish Council Member Edwin M. Reeves Jr., who is administrative manager for A. Wilbert's Sons LLC. Reeves was one of a list of local agricultural experts participating in programs for elementary school children around the parish. Recent test scores in Iberville Parish showed increases in science scores on the LEAP test, and efforts in this area will continue to be an important emphasis of the curriculum, said Iberville School Superintendent P. Edward Cancienne Jr.