ISA provides free access to middle school ag curriculum to Indiana teachers - Indiana Corn and Soy

ISA provides free access to middle school ag curriculum to Indiana teachers

Posted: March 20, 2023 Posted by: Kyle Nagy Category: Indiana Corn and Soybean Post - Winter 2023, ISA, News

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (Feb. 23, 2023) — Farmers know, perhaps better than most, that early planning can be a key ingredient to success. That principle also applies to childhood education.

The Indiana Soybean Alliance (ISA) is partnering with Cutting Edge Curriculum to teach agriculture to middle-school students. Cutting Edge Curriculum is a not-for-profit corporation created by agricultural education advocates with a focus on curriculum development for Career and Technical Education (CTE) including Ag Education, Business, Family and Consumer Sciences, Health, and Industrial Technology.

Cutting Edge Curriculum houses the MYCAERT system to provide this curriculum to teachers and students through an online subscription. The MYCAERT system delivers educators with lesson plans and support materials, signature E-Units for student use, and web-based assessments aligned to academic standards. ISA provided free subscriptions to this curriculum and online tools to students and teachers.

“Cutting Edge Curriculum greatly appreciates the partnership with Indiana Soybean Alliance to offer all Indiana agricultural educators with access to the Middle School Agriscience curriculum,” said Lindi Kocher, executive director of Cutting Edge Curriculum.

In 2022 and 2023, Kocher reported that more than 7,000 logins into the curriculum library. Teachers across Indiana are using this material to teach the basics of agriculture to middle school students. “Most of the students who are studying this material will not become farmers, but teaching all middle school kids about agriculture is important to all of us who farm,” said ISA Vice Chair Kevin Cox, a farmer from Brazil, Ind. “Better understanding builds trust. As these young minds learn more about agriculture, trust will grow between farmers and our neighbors.”

The middle school agriscience curriculum is designed to provide Indiana agricultural educators with the essential tools to stimulate student interest in the field of agriculture. The lessons use an inquiry-based format known as a 5E lesson plan. Accordingly, each lesson encompasses the following: Engage, Explore, Explain, Elaborate and Evaluate.

Within a 5E lesson, there are multiple student activities supporting inquiry-based instruction. This approach provides effective strategies while students learn to conduct investigations and dig further into a topic. Lessons are accompanied with student E-units, online assessments, and PowerPoints. An E-unit is a student textbook unit as it is written to match each lesson.

Online assessments are completed by students while reports can display how students are achieving in relationship to academic standards.

Whitney Sauerheber is an eighth-grade teacher at North Harrison Community Schools in Ramsey, Ind. Before coming to Indiana, she taught in Illinois for six years and used the MYCAERT system there, and she found it useful. Now she teaches a variety of subjects during the day – including agriculture.

“As a teacher who teaches something different in every class period, I’m grateful to have this system and curriculum to help,” Sauerheber said while attending a state meeting of agricultural educators. “This is my first year teaching eighth graders. It has been a goal of mine to get back to teaching the basics of agriculture. This curriculum is helping me do that.”

The middle school agriscience curriculum allows Indiana educators to have access to a sophisticated curriculum system. Educators, especially agricultural educators, have many responsibilities. Providing additional tools through a paid subscription not only allows for teachers to feel appreciated but provides them with an inquiry-based lessons to strengthen student knowledge.

“It is great to work with an industry leader to provide input and review of curriculum materials,” Kocher said. “The Indiana Soybean Alliance is utilizing partners to amplify key messages in assuring proper representation of content is being expressed within lessons related to its industry.”

Other partners that supported the development of the lessons include Indiana Farm Bureau, Farm Credit MidAmerica, Indiana Pork, the Indiana State Department of Agriculture and the Spriestersbach Farm Corporation.

For more information about the program, go online to

For all questions contact: Dave Blower Jr. at 317-644-0980;

About Indiana Soybean Alliance: The Indiana Soybean Alliance works to enhance the viability of Indiana soybean farmers through the effective and efficient investment of soybean checkoff funds that protect and promote the interest of Indiana soybean farmers. The ISA works to assist soybean farmers through its strategic initiatives of market development; environmental, social and economic sustainability; value creation and producer engagement. ISA is led by an elected, farmer board that directs investments of the soybean checkoff funds on behalf of more than 20,000 Indiana soybean farmers. 

This communication was funded with Indiana soybean checkoff dollars.






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