Mississippi State University has secured a significant grant of $485,000 from the USDA’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) for a groundbreaking four-year project known as Agricultural Science Professional Development, or ACRE 2.0. This innovative initiative is dedicated to enriching K-12 education in the realm of agriculture and fostering an appreciation for potential careers within the field.
Under the leadership of Principal Investigator Stephanie Lemley, an esteemed associate professor in the Department of Teacher Education and Leadership, the ACRE 2.0 project will embark on a journey to educate and empower teachers. The goal is to equip them with the necessary tools and resources to seamlessly integrate poultry and food science into their existing curricula. Additionally, the project will establish a robust support and mentorship system through the university.
The inaugural cohort comprises 28 passionate educators hailing from 14 school districts across Mississippi. Each member will participate in intensive training sessions and will subsequently develop engaging lesson plans built upon the rich content provided by ACRE 2.0.
This initiative’s vision extends far beyond its initial phase, as its leaders aspire to foster exponential growth. By empowering teachers with the knowledge and resources they need, ACRE 2.0 aims to profoundly impact students’ understanding of the food they consume and to broaden their horizons regarding diverse career opportunities in agriculture.
Recruitment efforts are actively ongoing to welcome additional educators into future cohorts. Mississippi State’s commitment to revolutionizing agricultural education and poultry production awareness promises a brighter and more informed future for students across the state.