Ag in the Classroom

A Free Agricultural Education Program for Ottawa County Schools

Since 2002, Ottawa County MSU Extension, the Ottawa County Board of Commissioners and Ottawa County Farm Bureau have teamed together to be able to bring the news of agriculture to Ottawa County schools in fun hands-on lessons. Agriculture is still an extremely important economic sector within Ottawa County. Many of our children know little about where and how food is grown, yet each of us use some form of agriculture each day. Agriculture can be tied into many areas of school curriculum.

Brenda Raterink is the Program Coordinator for the Ag in the Classroom Program in Ottawa County. She grew up on a farm and has a Bachelor’s degree from Michigan State University in Agricultural Economics. Brenda and her husband own and operate a family dairy farm in Ottawa County. She has been involved with educating children about farming for many years.

The Ag in the Classroom program is available to school classes at no charge. There are several types of lessons that fit into the elementary curriculum and meet the Michigan Content Standards. Materials and supplies are provided free for each lesson. Each session takes between 45-60 minutes. All lessons include hands-on activities that children will enjoy doing. Most units are geared for 3rd – 5th grade levels but there are also programs for grades K-2 available. 

We are pleased to announce that beginning with the 2013-2014 school year, some Ottawa County businesses have joined in sponsoring Ag in the Classroom.  We thank the Mark Hop Farm Bureau Insurance Agency, Zeeland Farm Services, Inc. and Farmers’ Co-operative Elevator Co. for their generous donations.  In addition, we thank Land O’Lakes, Inc. for their generous match of Farmer’s Co-Operative Elevator’s donation.

For questions or to schedule a classroom visit contact:

Brenda Raterink
Program Associate, Agriculture in the Classroom
MSU Extension Office: (616) 994-4580

Ag_in_the_Classroom_Printable Brochure.pdf


To connect with an MSU Extension educator on a particular issue please visit our Find an Expert page.