Summer Ag Institute: Teachers Learn Hands On About Arizona Agriculture

By Jerry Freed

Arizona teachers learn from an Arizona flower farmer the best way to tend your rose garden.

Editors Note:  This poem was written by Jerry Freed, one of the 20 teachers that attended the Arizona Foundation for Ag Literacy’s Summer Ag Institute.

Jerry teaches 6th grade at Cactus Middle School in Casa Grande.  He says he has taught school for 25 years and still looks forward to going to school every day!  There are some pretty lucky kids in Casa Grande.

June 17, 2010

Summer Ag Institute was a journey

With stops on the way

The interests grew numerous

In each and every day

Water from the sky, river, drip, pivot, and well

The pump, tube, laser

And more than I can tell

The insect began to make the scene

Some were beneficial

And others were mean

Egg, nymph, and various other stages of life

When the counts get too high

Spraying relieves the strife

Scientists with microscopes

Trying to figure out what to do

Using previous knowledge

To help solve the new

With 8,000 visitors to the MAC this year

Student knowledge increases

By what they see, do, and hear

Cattle, swine, chicken, or sheep

By utilizing proper management

Problems are prevented

From getting too deep

Thoroughbred horses train and train and train

When they cross the finish line

None of the hard work was in vain

Nurseries have trees, flowers, and shrubs

Any plant you want to buy

For the young… the old

Any green thumb can try

Roses are red

Violets are blue

We were hosted by farm families

It was such a pleasure

Being with you

Pecans need wind, water, shaking, and shelling

Then there is vertical integration

Which in the end is selling

The V bar V has exotic beef

And studies Range Management too

If you’re not into the natural

Then A.I. might be for you

Andy Grossetta has a mind

That moves at the speed of light

And he isn’t timid about explaining

What is wrong and right

FFA leaders taught us some thrills

They talked about goals

And other life skills

Bins of watermelons

Stacked up to the sky

It’s something we look forward to

When the temperature gets high

Round and round and round they go

Milking cows on a carousel

Puts on quite a show

And now we enter into the final hour

With green and yellow tractors

And a lot of horsepower

Well, we started out little

But it didn’t remain small

However, when you look at Arizona agriculture

We have a reason to stand tall!

– Jerry Freed

SAI 2010

Arizona’s Summer Ag Institute program is very hands one including teaching Arizona teachers how to start irrigation pipe.

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2 Responses to Summer Ag Institute: Teachers Learn Hands On About Arizona Agriculture

  1. Tammy McLeod says:

    What a great program. Where does one go to learn more about the Institute?

  2. Glad you asked: Apply by February 1 for a cost of $85. After Feb 1 the cost is $125 .Tuition includes room and board. The deadline is May 1 each year. An application and brochure can be found at

    All teachers that ever sign up for it go away thoroughly excited about Arizona agriculture.

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