The Gallatin Conservation District has a variety of resources available to educators and has been involved in multiple curriculum development projects to help promote natural resource conservation education in the classroom. Below are some great resources and lesson plans to help integrate agriculture, conservation and natural resources into classroom education.
- Montana Agriculture in the Classroom
- Agriculture in the Classroom (USDA)
- Growing Ag; Warren Co, PA
- Teacher Vision; Natural Resource Conservation
- Montana Department of Natural Resources and Conservation
- Water Resources of Montana
- Montana Geographic Information Clearinghouse
- Montana Noxious Weed Education Programs
In addition to the above online resources, Gallatin Conservation District has a few physical resources available for rental. These resources can be used in classroom settings, outdoor educational events, or outreach events. Gallatin Conservation District staff can be available to help you conduct these activities, or you can rent them out to use yourself.
- Macroinvertebrate Educational Trunk – This trunk contains lesson plans and all of the necessary supplies for three separate activities focusing on aquatic benthic macroinvertebrates.
- Awesome Aquifer Kit – Created by the Groundwater Foundation as a fun, hands-on way to “see” groundwater.
- Montana Pollinator Education Project – Free pollinator resource for educators created by Montana Agriculture in the Classroom Foundation.
Each year, the National Association of Conservation Districts (NACD) develops curriculum to use in the classroom in conjunction with Stewardship Week (last Sunday in April to the first Sunday in May). The Gallatin Conservation District makes these materials available to educators at a reduced fee. Materials are also available for congregations to use during Sunday services free of charge. More information about NACD’s Stewardship Week can be found here.
We also help promote, coach and sponsor teams for the Montana Envirothon competition. The goal of the Envirothon Program is to help students become environmentally knowledgeable, skilled, and dedicated citizens who are willing to work individually and collectively toward achieving and maintaining a dynamic equilibrium between the quality of life and the quality of the environment. Participation is open to all students enrolled in grades 9-12 in public, private, vocational technical or home-school programs. Five students make up a team. The Envirothon covers five natural resource issues: Aquatics, Forestry, Soils, Wildlife, Range and a current environmental issue, which changes annually.
The Envirothon for Montana includes a state competition held in Lewistown in April. Scholarships are awarded to each team member on the first place team in the amount of $500 each. In addition, each team member on the team with the highest test score will be awarded a $300 scholarship. The winning team from the Montana competition will go on to compete in the National Envirothon.
Find more information and study guides here.
Agriculture Resources for Youth
My American Farm – From the American Farm Bureau Foundation, this teaches agricultural literacy through an interactive computer game. Players learn where food come from and how those products get from the farm to their dinner plate. It’s fun activities for students, families, and teachers.
Montana 4-H Foundation – Montana 4-H is the youth development program of Montana State University Extension and is the largest, out-of-school youth development program in the state, reaching about 25,000 youth in all counties each year. In 4-H, if you can dream it, you can do it! 4-H offers more than 100 different projects and learning experiences that actively engage while having fun. 4-H, projects rely on trained adult volunteers who work with youth as a partner and resource for learning. There are opportunities, from learning how to cook or sew to rasing an animal, camping, and everything in between. 4-H offers youth a wide range of choices and opportunities.
Montana FFA – FFA makes a positive difference in the lives of students by developing their potential for premier leadership, personal growth and career success through agricultural education.