Teaching and agriculture: A winning combination

The Nevada Agricultural Foundation (NAF) awarded Kristina Moore, left, with the Nevada Ag in the Classroom Volunteer of the Year Awardin November  during the Nevada Farm Bureau 95th annual meeting in Reno. The award was presented by the NAF Executive Director Sue Hoffman.

The Nevada Agricultural Foundation (NAF) awarded Kristina Moore, left, with the Nevada Ag in the Classroom Volunteer of the Year Awardin November during the Nevada Farm Bureau 95th annual meeting in Reno. The award was presented by the NAF Executive Director Sue Hoffman.

Kristina Moore is a lot of things to a lot of people. She is a parent, high school teacher, FFA coach, president elect of the Nevada Agriculture Teachers Association and a Nevada Farm Bureau member, but throughout all of her different projects, there seems to be two commonalities — agriculture and teaching.

Moore attributes her interest in agriculture to her upbringing. Raised on a dairy farm in southern Utah, she spent most of her time around livestock and gained an appreciation for the industry that provides the world with its food.

“We’re literally feeding the world,” Moore said. “It seems like an overstatement, but it’s the reality of it. There are so few people in the agriculture industry, and they do such a huge service to society in general. The impactful nature of the industry itself is what keeps me involved and keeps me passionate about it.”

Moore received her bachelor’s in secondary education from the University of Nevada, Reno and her master’s in agriculture education from California Polytechnic State University. After college, she started her career as a teacher. She’s taught for 18 years in both Douglas County and Churchill County. For the last eight years, Moore has been teaching at Churchill County High School.


More Than Inside the Classroom

Moore is an FFA advisor, and that role takes up a large part of her day. She started as an FFA advisor in Gardnerville, but her actual origins with the program began when she was a member in high school. Her own experiences as a participant in FFA inspired her to give her students the same opportunities.

“I just love helping the kids follow their passion, find what they’re good at, do what they enjoy and helping them find a pathway to stay involved and be involved in agriculture,” Moore said.

Advising in FFA is much more than just a job for Moore, and she stays active well passed the normal nine to five business day.

“I live it 24 hours a day, seven days a week,” Moore said. “My students call me in the middle of the night if their goat is having babies, and my vacations usually involve taking students some place. It’s a lifestyle — not a job — it’s what you do, and it’s who you are.”

FFA has provided Moore with a deeper way to connect with her students, which she said isn’t possible inside of a classroom.

“You get to know them, their families, what their passions are and what their weaknesses are. The goal of most agriculture teachers is to figure out what makes their students tick, what makes them successful, and then you have to help direct them into those pathways.”


Connecting Students With Students

Moore started coordinating Ag In the Classroom programs in Gardnerville. Her initial experience mostly involved bringing professionals from the agriculture industry into the classroom to teach kids. Her current involvement is more hands on.

Instead of relying solely on professionals in the agriculture industry to teach her students, she now uses her students to educate children in hopes that agricultural information will be absorbed in the earlier grades.

“My frustration in the classroom is with students that don’t know where their food comes from and frustration with society overall taking the industry for granted. There is food at the grocery store, and people don’t know why it’s there; they just know it’s there. And they don’t question the source of their food.”

Running the program in a way that allows her students to become teachers themselves is rewarding for Moore and one of her most memorable experiences with the program.

“They love interacting with those younger children, and they like the idea of sharing this information with them,” Moore said. “It gives them such a sense of pride and enjoyment out of teaching something essential and getting a genuine response from those younger kids.”


Involvement as a Farm Bureau Member

Moore became a Churchill County Farm Bureau member in 2013, but she has been associated with the Farm Bureau through FFA and Ag In the Classroom for much longer than that. Ultimately, Moore found that being more involved with Farm Bureau was essential to increasing her involvement with agricultural programs.

“They’ve always been supporters of my program,” Moore said. “And realizing what an important part of having a successful FFA chapter and agriculture education department had to do with an involved community, I decided I needed to get more involved with the groups in my community that were agriculture related.”

Since joining Farm Bureau, Moore has received additional support for her projects.

“They help me to get the funding that we need to provide books to the elementary school classrooms,” Moore said. “And they help us by giving us ideas, direction and by becoming more involved in Ag In the Classroom themselves. By coordinating our efforts, Ag In the Classroom can become a bigger and better activity.”


Future Plans

Moore wants to increase her involvement in promoting agriculture wherever possible. She plans to stay an FFA advisor for as long as she can and hopes to expand agricultural literacy while also simplifying agricultural programs so that anybody can use them.

For Moore, agriculture and the education system still have a long way to go, and she intends to do all she can to further a more beneficial relationship between them in the future.

“I think we should integrate agriculture lessons K through 12,” said Moore. “I think it should be required that we teach all of our children where our food comes from. I think it’s silly we don’t do that, and I think it’s unfortunate for our society that we don’t teach our kids where food comes from.”

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