San Patricio County teacher recognized by Texas Farm Bureau
(WACO, Texas)—One elementary teacher’s love of agriculture and passion for sharing that knowledge has earned her recognition from the state’s largest general farm and ranch organization.
Martha McLeod, a teacher at Fulton 3-5 Learning Center, was named Texas Farm Bureau’s (TFB) 2020 Agriculture in the Classroom Outstanding Teacher. McLeod was recognized during TFB’s 87th annual meeting on Nov. 30 and Dec. 5.
McLeod was nominated by San Patricio County Farm Bureau (CFB).
“Martha is an outstanding elementary school teacher who actively incorporates the basics of agricultural principles into her lessons,” San Patricio CFB President Colin Chopelas wrote in a nomination letter. “She does this by having students plant and grow many varieties of vegetables, including corn, beets, turnips and carrots, as well as maintain and manage a small-scale poultry farm where eggs are gathered daily, packaged and sold to teachers and members of the community.”
She teaches science to third-, fourth- and fifth-grade students through a variety of hands-on activities. Agricultural literacy is increased by exposing students to concepts such as soil enrichment, tilling, germination, pollination and photosynthesis, plant maturity, harvest, life cycles, weathering and erosion, decomposition and nutrient recycling.
In addition to working production agriculture models, McLeod teaches her students about the recycling of natural resources, wildlife conservation, birding, fishing and more.
Her passion for agriculture and outdoor learning stems from growing up on a South Texas farm and ranch and a desire for her students to share her love of farming and the land.
“Martha is a shining example of a passionate educator. She is building a lifelong love for science and agriculture in the next generation,” TFB President Russell Boening said. “She truly wants her students to understand where their food and fiber comes from, so she creates engaging and hands-on lessons for them to learn these concepts. We’re proud to recognize her efforts in the classroom.”
McLeod grew up in Cotulla and graduated from Texas A&M University with a bachelor’s degree in animal science. She has been teaching for 27 years, with 17 years at the Fulton Learning Center.
In recognition of her accomplishment, McLeod will receive a $600 cash award, as well as an expense-paid trip to attend the National Agriculture in the Classroom Conference next summer. San Patricio CFB also will receive a $400 cash award for her nomination.
McLeod will be nominated for the National Excellence in Teaching about Agriculture award.