Since 1994, Texas Farm Bureau, in cooperation with Tarleton State University, has hosted the Summer Agricultural Institute for elementary school teachers. The graduate level, week long Institute, held at the Tarleton State University campus in Stephenville, strives to inform educators about the importance of food and fiber production and show them how they can incorporate agricultural education into their classroom. Teachers attending the Institute combine hands-on learning activities about agriculture with practical curriculum development and usage. They also participate in field trips to area farms, ranches and processing facilities. In addition, they explore the importance of research in agriculture through the Texas A&M University Research Center in Stephenville.
Teachers who attend the Institute receive three hours of graduate credit through Tarleton State University and 45 clock hours of Continuing Professional Education. Each teacher also receives a set of Texas Farm Bureau's "Agriculture in the Classroom" materials, and agriculture education resources from other agencies and organizations.
The 2009 Summer Agricultural Institute will be held June 15-19. Teachers are chosen to attend the Institute through their local county Farm Bureau, which also provides a scholarship that covers tuition, room and board, and resource material at the Institute.
To date, over 220 teachers have attended the Summer Agricultural Institute and returned to their classroom with a great knowledge and understanding of the importance and impact of agriculture.