JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. -- With many Missourians becoming generations removed from the farm, the Missouri Corn Merchandising Council has developed "Corn in the Classroom."  This educational program helps students reconnect with today's farmers and better understand the source of their food, fiber and fuel.

"Informing students about Missouri's corn industry allows them to explore an important sector of our economy," said Kenny McNamar, Missouri Corn Merchandising Council chairman and farmer from Gorin, Mo.  "More and more, we are seeing kids become detached from daily interaction with production agriculture.  The 'Corn in the Classroom' educational materials are a way to help them reconnect."

In addition to educating students on the importance of corn and its many products, "Corn in the Classroom" materials complement information currently covered in Missouri classrooms.  Included in Missouri Corn's educational materials are three easy lesson plans which address third grade level requirements in science, math, social studies and health.  Lessons include the "Basics of Corn," "Many Uses of Corn" and "Corn and the Environment."  

"This is a great opportunity to share the true story of agriculture and clear up any misconceptions students may have about how some of their favorite products are made," said McNamar.  "Many children -- and parents for that matter -- may not realize that everyday items from sidewalk chalk to ketchup are made with corn, and the sweet corn they enjoy eating is different from the corn stalks they see in a Missouri field."

Third-grade teachers can also utilize a PowerPoint presentation to enhance the lesson plans, a "Make Your Own Corn Plastic" activity, "Corn Facts for Teachers" and a "Corn in the Classroom" activity book.  

"With year-end assessments around the corner, now is the perfect time to use "Corn in the Classroom" to review testing concepts and introduce students to agriculture," concluded McNamar.

All "Corn in the Classroom" educational materials are available online by visiting www.mocorn.org and clicking on the education tab or by calling (800) 827-4181. 

SOURCE: Missouri Corn Merchandising Council.