Summer Ag Institute (SAI) is a three-credit, action-packed week-long, graduate-level class through Oregon State University that educates K-12 teachers with little or no background in agriculture. The goal of SAI is to help educators use agriculture as a context for teaching core academic subjects - science, math, social studies, and English.
Research-based information about agriculture is presented, and participants are provided with educational materials to help them incorporate what they've learned into their classrooms. OSU scientists and professors, educators, Oregon Department of Agriculture specialists, Extension staff, high school agriculture teachers, producers, processors, managers, and owners all take an active role in educating teachers about where their food comes from and how it ends up on the grocery shelf. Participants also visit numerous agricultural operations, such as: a dairy and a food processing plant, nursery, hydroponics operation, grass seed farm and processing operation, mint, Christmas tree, Hazelnut, vegetable and fruit operations, a winery, and a commercial turf facility.
The highlight of the week is the opportunity to experience production agriculture through an overnight stay on a working farm or ranch. The learning experience and warm hospitality helps participants see how farmers live, work, care for, and steward the land that supports all of us. Through SAI, teachers are given first-hand experiences in the depth and breadth of the agriculture industry and how OSU, their land grant institution is linked to making this industry prosperous