Outstanding Teacher in Agriculture Award
2022 Outstanding Teacher in Agriculture - Michelle Johnsrude
BC Agriculture in the Classroom Foundation (BCAITC) is pleased to announce that Michelle Johnsrude is the recipient of the 2022 BCAITC Outstanding Teacher in Agriculture Award. Michelle Johnsrude received this award for demonstrating outstanding leadership and innovation in agriculture education. The award was presented to her at BC Agriculture Council’s BC Agri-Foods Industry Gala on January 25, 2023.
Michelle Johnsrude is a secondary-level teacher at Highroad Academy in Chilliwack. Her journey with agriculture began in 2008 when she started a garden club at the school - with inspiration from a tour to the agriculture program at the University of the Fraser Valley (UFV). She worked with the university to introduce students to agriculture at the UFV site and then eventually taught grade 11/12 Sustainable Resources courses at Highroad Academy.
With help from local businesses and collaboration with colleagues from Sardis School farm, farmers, and other organizations, Michelle and the school team built raised beds at the back of the Highroad Academy site. Building on the success of gardening beds, she then expanded the learning with BCAITC programs and used the garden as the canvas for students to learn. With the blueberries and strawberries they grew, she taught them to make smoothies and open a smoothie bar at the school to sell their healthy drinks. She realized that students are more engaged in learning with hands-on activities - planting and maintaining a garden, then eating or sharing what they have grown brings great satisfaction.
Michelle Johnsrude also connects the Highroad Academy school garden to the community. The school grows vegetables for the local Salvation Army soup kitchen. Also, her students, along with the food classes, make a giant batch of soup after the harvest to feed over 300 elementary school students. The most recent expansion was the building of a greenhouse last year that will allow the school to grow crops in the winter. Michelle feels strongly that schools play an important role in educating about agriculture. Every time a community member or board supports educators, results are multiplied so many times through the students they teach.
BCAITC congratulates Michelle Johnsrude on this prestigious award!
BCAITC has been presenting BC teachers with the Outstanding Teacher in Agriculture Award since 2004. The award acknowledges teachers who are ambassadors for agriculture education - they are people who make it a priority for their students to learn about BC food and farming. Thank you to DairyCrop for generously sponsoring this award.
Previous Outstanding Teacher of the Year Award Recipients
- 2021 - Robin Ruff
- 2020 - Gary Funk
- 2019 - Monica Bradbury
- 2018 - Chef Brian Smith
- 2017 - Tania Toth
- 2016 - Karla Stroet
- 2015 - Patricia Regan
- 2014 - Joe Massie
- 2013 - Chef Gerald Worobetz
- 2012 - Lori Pilling
- 2011 - Gail Chan and Chef Randle
2023 Outstanding Teacher in Agriculture Award Nominations
Each year, we recognize a BC teacher who has been a champion in agriculture education. Nominations for the 2023 Outstanding Teacher in Agriculture Award will be accepted from October 1 to December 1, 2023. Watch this page for more information (coming fall 2023).
BC Regional Science Fair Awards
To highlight the connection between agriculture and science, BCAITC supports the Science Fair Foundation of British Columbia. Each year, we contribute 13 regional science fair awards for outstanding projects that demonstrate the practical application of scientific principles to agriculture.
Visit the Science Fair Foundation BC for more information on BC science fairs and awards, student resources, and the Science Fair Mentorship Program.
BCAITC Scholarship for 4-H BC Members
Every year, BCAITC supports 4-H British Columbia (4-H BC) by awarding a $1,000 scholarship to an active member of the organization who is enrolled (or plans to be enrolled) in a BC university Teacher Education Program. We are pleased to announce that Ella Carson is the recipient of the 2023 BCAITC scholarship! Congratulations Ella!