Leslee Ann Tell of Clinton, an advanced nutrition and dietetics instructor at Conway High School, has been named the 2022 Arkansas Farm Bureau Ag in the Classroom Outstanding Teacher.
Farm Bureau established the award in 2006 to recognize teachers who have exemplary programs which integrate agricultural concepts into their curricula. Matt Jackson, Arkansas Farm Bureau’s Director of Education, presented the honor to Tell at her school on April 18. Tell received a check for $1,500. This summer she will attend the National Ag in the Classroom Conference in Sarasota Springs, N.Y., as the state’s National Ag in the Classroom nominee.
“Mrs. Tell’s dedication to furthering the understanding of agriculture in a non-agriculture curriculum is outstanding,” said Jackson. “Her students develop an understanding of farm-to-fork through her class, and the hands-on learning with hydroponics drives home the different types of agriculture and how food gets to your plate.”
Tell has been teaching food safety and nutrition, chemistry of food, and advanced nutrition at the Career Center in Conway High for 12 years. She has received numerous recognitions for her work, including the American Farm Bureau Federation’s On the Farm STEM Scholarship Award for Professional Development in 2019 and the Ag Literacy in Action Award from the Readers to Eaters program in 2021.
“About five years ago, I started making local farm connections to infuse into my classroom content,” Tell said in a statement. “I have worked to expand my classroom farm footprint to include a wide variety of farm operations around the state. Each individual farm lends a new perspective of how and why food is produced, harvested and impacts in our state and community and offers a different window into the overall experience, allowing students to see how all these farms and the food supply are connected to our everyday lives and food choices.”