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STEMsational Ag: The Virtual Farm

Content Contributors

Johnny Barnes 

Module 6 – Unit 2: From Grass to Steak

Module 6 – Unit 3: Burgers and Bones

Johnny Barnes is the Agriculture and Natural Resources Extension Agent and County Director for the University of Tennessee Extension in DeKalb County.  Mr. Barnes holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Ag Extension Education, a Master of Science degree in Agriculture Leadership Education and Communication.  Mr. Barnes completed his coursework at the University of Tennessee Knoxville. He currently focuses on leading the educational opportunities in the following areas:  Livestock, Forages, Horticulture, 4-H Fundraising and community efforts related to economic development for the county.

Mr. Barnes is currently a member of the National, State and Regional association of County Extension Agricultural Agents, (NACAA, TAAA&S), Epsilon Sigma Phi (ESP), several community focused committees, and a member of the DeKalb County Fair Board.  Johnny has been married to Shelly for the past 13 years.  They have two children, Ripley and Davis, a dog and two cats.  They live on a farm in Alexandria, TN.

Shelly Barnes 

Module 3 – Unit 2: Dry My Fruits

Module 3 – Unit 5: Fruit is My Jam

Shelly Barnes is the Family and Consumer Sciences Extension Agent for the University of Tennessee Extension in Wilson County.  Mrs. Barnes holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Family and Consumer Science with a concentration in Child Development and Family Studies, a Master of Science degree in Human Sciences and a Certificate of Gerontology. She completed her coursework at Middle Tennessee State University.  Mrs. Barnes also holds a special endorsement of Certified Family Life Educator (CFLE) from the National Council on Family Relations. 

Mrs. Barnes currently focuses on leading educational opportunities in the following areas:  First Time Home Buying, Poverty Training, Food Preservation, Healthy Homes, and community efforts related to Wilson County FCE. She is currently a member of the National, State and Regional association of Extension Family and Consumer Sciences, (NEAFCS, TEAFCS), Epsilon Sigma Phi (ESP), several community focused coalitions and committees, and  a 2013 graduate of Leadership Wilson.  Shelly has been married to Johnny for the past 13 years.  They have two children, Ripley and Davis, a dog and two cats.  They live on a farm in Alexandria, TN.

The Dairy Alliance

Module 2 – Unit 1: Fuel Your Good

The Dairy Alliance is a nonprofit funded by dairy farm families of the Southeast. We work diligently with dairy farmers, schools, sports teams, health professionals, local organizations, state leaders, the media, and the public to promote dairy foods and knowledge about the dairy industry. Our efforts center in eight states: Alabama, Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Virginia. Dairy foods contain thirteen essential nutrients that are important for building strong bones and healthy bodies. To that end, The Dairy Alliance works with consumers of all ages to provide them with nutritional information, dairy industry news, research and recipes for a healthy lifestyle that includes three servings of milk, cheese, or yogurt each day. 

Dr. Dennis Duncan 

Module 8 – Unit 1: Types of Barns

Module 8 – Unit 2: Hay

Module 8 – Unit 3: Equipment

Module 8 – Unit 4: Tools

Module 11 – Unit 3: Composting

Moudle 11 – Unit 7: Soil 

Dennis Duncan, Ph.D. is a professor of agricultural education at Tennessee Tech University. Duncan teaches courses in leadership and service, youth group planning, teaching methodologies, and international curriculum development. He has designed curriculum for K-12 systems in the US and Scotland, taught Train the Trainer teacher workshops, lead numerous conference workshops on pedagogy and course evaluation, and developed two elementary education curriculum projects in Scotland.

Duncan’s research interests focus around teaching efficacy of middle and high school teachers; identifying key components needed to successfully address food insecurity through public school, university, and community gardens – both locally and globally; and has evaluated a cadre of educational programs. Additionally, Duncan has collaborated with multiple land-grant institutions on federally funded projects in the U.S., Austria, Costa Rica, France, Italy, and the former Soviet Republics of Georgia and Armenia

Dr. Jeff LeBlond 

Module 2 – Unit 2: Yogurt & You

Module 3 – Unit 3: A Pickle a Day

Module 7 – Unit 2: Ham Sandwich

Jeffrey D. LeBlond is currently a Professor in the Middle Tennessee State University (MTSU) Department of Biology. He received his BS in Environmental Science from the University of Massachusetts in 1993 and his PhD in Microbiology from the University of Tennessee in 1997. His research interest is algal lipids, with particular emphasis on sterols and chloroplast membrane lipids in dinoflagellates.

Dr. Katie Schrodt 

Module 1 – Unit 3: Four Ingredient Baking

Module 10 – Unit 5: The Bees Knees/The Important and Fascinating Lives of Bees

Katie Schrodt is a professor of literacy at Middle Tennessee State University. Her research interests include reading and writing motivation with young children. Katie is passionate about making research relevant and available for teachers. On any given day you might find her and her twins browsing the picture book aisle in their local bookstore.

Lisa Shepherd 

Module 4 – Unit 3: Chicken Soup

Module 4 – Unit 4: Eggs-cellent Experiments

Lisa Shepherd, MS, RD has more than 20 years of experience in the field of nutrition, including science education, food service management, food manufacturing, and clinical dietetics. Her interests include food science, farm-to-table nutrition, and STEM education for K-16. She is currently a nutrition instructor and a PhD student in the Mathematics and Science Education program at Middle Tennessee State University.

Gina Locke Stewart 

Module 9 – Unit 1: Goats

Module 9 – Unit 2: Sheep

Gina Locke Stewart is a sixth-year Agriculture Educator and FFA adviser at Stewarts Creek High School in Smyrna, Tennessee. She is responsible for Animal Science and Horticulture classes at SCHS and teaches dual enrollment through her alma mater, The University of Tennessee at Martin (UTM). Gina double majored in Animal Science and Agriculture Communications at UTM. Upon graduation, she began her career as an agriculture educator at Fayetteville City High School while completing her Masters in Education in Curriculum and Instruction. She will graduate from Mississippi College in August with her EdS in K-12 Administration.

Gina enjoys spending time on her family’s commercial cattle farm in Franklin, raising show cattle and selling freezer beef. Gina grew passionate about agriculture from a young age from participating in the Williamson County 4-H program showing cattle, sheep, and pigs. Additionally, she spent much of her time in high school at FFA events across the state and was a member of the second all-female state FFA officer in 2011-2012.

Gina would like to thank Abbey Taylor for her help developing the lessons for this program. Abbey is a graduate of Middle Tennessee State University.

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