Tamirrah Cox and her son Huey get ready to plant in an episode of “Ag with Mrs. Cox.”

Every elementary school science student knows Ms. Frizzle, the eccentric, auburn-haired television, book and video game character whose Magic School Bus could pop the class into the Cretaceous period, outer space or inside the human body.

Now, agricultural education alumna Tamirrah Cox is aiming to be the “Ms. Frizzle of agriculture” as she teaches kids how to grow plants in their own back yard.

Cox, an agricultural education major pursuing her master’s degree in the Department of Agribusiness, Agricultural Economics and Agriscience Education, has spent the last six years teaching primary school students the importance – and fun – of growing through garden clubs, online videos, books and a website, “Ag with Mrs. Cox.”

Cox graduated in spring ‘22 with a degree in agricultural education. She’s now pursuing her master’s degree.

“I want to push agriculture in primary school to be more than growing green beans in a windowsill,” said Cox, a Vanceboro native. “The students deserve to know about things like animal science and plant genetics. I don’t think primary school students are too young to learn these things.”

Cox’s journey into agricultural education started in 2016, when she was working as an instructional assistant at Henderson Independent High School, an alternative school in Salisbury.

“I saw that they had a greenhouse that was not being used,” said Cox. “I decided to take it into my hands to teach children about gardening and, at the same time, learn myself.”

Most of her students had not been exposed to gardening, Cox said, so she started small: planting carrots.

“The students got excited about that,” Cox said. “So I invited a mulch company to provide us with mulch, and they dropped off pounds and pounds on the school yard. I had an assignment for the kids to grab a shovel and spread mulch around the grounds and the trees. The kids loved it.”

With one successful project under way, Cox set her sights on building gardening clubs at primary schools all around the Rowan County area.

“I’ve worked with three schools so far,” said Cox, who currently works with Faith Academy Charter School. “We even made up a song. It goes ‘We work together, we work forever. We work hard, in the yard.’ The kids enjoy every moment of it.”

The garden clubs not only allow the children to become more health conscious, but also curious about the food they eat, Cox said.

“When they see lettuce growing, they’re like, ‘Can we eat it? Can we try it?’ ” said Cox. “Exposing children to stuff like that tells them that they can be aware of it, find it in the grocery store or grow it themselves, maybe even have it for lunch or dinner.”

Now, Cox is building a brand, “Ag with Mrs. Cox,” that centers on project-based learning and hands-on experiences.

“I think it’s important, since we’re in a predominantly agricultural state, to ask, ‘Why isn’t agriculture being taught in our elementary schools?’ ” said Cox. “The agriculture they are taught is only about the seed, how that seed turns into a seedling and sprouts into a flower. I feel that if you can spark their interest now, you will be surprised by what inventions or cures they come up with later.”

“Ag with Mrs. Cox” includes a website, an Instagram page (@agwithmrscox) and a line of children’s books written and illustrated by Cox in 2021.

“Ready to Plant” is one of Cox’s books, which are self-published.

“The first book was written during COVID while everything was shut down,” said Cox. “This was when I had my first son and I would read him stories. I joined the Dolly Parton Imagination Library and would get a book every month, and I could see how simple these books were. I even had one with no words in it. I thought, ‘Wow, this is crazy. I could write one, too.’ So I started writing books and I just couldn’t stop.”

So far, she has published six children’s books, including Night Night: A bedtime story for the little ones; a story about a baby bird with a messy nest (Baby bird, Baby bird, your nest is a Mess!) and a picture booklet on planting seeds (Ready to Plant).

“I just loved every second of it, during the pandemic,” said Cox. “I was getting my bachelor’s online, writing children’s books, and making my agriculture videos.”

At the same time she was building her brand, Cox was pursuing her agricultural education degree at N.C. A&T. She enrolled in 2019, graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Spring 2022 and is currently pursuing her master’s degree.

“I love A&T,” said Cox. “Dr. Chasity English, Dr. Antoine Alston and Dr. Chantel Simpson have helped me tremendously. They tell me all the time to feed the spark that I’m trying to ignite in these children.

“I want to be the next Ms. Frizzle, with agriculture shows for children. There are television shows about animals, why can’t we make shows about fruits and vegetables? We can  teach kids to have these experiences and be health conscious? That’s my main goal.”

For more information on Ag with Mrs. Cox, go to agwithmrscox.com or on Instagram @agwithmrscox.