MSR&PC, USFRA partnership aims to bring modern ag into classrooms
The Minnesota Soybean Research & Promotion Council (MSR&PC) and U.S Farmers and Ranchers Alliance (USFRA) recently teamed up to provide an opportunity for high school educators to get a firsthand look at modern agriculture.
The Teacher Awareness Program gave high school educators in both Minnesota and California an opportunity to attend a day of learning designed to raise awareness of today’s agricultural practices and provide classrooms with tools and materials available through the Discovering FARMLAND program.
This past Tuesday, 15 educators participated in the Minnesota program by visiting Wolf Creek Dairy near Dundas, Minn. The educators were given an in-depth tour of the facility, along with a firsthand look at the milking process and livestock care practices. Later in the day, the educators participated in classroom type training, focusing on technology and sustainability practices. The educators also learned how to incorporate the Discovering FARMLAND curriculum into their classrooms.
Today, nearly 30 Sacramento, Calif., area educators are participating in a similar program. The educators toured the University of California-Davis Russell Ranch and Bayer Research facilities before participating in the same classroom type training.
MSR&PC and United Soybean Board (USB) Director Rochelle Krusemark and Minnesota Soybean Growers Association (MSGA) Vice President Jamie Beyer participated in the program.
“I was encouraged by the conversations we had with the educators,” Krusemark said. “They were enjoyed learning of credible resources to utilize in their classrooms that do not display an illusion or fear, but use peer-reviewed scientific research. I’m excited to continue cultivating these relationships. Many of them have already extended invitations for farmers to visit their classrooms.”
Beyer, who also attended the Minnesota and California program, says this program helped connect farmers to those in the classroom, teaching the next generation.
“When urban educators or their students have questions about agriculture, they may not know who to turn to for answers,” Beyer said. “Making these connections gives them a helpline for those tough questions. My advice was this, ‘Don’t ask Google, ask a farmer.'”
Educators participating in the program also gained training on how to integrate agriculture into lesson plans, use virtual field trips, digital exploration and additional activities in their classrooms. Educators also received CEU credits for attending the program.
U.S. Farmers & Ranchers Alliance (USFRA) consists of more than 100 farmer and rancher led organizations and agricultural partners representing virtually all aspects of agriculture, working to engage in dialogue with consumers who have questions about how today’s food is grown and raised. USFRA is committed to continuous improvement and supporting U.S. farmers & ranchers’ efforts to increase confidence and trust in today’s agriculture.