Teachable moments: Renville County Growers show students the lifecycle of soybeans

Renville County Corn and Soybean Growers spent two days in third grade classrooms teaching students about the lifecycle of soybeans. Working with Minnesota Ag in the Classroom, the growers provided a science project and ag-related books to the students. The materials were funded by the Minnesota Soybean Research & Promotion Council.

The excited students spent time putting together a living necklace, starting with a wet cotton ball in a baggy where they then had soybean seeds placed in. Finally, a string was attached to the bag for the students to wear.

“I thought it went very well,” board member Connie Mulder said. “I appreciate the opportunity we got from the Council to have that much exposure with that many kids about our message. All the teachers were gracious and gave positive feedback about the project. I hope that the kids take our message home to their parents and let them share in the growth experience.”

The students then learned how their body heat, the wet cotton ball and sun help the seeds grow in the early stages. After all of the students were able to create their living necklace, they listened to a story called “My Families Soybean Farm.” The story followed a young boy telling the reader about the growth life cycle of soybeans and what soybeans are used for.

The list of books donated by the Board included: “Auntie Yang’s Great Soy Picnic”, “Full of Beans: Henry Ford Grows a Car”, “Pod to Plate: The Life Cycle of Soybeans” along with five Amanda Radke books: “BEEF Strong”, “The Soil Quilt”, “A Home Run for Peanuts”, “Levi’s Lost Calf” and “Can-Do Cowkids” to the classrooms of the students.

At the end of the session students asked the board members: Mulder, Nathan Serbus, Carlton Gustafson, Rob Zink, Nick Daughesty, Jason Schanil and Doug Toreen a wide variety of questions, as well as sharing their own farm stories to wrap up the excitement. Check out the Renville County Corn and Soybean Growers Facebook page to learn more about what the county is doing.

To learn more about Ag in the Classroom, visit minnesota.agclassroom.org/.

Follow The Conversation