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The top resources for online farm-related learning opportunities

Farmers and agricultural organizations around the country are stepping up to help young people with at-home online learning

 

While we try to adjust and get used to this new “normal” — kids at home, parents lending their work computers so students can do homework, social distancing, etc. — we are always on the look out for helpful farm-related resources for students and parents alike. We have gathered a list of online agriculture options to aid students in their journey for continuous learning, even when school is closed.

The resources below cover everything from nutrition, STEM, general agriculture, dairy, farming, ranching, and so much more! 

Beef 

  • Missouri Beef — Beef Education in the Classroom has everything from activity books, coloring books, beef toolkit, and so much more. 
  • National Ag in the Classroom (Beef) — Students will explain the importance of the beef cattle industry, including the products cattle produce, the production process from farm to plate, and how cattle can utilize and obtain energy from grass and other forage.
  • Beef It’s What’s for Dinner — Take a virtual reality tour of farms and ranches across the United States to see how America’s beef farmers and ranchers raise cattle to produce high-quality beef.

Corn & Soybeans

  • Corn in the Classroom — Informing students on agriculture allows the next generation to better understand how today’s food, fiber, and fuel is produced.

  • Missouri Corn Activity Book — This activity book includes corn facts, geography, corn maze, coloring page, word search, and more! 
  • Missouri Soybean Activity Book — Simon the Soybean is filling his truck with biodiesel, a product made from soybeans! Students will be able to learn more about the many things made from soy.

Dairy  

  • American Dairy Association North East —  In a weekly video series with Farmer Katie and her cow, Snickerdoodle, she will teach kids about caring for calves, cow car, cow nutrition, and milking. 

  • Virtual Dairy Farm Tours — Last year, the American Dairy Association North East hosted virtual farm tours for students to watch in their classrooms, and those videos have now been made publicly available online. These videos are even divided between grade levels for a more depth look at the dairy farms. 
  • Midwest Dairy — Curriculum for elementary and middle school that includes STEM concepts and shows students where milk comes from and how dairy contributes to our world. They have a long list including dairy acitivies, dairy lesson plans, and so much more. 
  • Pennsylvania Dairymen’s Association — The Pennsylvania Dairymen’s Association, launched a new “Family Resources” addition to their popular dairy-themed website for all ages to enjoy from the comfort of their homes.
  • Undeniably Dairy — The National Dairy Council brings students the option to learn from home with STEM curriculum, virtual farm tours, and virtual experiences. 

Pork

  • Pork Checkoff — The National Pork Board has compiled a one-stop resource for a number of pork resources for youth. These fun, interactive resources are categorized by audience.
  • Pork Check Off (Youth & Education) — The Pork Checkoff also has a website for youth covering swine science, Skillathon & Quiz Bowl, youth production resources, show pigs, and occupational profiles.

Poultry 

  • US Poultry — On this website, US Poultry covers topics covering agriculture, eggs, family & consume sciences, food safety, and poultry.
  • Indiana Poultry — Here are some fun activities and experiments to try at home or in class to learn all about poultry. 

STEM

  • Kansas Corn STEM — These free resources can be found in the lesson library and can be used online or printed for use in packets for off-line learning. The Kansas Corn STEM continuous learning lessons help students learn about science and agriculture using tools like virtual breakout box activities, videos, and at-home experiments that can be done with household items.

  • On the Farm STEM — The On the Farm program features free lessons, activities, online learning tools, and enriching professional development events.

Wheat

  • Wheat World — Resources include wheat research, wheat production, wheat facts, and wheat industry for online learning. 
  • Ag in the Classroom (Wheat) — This website includes everything from curriculum involving wheat, books to read, and so much more. 

Miscellaneous 

  • Nourish the Future — The curriculum covers topics like Biotechnology, Energy and Ethanol, Plant Anatomy and Growth Stages, Soil Science and Sustainability, and the Role of Clean Water in a Healthy Ecosystem. 
  • Sure Champ Classroom Resources — This resource includes activities for cattle, pigs, sheep/goats, basic nutrition, lifestyle, CDE help and much more! 
  • National Ag in the Classroom — Great resource for students and parents including state ag facts, ag smarts, career seeker, ag today, games, and virtual tours. 
  • Government by the People — Students will explain the roles of public boards in their community that make decisions impacting their community and agriculture. Students will participate as board members when they are eligible.
  • Choose My Plate — This nutritional resource helps students better understand food group targets and staying healthy in a time like this. 
  • Beyond the Barn Door — Beyond the Barn Door is put on by the Illinois Agriculture in the Classroom page. This page contains video links as well as references to a look at agriculture all around you. 
  • My American Farm — My American Farm is a place for young learners to explore and discover our food, fiber and energy with free games and educational resources.
  • National FFA Organization — The National FFA Organization has a resource for students that include virtual tours and exciting lesson plans.

Be sure to book mark this resource as we will be adding to it when new resources become available. Do you know of a helpful resource that should be on here that we missed? Please email [email protected] for any additional sites that should be added. 

Read hire

Farms and agribusinesses are hiring amid COVID-19

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, the agriculture and agribusiness industries are hiring. While many businesses are forced to close (and millions upon millions of Americans are applying for unemployment benefits), the food supply chain needs to keep up with demand to feed the world. There is high demand among AgHires clients and the industry to specifically hire skilled labor, sales, and management roles for both seasonal and full-time positions. Whether on farms, in crop nutrient companies, or in food production, there are new opportunities available.

Farms in much of the country are in planting season now. This is one of the two busiest seasons for ag — the other, of course, being harvest. The entire agriculture industry has increased needs for employees as farmers are busy getting crops in the field and agribusinesses are supporting those efforts by providing crop nutrients, seed, ag technology and equipment repairs.

Agriculture has experienced a tight labor market for several years and farms, along with agribusinesses, are looking to hire top talent for full-time positions. This is an opportunity to join a company where you can see the impact of your efforts and in most cases work directly for family-owned operations. Common positions needed on farms include heavy equipment mechanics, equipment operators, field operations managers and production managers. Agribusinesses are hiring for territory sales roles, ag technicians, engineers, and location managers. We are also seeing a need for seasonal truck drivers for farms to move crops and at ag retailers to deliver crop nutrients to the farms.

Candidates with military backgrounds align well with agriculture as they bring the need for problem solving. Other industries that align well with agriculture include construction and manufacturing, specifically engineers and production managers can easily transition.

“There really is no better work culture than agriculture. We care about our employees, we pride ourselves on feeding the world, and the work you do each day impacts others. Our industry offers a stable work environment as the demand for food continues to increase as the population grows,” said Lori Culler, Owner and Founder of AgHires.

On AgHires.com there are over 7,000 job opportunities available across the industry. We invite job seekers to join a powerhouse industry as agriculture, food, and related industries contribute over one trillion to the U.S. gross domestic product. Agriculture and its food sectors account for more than 22 million full and part-time jobs in the US according to 2018 U.S. Department of Commerce. As the world population continues to increase, we need to work together to increase agriculture production by 70%, therefore jobs in agriculture across the world will be demand for years to come.

Read funding

Ag groups unite to advocate for conservation funding support

Today, 76 leading farm, conservation, and wildlife groups delivered a letter to Congress requesting full funding for conservation programs and technical assistance in fiscal year 2021 appropriations.

In the letter, the National Association of Conservation Districts, National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition, National Farmers Union, National Wildlife Federation, and other signatories called upon House and Senate appropriators to maintain discretionary United States Department of Agriculture conservation funding and reject any cuts to farm bill conservation programs through the FY21 appropriations process.

Farm Bill conservation programs, including the Conservation Reserve Program, Conservation Stewardship Program, Environmental Quality Incentives Program, Regional Conservation Partnership Program, and Agricultural Conservation Easement Program, play a vital role in helping farmers, ranchers and landowners keep their lands sustainable and profitable for generations to come. The letter asks lawmakers to maintain the funding for these programs mandated by the 2018 Farm Bill and urges appropriators to fund the Natural Resources Conservation Service’s Conservation Operations account at $840 million, a $10 million increase from FY20. This money facilitates NRCS operations outside of the mandatory farm bill programs.

“Voluntary, incentive-based, locally-led conservation delivery is crucial to responsible management and conservation of the nation’s natural resources,” NACD President Tim Palmer said. “These conservation programs help put more boots on the ground in local communities, where they’re best equipped to make knowledgeable decisions in cooperation with landowners for their individual landscapes.”

“As climate change presents significant financial and environmental challenges for family farmers and ranchers, farm bill conservation programs provide ever-critical support for on-farm mitigation and adaption efforts,” NFU President Rob Larew said. “For these essential programs to operate at full capacity, they must have adequate resources and staff behind them. We urge appropriators to ensure farmers have access to services and assistance they need by providing ample funding for the coming fiscal year.”

“America’s farmers and agricultural producers have a leading role to play in restoring habitat and strengthening conservation outcomes,” NWF Director of Agriculture Policy Aviva Glaser said. “Now is the time for policymakers to redouble our commitments to agricultural conservation programs to help farmers reeling from the recent trade war and the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak.”

NACD, NSAC, NFU and NWF stand united with the more than 70 co-signed organizations in urging appropriators to protect funding for critical conservation programs and technical assistance in FY 2021.

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