Really, YOU!! Teach someone about agriculture! You are the expert! You know your subject matter, and there are plenty of folks that you can help teach about what it really means to farm out there!
At Agriculture in the Classroom, we concentrate our efforts on teaching teachers, and providing classroom visits to students. Both make an impact, getting an expert in front of a group of students is very powerful, but providing the teacher with additional training and follow up material helps multiply the effort.
You don’t have to wait for an opportunity this fall, take a moment this week in your local community. Have you ever overheard someone telling a mistruth in the line at the grocery store? Or at a ballgame? Help preserve that ‘teachable moment’ for adults and youth. You are the expert, if you encounter someone that isn’t telling the truth, ask them why they think that, and then provide your side of the story.
Throughout the summer, Illinois AITC with the generous support of our Commodity Organizations, have been engaging teachers in our annual Summer Agricultural Institutes at the county level. Many farmers have stepped up to the plate to provide ‘the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth’ about their program.
Questions such as ‘Why do you use GMO seeds?’ and ‘How do you pay for that expensive equipment?’ have been answered by the folks that know the answers they best. The local farmer. It really does make an impact when a teacher finds someone from their area that they might see in the grocery store or at a ball game that can answer a questions truthfully and honestly.
At a recent gathering, I had the opportunity to urge the teachers and the farmer to discover a little more about each other. What the group was most shocked about was–there were ‘mis-truths’ about both education and agriculture that the other groups didn’t know were an issue.
During this time of the year, you sometimes see roadside stands of some sort offering fresh sweet corn for sale. Sometimes the stand is set up in front of a field of field corn. This continues the misconception that sweet corn is grown in many of our fields. You might just point out that all corn isn’t corn. It is that simple.
So….take a minute—listen and find out what the questions are that the general public has about agriculture and take time to fill them in. Take a minute to teach someone about agriculture. I dare you!
Illinois Agriculture in the Classroom