Usually the articles in this series focus on program for high school or college students planning on an ag related career. But this time a program is featured that is made up of seven lessons that will introduce students to new technologies and varied careers involved in producing and harvesting grain crops. The program is a joint effort of National Agriculture in the Classroom Organization (NAITCO), U.S. Custom Harvesters (USCHI), New Holland and ConjoStudios LLC.
"We feel it's important for students to understand what it takes to place a loaf of bread on their families' tables," said Lorri Brenneman, immediate past president of NAITCO, who is in charge of the project for the organization. "In addition, we want to introduce students to careers in the grain harvesting industry of which they might not be aware otherwise."
The other partners in the program, such as U.S. Custom Harvesters and New Holland, feel it is important that a steady workforce is available for not only grain production, but also to move the products from the field to the processing plant and ultimately to the grocery store and then the dinner table.
"A lot of different skills and jobs are needed to deliver grain products to families across the country and the world," said Mark Anderson, USCHI treasurer and education committee chairperson. "Developing these lessons and tying them to videos showing these workers in action gives students a front row seat to the different careers involved in the wheat and grain harvesting industry."
"These young men and women are the future of our industry and we understand the importance of investing in the future," said Chun Woytera, senior director of marketing with New Holland Agriculture. "We couldn't be more proud to do our part in helping to educate these students on where their food comes from today, and prepare them for what the world of agriculture might look like when they are raising families of their own. With inspiration and strong will, some of them may join New Holland someday and lead the industry forward."
The seven lessons are at www.agclassroom.org/teacher/themes.htm and the topics are:
"Little Red Hen's Harvest"-Kindergarten through second grade students learn about the different jobs involved in producing a loaf of bread.
"Enjoying the Harvest" - Third through fifth grade students read about the history and science of wheat and learn why wheat varieties are bred for different growing conditions.
"Timing is Everything: The Crop Depends on the Weather" - Middle school students play a game to determine how much wheat a section of land will yield based on a series of setbacks caused by weather, insects and other environmental factors.
"Helping the Little Red Hen: Careers about Wheat Production" - Middle and high school students learn about careers involved in wheat production, identify careers in which they're interested and research to learn more about those careers.
"Who Will Help Me Harvest the Wheat? Combines and Careers in Ag Mechanics" - Middle and high school students read about the development and operation of a combine harvester, and learn about careers in agricultural mechanics.
"Government Work: Agricultural Research, Education, Extension & Farm Support" - Middle and high school students read about the history of government policy and legislation related to wheat research, education, extension and farm support and debate the role of government in these areas.
"Sensors & Satellites: Careers & Technology in Agriculture" - Middle and high school students discuss modern applications of electronics and sensors in wheat production and harvest, conduct an experiment to find infrared light and interpret satellite images as applied to farming.