“The Checkoff’s focus in our charter is education, promotion and research,” says the CEO of Indiana Corn and Soybean, Courtney Kingery, and with education relegated to the home, for students and educators and even parents, Checkoff online teaching resources are proving timely and valuable.
The Indiana Corn Marketing Council (ICMC) in conjunction with the National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) and other state corn checkoff organizations have launched a website for virtual learning. It’s the community network Nourish the Future.
“Nourishthefuture.org contains virtual classroom work on things like plant breeding, plant science, energy,” she explained. “It’s got lesson plans and activities targeted really toward middle and high schoolers. So, if families, if teachers can visit Nourish the Future they will have access to all of those resources free of charge.”
If you’re familiar with the Glass Barn at the Indiana State Fairgrounds, Kingery says you might be interested in the activities at glassbarn.org.
“This is in conjunction with the Indiana Soybean Alliance and Indiana Corn Marketing Council to provide a variety of education materials. There are soybean-related teaching resources, corn-related resources, and all of that is on glassbarn.org under the educational resources section. Those again are all available free of charge to teachers, parents, educators looking to build out their library of resources.”
NCGA and ICMC believe agriculture can help engage students in the STEM subjects of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics. An ag-based curriculum in the science classroom will inspire students to solve real-world issues with practical solutions. In addition, reaching students with the Nourish the Future curriculum can help address the increasing job gap in agriculture-related careers.
“COVID-19 has brought all of us challenges that we didn’t anticipate, but it also gives us new opportunities that we haven’t had before,” said ICMC board member and NCGA Action Team Member Natasha Cox, who farms in Benton, Ind. “As a mother, I understand that education doesn’t end in the classroom. I’m very happy that ICMC and NCGA can bring these ag-based educational materials to families across Indiana. Programs that help families and the long-term future of farmers is our priority.”
One of Indiana Soybean Alliance’s peer checkoff organizations, Ohio Soybean Council, has similar virtual and classroom soybean resources through their Grow Next Gen initiative, and those can be accessed for free at www.grownextgen.org.
For more information on educational efforts of ISA and ICMC, contact Hannah Vorsilak, ISA and ICMC Marketing Operations and Leadership Director at firstname.lastname@example.org or 812-630-3991.