The U.S. Farmers and Ranchers Alliance has a couple of new initiatives underway to reach out and connect with consumers and young people. One of those is an educational effort for high school students, according to USFRA chairwoman Nancy Kavazanjian from Wisconsin.
“We took our very popular documentary Farmland film and we’re working with Discovery Education, which is the leading provider of digital materials to schools in the country. We have four interactive lesson plans aimed at the high school level.”
DiscoveringFarmland.com is the website where you can see the 4 lesson plans and work to get them into your local schools. USFRA has also launched an aggressive campaign to get the lessons into the nation’s urban schools.
“We will actively be working with Discovery Education over the next few months to it into those urban areas that we as farmers and ranchers don’t reach. Discovery Education reaches half of all the public schools in the United States, some 3 million schools, 38 million students. We’re going to rely on them to get us to those urban areas that are so important.”
Kavazanjian told HAT there are two science and two social studies lesson plans and they address the issues now confronting agriculture.
“Why we use GMO’s, why we use antibiotics, what role does hormones play on our farm, how we care in animal welfare and crop inputs, and why we use the modern technology we do to make us more sustainable. We also have social studies lessons that talk about how marketing influences food decisions, so we’re going to cover all those tough lessons.”
USFRA has also released a new “Day on a Farm” online video series to show consumers more about where their food comes from. The series was created along with the online kitchen and home destination Food52. All four videos are now live on USFRA’s FoodDialogues.com website and Food52’s YouTube channel.
“More than ever, people are interested in learning how their food is grown and raised, but most don’t have an opportunity to hear directly from farmers and ranchers or to see food production in action,” said USFRA CEO Randy Krotz. “America’s farms and ranches are as diverse as the consumers who eat their food – and our goal is to show a variety of farming and ranching practices and the people at the forefront of these practices. USFRA is excited to partner with the Food52 community to bring food production to life.”
The video series highlights farmers and ranchers who share stories about how they personally manage common food production practices like antibiotics, GMOs, sustainability, and animal welfare while growing and raising food. The videos add to the library of educational resources that USFRA launched in 2014, entitled How To Farm.
“At Food52 we’re focused on inspiring the cook in everyone, and partnering with USFRA gives us the opportunity to share with our community so much about the food they eat, where it comes from and how it is grown,” said Food52 CEO and co-founder Amanda Hesser.