Promoting Agriculture and Farming
Too often the only thing the general public hears about agriculture is negative. The opponents to commercial agriculture often have snazzy videos, colorful brochures and a fast talker to spread their message. Here are two well-done videos that can be shared with any audience on the importance of modern agricultural practices. If your school blocks YouTube, use mediaconverter.org to put them in a format your system will allow.
Enlist Farmer Support
to Apply for $2,500 Donation for Your Chapter
In partnership with the Monsanto Fund, a locally focused initiative called America's Farmers Grow Communities has been created, giving farmers the opportunity to receive $2,500 that is donated in their name to their favorite community non-profit organization. Results have been tremendous; FFA chapters received almost $98,000 in the first pilot. The national launch began Aug. 31 and the program is expanding to include 38 states and 1,201 counties across the country. Farmers, age 21 and older, who actively farm a minimum of 250 acres of corn, soybeans, cotton and/or vegetables in the qualifying counties, are eligible. For every farmer who signs up, $1 will be donated to the United Way on behalf of the Monsanto Fund. The application process is simple: just visit www.growcommunities.com and fill out a short form by Dec. 31 or call 877-267-3332.
One Less Thing—Impact of Agriculture Worksheet
The instructional materials company, created by an ag teacher, will be posting each Friday a free worksheet (with an answer key) on an impact of agriculture topic. Just download it and have your students access the Internet to find the answers. It is available as a PDF or Word document in case you want to change it to suit your needs. Use it as an interest approach, a class assignment, substitute work or as extra credit homework. Whichever way works for you, we hope that it helps to make your week a little easier. Go to the impact ag worksheet on our www.idpix.net website to download. For comments and additional ideas about what will be a helpful resource for teaching, contact:
One Less Thing
The Archimedes Initiative
A free resource is available for everyone associated with science fairs, especially students getting started with their projects. It can be used in the classroom, at a workshop, but especially by students anywhere!
In the videos are students talking to students...
- Why should I do a project?
- How do I choose my project?
- How do I design my experiments, collect and analyze data, come to conclusions?
- How do I deal with judges?
- What do I do when I run into a problem?
- What’s it like working in a team?
SoilWeb for Smart Phones
The UC Davis Soil Resource Laboratory has developed a smart phone application that performs location-based queries from GPS-enabled cell phones. Although soil information is on the Internet, it may not be convenient to bring a computer out to the field. Using its online soil survey, the SoilWeb application allows users to identify soils and access soil survey data from any place in the United States that has cell phone coverage in the 48 contiguous states. They designed SoilWeb for a wide range of users, from scientists to home gardeners. The application is available for free for iPhone and Android OS platforms. Check out the Soilweb app.