Anyone familiar with the Farm Bureau, or any of the satellite organizations working within communities, is no doubt aware of their advocacy for agriculture as a business and for the farmer, on the local, state, and national levels.
The Farm Bureau recognizes that in order to grow as an industry, we have to do more than advocate for ourselves — we have to recruit the next generation to come along behind us and continue the work.
For this reason, they have made a number of resources available through their Education and Outreach programs to help members of the community at large, and especially our youth, become more aware of the impact of agriculture on their lives.
The Florida Farm Bureau offers a wealth of materials and other opportunities for educators anywhere from pre-kindergarten to 12th grade who wish to incorporate agriculture into their classrooms. Florida Agriculture in the Classroom, a collaborative partner of the Florida Farm Bureau, has a library of hundreds of lessons, in every content area, which all connect back to the root theme of agriculture. Each lesson has its own resources available to download and includes all of the relevant content standards.
Not everything used for teaching ag concepts is a free download, but Florida Farm Bureau recognizes this. The Women’s Leadership Committee offers $250 mini-grants at the start of each school year, for any certified, classroom instructor who wants to incorporate agriculture concepts into their lessons.
Florida Farm Bureau also supports students in ag directly. Students in ag may compete in various student contests, often built around having a clear understanding of the many facets of agriculture. Additionally, multiple scholarship opportunities are available for students who are looking to pursue a degree in agriculture-related fields.
Lastly, they offer the Agriculture Education Services and Technology (or AEST) program to provide agriculture career certifications. With the AEST certifications, those students who wish to move into an ag-related career post-school have documentation of their skills in agricultural fields.
Neither a teacher nor a student? Any of these materials could be beneficial in a mentor relationship. The opportunities are out there.