Touring farms teaches children the importance of agriculture

Agriculture is an industry that is often taken for granted.  When we sit down for a home cooked meal, we don’t always think of the farmer who planted the food we have prepared, or the grocer who purchased from the farmer.  Instead, we commonly focus on the taste and the fellowship with family.

There is a phrase that goes “you sometimes don’t appreciate something until it’s gone,” which sums up the magnitude of the threat the Florida citrus industry currently faces with the greening disease.  When agriculture is brought front and center, we pay closer attention.  But groups like the Florida Future Farmers of America (FFA) are working to change that.  Established in 1929, the FFA has been advocating to teach children about agriculture beginning at a young age.

Since its founding, the FFA has been bringing agriculture into the classroom, but over the past decade or more, we’ve seen value in taking students out of the classroom and onto the farm.  Touring a farm shows students agriculture in action.  The experience introduces them to what’s behind-the-scenes of their dinnertime meal.  It also introduces them to career opportunities they may not have otherwise even considered.

There are over 47,000 farms in the state of Florida, which means an incredible learning experience is pretty much right around every corner.  To learn about local opportunities, visit


column by MIKE MARTIN

BIO: Michael Martin of Martin Law Office in Lakeland specializes in agriculture and environmental legal representation. A native of Polk County, Mike attended college at Sewanee in Tennessee, before obtaining a doctorate in law from the University of Florida and has tried numerous cases nationwide since that time. Mike also serves as the director of the FFA Foundation and is the author of the novel, The Crestfallen Rose.