NCGA offers free “Nourish the Future” ag education program
The National Corn Growers Association is working with science teachers to offer more agriculture-focused lessons in classrooms.
Robyn Allscheid with NCGA tells Brownfield they gathered a group of 20 teachers from rural and urban areas across the country for a year long professional development program which the teachers used as a foundation in writing ag curriculum. She says they targeted middle and high school science, biology and environmental science teachers.
“We know that almost every student will take one of those classes throughout their studies and only about 5% enroll in an ag course. So that focus helps us get some ag topics to students who might not typically learn anything in school about how agriculture effects their lives.”
She says the “Nourish the Future” curriculum is free, available to everyone and offers a wide variety of topics.
“We have a unit on ethanol, talking about the importance of corn going into ethanol production and how that helps our air and improve sustainability. Some of them are more general about how farming works and how technologies like GPS and bio-technologies are helping farmers.”
Allscheid says the new education initiative is funded through their checkoff program.
“Our growers really want the public in general to understand modern farming and we know that we need a lot of talent to fill the technical jobs that our growers need for the future. We know that teachers are critical to helping achieve those goals, so we are really excited to support teacher through the checkoff so that they feel comfortable introducing ag topics in their classes.”
She says their teacher community continues to write new lessons and they are beginning to select a new group of teachers for 2021.