The Future is Now: Sustainable Agriculture
Summer is in full swing. While we savor the warm rays and long evenings it will be back-to-school before we know it. Teachers often spend their summer months gearing up for the new school year. Now is the perfect time to reach out to educators in your communities and share these amazing resources.
American Farm Bureau Foundation for Agriculture has developed lesson plans for high school students on sustainability. The lesson plans are free and on their website under “Resources.” They include easy to use PDF files and PowerPoint presentations.
Each lesson has two parts, with the first part being an in-class plan for teachers. The second part is an on-line follow up for students. Lessons also site National Learning Standards and describe intended grade level, lesson length and learning objectives. Another helpful tool for teachers is a list of materials needed for the lesson plan and steps that teachers need to complete in preparation. Suggestions for small changes make each lesson plan useful for not only agriculturally related classrooms, but great for teaching STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) to students.
One example of the lesson plans offered is titled, “Feeding the Planet”. This presentation describes how agriculture will feed the world in the near future. Areas of emphasis include the challenges facing our industry. Challenges such as the need to increase production to feed and clothe a population that will balloon to an estimated 9 billion people. Most of the increase in population will be in developing countries and those countries are ill prepared for a changing world. Plus, water resources are shrinking due to urban use increasing. Can Ag meet this challenge? The answer is, yes, with science and international cooperation.
Students then learn about how policy decisions made by society will make a big impact on food production. In order to feed the world it is clear that farmers and ranchers will have an increased reliance on technology so governments must create a policy environment that gives incentives to innovation.
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