The National FFA Foundation has partnered with the National Association of Agricultural Educators (NAAE) to provide teachers with a week-long lesson focused on agriculture conservation practices with support from Midwest Row Crop Collaborative (MRCC) members. These agricultural education instructional materials and programmatic deployment comes after a larger marketing campaign in grocery stores focused on connecting consumer purchases to the support of farmers and agricultural education.
These instructional materials focus on teaching the concept: “Conservation practices can contribute towards enhanced sustainability without reducing yield by enhancing the efficiency of inputs and reducing or making use of outflows.”
As you look for ways to enhance your curriculum, you will find that these instructional materials are a natural addition to many agricultural education courses including, but not limited to, plant science, soil science, crop science, natural resources and ecology, environmental science, and others. Many teachers have already used these exercises in their classrooms with great results.
“My students are now engaged in the concepts of sustainability,” said Jacob Hunter, agriculture teacher at North Scott High School, Iowa. “As a teacher of mostly non-traditional agriculture students, this was a way for me to help them understand that farmers take actions to protect the environment and that there is a science behind their decisions. Additionally, my students organically drew connections to the Dust Bowl. The lesson also encouraged them to think about where our soil leaves us in our county.”
Each exercise allows students the opportunity to collaborate with their peers, think critically, and problem-solve as they research and learn about the importance of conservation and sustainability.
“The students really enjoyed this lesson,” said Toni Gabriel, agriculture teacher at Genoa-Kingston High School, Illinois. “I tied it in to my soils unit and it was a great fit. The lesson allowed us to have a great conversation about fertilization. It also helped my students understand the importance of the 4 R's.”
Interested in learning more about these great instructional materials? Visit NAAE’s Communities of Practice website at this link for more information and to access these free resources today!