I'd like to get some info on chapters that are doing Food for America programs. Please share your activities and how many students you engage with the program. Thanks.
Our chapter's Food For America program is found at http://naae.ca.uky.edu:8080/clearspace_community/docs/DOC-1923
Last year, it included 30 FFA members, and we reached nearly 300 third and fourth grade students. It was a one-day event, but this year we are looking to do monthly activities.
If you hadn't heard, the Food For America materials are now available at http://ffa.learn.com.
This was our second year doing Food for America. We use a lot of local business to help support our efforts. Farm Bureau donated the coloring books and Prairie Farms donated over 200 ice cream cups for the students. Orschelns donates the panels and a local Funeral Home donates the tents. All my students bring in snacks for the high school students to enjoy during the event. We also pair our Food for America with the University of Missouri Extension Food Power display this worked really well. I have attached our stations, schedule, and the evaluation I give all the teachers after the event. The elementary students really enjoy the day some even said "see you next year" as they were leaving. I think it is a great recruiting tool and benefits both the elementary students and the high school students.
We just finished our Food for America program this year. Here were the stations we tried this year:
Station 1: Plant Propagation
Students helped pot African Violets which had been rooting for a few weeks in water. We just did one pot per class and about 4 leaves in each pot. This was probably the least interesting to the students but the teachers really like getting to take a plant back to their class and will hopefully serve as a reminder about the day.
Station 2: Conservation Furs
The Missouri Department of Conservation has a mammals trunk full of furs and skulls. The high school students laid them out and helped the elementary students identify them as well told them interesting facts. We also have a few deer mounts and the high school students talked about the antler point restriction in Missouri.
Station 3: Tractor
We rebuild a tractor at Canton every year. The high school students went over a few tractor safety rules: NO PASSENGERS, and then we let each elementary student sit in the tractor seat and get their picture taken.
Station 4: Petting Zoo
The animals we had this year included: bunnies, goats, lambs, pigs, huskie puppies, corgi puppies, kittens, ducks, and chickens. My biggest advice with this is to have the high school students in charge of each animal and they need to know some interesting facts to share with the students. I have found the high school students kind of compete with the elementary students because they want to pet the puppies just as much as the 1st grader. I also suggest make sure students know the animals need to be farm animals I always have students asking if they can bring in their python or ferret. And my last piece of advice is make sure they are puppies one year a student brought their dog. This did not work because the dog wanted to be out running around all day you really need puppies who are content staying in a pen made out of straw bales.
Each station we allowed about 6 minutes with a minute in between each one to switch. This was pretty fast paced but it was good because the elementary students didn't get bored. After they had visited each of the four stations we sent them into the shop to get their hands washed.
Station 5: Classroom Presentation
The final stop for Food for America Program we bring the elementary students into the classroom and give them each a cup of ice cream donated from Prairie Farms Dairy. While the elementary students are enjoying ice cream the high school students give a presentation wrap up about what the students had learned and also tell them a little about our Agriculture Education program and the FFA.
The entire day takes 45 mintues for each class we had grades Early Childhood through 5th grade.
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