My American Farm

My American Farm

Young students learning about agriculture Young students learning about agriculture

April 1, 2016

NASHVILLE, Tenn (RFD-TV) The agriculture industry has a voice on hand at this week’s National Science Teachers Association conference in Nashville, TN. Julie Tesch, Executive Director of the American Farm Bureau Foundation for Agriculture joined us in the Roy Rogers Studio to discuss her mission.

Janet A.: “Why the science teacher’s conference? Seems like most folks wouldn’t think of that.”

Julie T.: “It’s outside the box a little bit, and that is fully intentional. We always speak to the choir in agriculture, and this is the time where we’re getting outside of the choir and we’re speaking to the science teachers. We’re used to speaking to the agriculture teachers; agriculture is an applied science. Science teachers should be teaching agriculture.”

Janet A.: “The conference actually kicked off yesterday, but you were here in town over the weekend, and you guys did a little bit more than just sit at the conference.”

Julie T.: “We did! Thanks to the Beef Checkoff we were able to bring in 20 urban – so we’re talking New York City, L.A., Chicago – science curriculum coordinators and got to give them a hands-on experience on farms and ranches in Tennessee. Tennessee Farm Bureau helped us with that. They got to learn about genetics, they were able to learn about meat science – learn how to properly cook meat – but then also just learn about how wonderful farmers and ranchers are and what a tight-knit community they are as well.”

Janet A.: “And what was the feedback from the teachers that had the chance to participate?”

Julie T.: “The feedback was absolutely wonderful. We had a couple of them actually in tears during their testimony because they had no clue what a strong, tight-knit community we are in agriculture, and how profound of an impact we have – and that actually the information they hear in the media is wrong. They fully expected to have their misconceptions validated while they were here, and they were completely turned around and now they are champions for agriculture.”

Janet A.: “That’s a marvelous story; we love to hear that! Now, you’re taking this on here this week in Tennessee, but you spend a lot of time traveling the country to work various events. Talk about some of the activities – and I know you even talk to young people as well.”

Julie T.: “Absolutely! Our real focus is on that K–6 age range, and then working with the teachers and coordinators as well – as well as our Farm Bureau members. We‘re out there trying to tell the accurate story of agriculture. That could be anything from going to the Children’s Museum Conference that we’re going to in Connecticut in a few weeks, to going to the national FFA convention. We’re really trying to work with FFA members and 4-H members to help tell this story of agriculture in a fun way.”

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