American farmers’ average age reported by United States Department of Agriculture is 57 years. Moreover, farming population all over the world is diminishing. Thus, it is a crucial moment for youth to realize the importance of agriculture and become involved in all aspects of the food system in a sustainable manner. Our proposed project of Sustainable AG Day will increase awareness among middle school students about sustainable agricultural practices through hands-on project activities. Future pioneers in the sustainable agricultural industry can be inspired through events like Sustainable AG Day, which in turn will help in increasing awareness in the communities.
- Educate middle school students about sustainable agricultural practices through hands-on project activity at an educational campus facility.
- Increase awareness among middle school students about sustainable farming practices, soil health, beneficial insects, benefits of native pollinators, specialty crop production, aquaponics, high tunnels, greenhouses, precision agriculture, and marketing of produce.
- Promote and excite middle school students about careers in sustainable agricultural industry in a sustainable manner.
- Disseminate materials in the form of pamphlets/brochures/power points/educational materials, and web links, to project participants to share with their families, thereby increasing awareness about sustainable agriculture practices in the communities.
Educational & Outreach Activities
We at Dakota College at Bottineau (DCB) have sat down with our agriculture and horticulture instructors/advisers to start the preliminary planning for our sustainable agriculture and education day. As stated in the project proposal we plan to have multiple sessions for the middle school students to attend led by agriculture leaders and producers involved in sustainable agriculture. After discussing and deliberating, we have decided to change the date to host this event from what was stated in the original grant proposal. Our plan was to host this event in May of 2020. It was decided that to have this event during the month of May will be too big of a strain on our agricultural leaders and producer session presenters. May is a very busy month in North Dakota for agriculture and we fear it will limit the amount and diversity of presenters available to attend our event. We have now decided to host the event during the middle of September 2020. This will allow teachers enough time to settle in at the beginning of the school year to utilize the curriculum we will supply beforehand and to attend the sustainable agriculture and education day. September will still be early enough in the fall to have suitable weather for this outdoor event and so that our producer session leaders will not be in full swing of harvest. This will allow us the best possible chance to identify and invite a diverse group of leaders and producers from our area in sustainable agriculture, while still completing the project within the scope of our grant period which ends February 2021.
At this time we are in the progress of identifying and confirming the attendance of our session instructors. Once this is complete we will begin to create the curriculum that will be sent out to the middle schools before and after our education day.