- Education and Training: youth education
The target audience will be grades K-12, however, adult community members will receive electronic newsletters, read the paper, and engage in activities with our FFA.
There will be 70 FFA members who will be planning, executing and evaluating this programming that they deliver to more than 300 K-12 graders in our school, more than 80 urban fifth graders at the Ohio State University Scarlet & Gray Ag Day and more than 100 adult educators at seminars and workshops.
The Advocating for Sustainable Agriculture in Grades K-12 project will empower 70 Ridgemont FFA members to link Common Core Academic Standards to Agricultural Concepts in tandem with The Ohio State University, Agricultural Engineering Department and many additional community and global partners. High quality lesson will be presented at farm tours, Agriculture In The Classroom demonstrations, Scarlet & Gray Ag Day, and Sustainable Agriculture Farm Day to narrow the gap between the rural and urban populations for their comprehension of sustainable agricultural practices. The FFA will coordinate the instruction of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) Environmental Education related to Ridgemont Schools (K-12) with teachers and students. Social media and Skype will be capitalized on to expand the audience. The FFA will extend the reach of the research through presentations at State and National Agricultural Education conferences. Utilize Skype Education to link with schools around the country and globe to learn more about science-based management of agricultural drainage. Skype will also be used for virtual field trips to link instantaneously with Sustainable Agriculturalist. The FFA will coordinate with Ridgemont’s Technology Club to create You Tube Video to share lessons developed by FFA members.
Ongoing - On a weekly basis we will post sustainable agriculture updates on the Ridgemont FFA’s Twitter, Facebook and school webpages. Skype with global leaders and other youth on Sustainable Agricultural practices with high school Agricultural Education and Science classes at least once a month. The FFA will coordinate with Ridgemont’s Technology Club to create You Tube Videos to share lessons developed by FFA members.
December 2012 – Host a news conference with The Ohio State University Ag Engineering Department to highlight the grant we received: An Integrated Approach to Foster Science-Based Management of Agricultural Drainage Channels in the Western Lake Erie Basin. Educational outreach is the key of this grant and this Youth Education Grant will be leveraged to add velocity as well as a new component of curriculum writing on Sustainable Agriculture.
January 2013 – Ridgemont FFA members will host a Sustainable Agriculture Stakeholder meeting to engage all partners with a common vision.
February 2013 –Begin working with academic teachers to align standards in their curriculum to sustainable agricultural topics and link agricultural resources to strengthen their valid instruction materials. Link all lessons that will be taught with Sustainable Agriculture Resources and Programs for K-12 Youth.
March 2013 – FFA members deliver Ag In The Classroom Lessons regarding sustainable agricultural topics.
April 2013 – FFA members deliver Ag In The Classroom Lessons regarding sustainable agricultural topics.
May 2013 – FFA members teach sustainable agricultural practices at The Ohio State University Scarlet & Gray Ag Day.
June 2013 – Present sustainable agricultural lessons created in this grant at the Ohio Association of Agricultural Educators Conference.
July 2013 – FFA members tour sustainable agriculture sites to gain first hand knowledge.
August 2013 – At the Hardin County Fair FFA members deliver lessons regarding sustainable agricultural topics.
September 2013 – FFA members tour sustainable agriculture sites to gain first hand knowledge.
October 2013 – On a Dairy Farm, FFA members present a Food For America Program that details sustainable agricultural practices related to third grade standards and STEM. FFA members tour sustainable agriculture sites to gain first hand knowledge.
November 2013 – FFA members present to civic groups in the community regarding their SARE project.
December 2013 – FFA members tour sustainable agriculture sites to gain first hand knowledge.
January 2014 – FFA members present to civic groups in the community regarding their SARE project.
February 2014 – FFA members present to civic groups in the community regarding their SARE project.
March 2014 – Host a Sustainable Agriculture Farm Day for K-8 youth to gain first hand experiences with the relevance and rigor of STEM Common Core Curriculum related to agriculture. Present sustainable agricultural lessons created in this grant at the National Youth Leadership Conference.
Specific practices learned
At lessons detailed above, FFA members will address the following Sustainable Agricultural Topics: IPM, Soil Erosion Control, Nutrient Management, Value-Added Marketing, Beneficial Insects, Poultry, Small-Scale Livestock Production and Organic Agriculture. The Ridgemont FFA has a strong tradition of agricultural excellence in Ohio and across the nation. Annually students work with their community to identify needs and then strategize with commodity and international organizations to design and implement innovative activities. These activities have propelled the FFA to win the title of the #1 FFA Chapter in Ohio and the #1 FFA in the Nation in the area of Chapter Innovation. We have leveraged partnerships with business and service organizations to assist in our student initiatives. Our business partnerships have exploded in their support and respond to our needs on our beck and call. Students, administration, and the community expect the FFA do conduct creative, innovative agricultural programming and younger students understand that will be the expectation on their role. Our school board and superintendent have made a formal pledge of support for agricultural integration through service-learning activities district wide. The school board has pledged in-kind support to meet the goals of this program.
Educate 80 high school students on STEM Common Core indicators tied to sustainable agriculture. Empower these students to teach more than 2 hours each at the elementary and junior high buildings to education others about sustainability within agriculture. These youth will speak to three organizations in the community to educate the community about recycling and it’s applications to daily life. Throughout this project, tally the total hours of service and aim for more than 500 hours of service, which is equivalent to $10,675 of service back to the community (this calculation is based upon Independent Sector – www.independentsector.org). This would yield a $5.34 return per dollar of money granted to our SARE project. We will also conduct pre- and post-assessments of participants for each program. It is our goal that each participant's knowledge of sustainable agriculture increase 30% from each lesson/experience. Through social media we anticipate providing exposure of sustainable agriculture to our nearly 600 followers on Facebook and nearly 200 on our Twitter feed as well as to our more than 300 electronic newsletter subscribers.
The Ridgemont FFA currently has leveraged more than $19,000 from outside sources to advocate for Sustainable Agricultural Literacy. We have grants through the following groups: USDA with The Ohio State University, Agricultural Engineering College; Nutrients For Life; Ohio Small Grains Marketing; The National FFA USDA Rural Youth Development, and Fuel Up To Play 60. Our partners to collaborate on this project include: Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations, State Farm Youth Advisory Board, Nutrients for Life Foundation, Ohio State Highway Patrol, Ohio State University Extension Service – Hardin County, World Food Prize Global Youth Institute, Ohio State University Scarlet & Gray Ag Day, and numerous additional community and agricultural organizations. We will use resources from our partners as well as [the SARE electronic publication] Sustainable Agriculture Resources and Programs for K-12 Youth, and elementary teacher partners and resources. As FFA members design lessons to teach they will utilize magazines, books, and reliable internet sources.
Our FFA members will manage the outreach of this grant, just as they have designed and written this grant application, under the supervision of the Ag Teacher. Founding principles FFA members ground their communication and outreach plans in are:
• Our FFA chapter won the #1 Model of Innovation, Chapter Division for two years in a row, 2010-?2012. This has provided us the opportunity to work closely with local media to broadcast student and community accomplishments.
• Creating a display for local organizations and community events will inform the agricultural community about the outcomes of this project.
• We work hard to publicize our work through the local newspaper, Facebook, Twitter, radio and school’s web site.
• Monthly submission of sustainable agricultural topics to the local paper is a great way to expand communication with both farm and non-?farm populations.
• Speak at community fraternal organizations to share the message of sustainable agriculture.
• Conducting presentations at state and national conferences has proven to be successful in the past so we would like to highlight sustainable agriculture to broaden replication of this project.
• On our webpage we will post video, project sheets and outlines to offer others the opportunity to replicate aspects of this project.