“Feeding the world will require that more students understand agriculture and become future leaders in food and agriscience,” said Michelle Gowdy, director of Community & Academic Relations for DuPont Pioneer. “We are working with others in education and in agriculture to ensure teachers have the best tools at their disposal to get more kids excited about agriculture and careers in agriscience.”
CASE is a multi-year approach to agriscience education with rigorous educator training requirements and hands-on, inquiry focused learning activities. The collaboration with DuPont Pioneer and CASE is a special project of the National FFA Foundation.
Traditional honeybee hives are facing threats from a condition called “Colony Collapse Disorder.” While its causes are still unclear, the disorder has killed millions of bees and adversely affected pollination of many fruit and vegetable crops.
Find out what habitat conservationists in Orange County, California are doing to help bring native bees back in this episode of America’s Heartland:
There are no more inspiring agriculturalists in America than FFA members. Last week was the 83rd Kentucky FFA State Convention. While it was the tenth and final state convention for me this year, the FFA experience in Kentucky was far from over. For the next few days we were getting out of our FFA jackets, out of downtown Lexington, and visiting Supervised Agricultural Experiences firsthand.
SAE programs are a huge part of the overall agriculture education experience. We take our knowledge from inside the classroom outside to forests, agricultural fields, barns, laboratories, animal clinics, or any agricultural pursuit we desire. Then the work begins, that’s right, work.
“Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work.”
- Thomas Edison
Over the course of our time in Kentucky, I met FFA members like Garrison Thompson who takes on opportunity, and enjoys the work. He has a large SAE program that employs three of his classmates, while also serving as the SAE chairman for his FFA chapter. Garrison has those qualities of leadership we should all possess. Watch this video from our time in Kentucky visiting SAE’s, and put some thought into how you might improve your own SAE, or help other chapter members start their program. SAE opportunities abound, and those who put in the work, reap huge rewards.
Here at FFA, we continue to be amazed by the creativity and innovation we see in the world of agriculture.
Mike Groll | associated press Gavin McIntyre, left, and Eben Bayer, co-founders of Ecovative Design, demonstrate some of their eco-friendly packaging forms made from mushrooms at their company in Green Island, N.Y.
Recently, The Columbus Dispatch (Ohio) featured two young entrepreneurs who figured out how to make eco-friendly material from mycelium – the hidden “roots” of the mushroom that thread beneath dirt and wood. Their company Ecovative Design, is growing rapidly inking deals with companies such as Sealed Air Corp. which is famous for Bubble Wrap.
And, where did the inspiration for their ground-breaking product come from? The farm, of course:
Bayer noticed mycelium’s “stretchy” properties as a kid growing up on a Vermont farm. As students, he and McIntyre started with mushroom-based insulation, but they switched to packaging material because it seemed a better business bet.
So, FFA members, as your working on your Supervised Agricultural Experiences on farms and in gardens, laboratories and classrooms everywhere, remember that you may be the one to discover the next great agricultural product!
NASCAR driver Justin Allgaier will race in the heart of the midwest Sunday, in a state known for its agriculture. It’s fitting, perhaps, that FFA will be racing right alongside him.
Riding along on the right rear trunk panel of his No. 31 BRANDT Racing Chevrolet — just as it has since February — will be the FFA emblem thanks to a relationship that the National FFA Organization has bridged with his sponsor, BRANDT Consolidated, Inc. The car is a hard one to miss with a bright red-orange paint scheme.
BRANDT President and CEO Rick Brandt has directed his company to put an all-agriculture car on track in 2012 with goals to spotlight the hard work and dedication that powers agriculture.
“At Brandt, we are deeply committed to the future of agriculture. And, I am thrilled to have such an iconic, like-minded organization join our team for the 2012 season,” said Brandt. “Simply put, through its long history the FFA has shaped the future of agriculture: They transform students into industry leaders.” Continue reading →
MIT professor Mary “Missy” Cummings says that robots may begin playing a more significant role in the agriculture industry. According the CNBC report:
Another area primed for robotics is the farming industry. Farmers cannot find enough people to do the the field work, so crop dusting has become and up and coming technologies.
There are currently robot tractors and robot helicopters that exist that can coordinate and perform harvesting and crop dusting without humans, and this technology is ready to be adopted whenever a business model is figured out, Cummings said.
“The technology is pretty much ready to go. … I think it’s just making the connection to the business model. … I think we are there, we are on the cusp of that, but we just need the business model,” Cummings said.
Cummings estimates though that it will be about one to three years when these types of robotic farming equipment will be in use.
Many people fear that the use of robotics will lead to fewer jobs for humans. But, we see this as a potential opportunity for FFA members. The agriculture industry of future may need engineers who can design these robots and people with enough skill and knowledge to operate them on the farm. So, if you’re someone who likes math, mechanics and/or computer technology, now is a great time to be planning a future career in agriculture!
Ground water flows slowly underground through pore spaces between sand, gravel, and cracks in rock, in underground formations called aquifers. These aquifers supply water that is used for sources for drinking water, agriculture, feeds our lakes, and recharges our streams and rivers.
This week, Tennessee FFA member Maryanna McClure joined 100 students from across the nation at the White House science fair. She was one of only 10 students out of the 100 to present her project to President Obama himself.