INDIANAPOLIS — Corn and soybean farmers from Indiana and across the country are providing teachers and parents with valuable teaching resources while schools are closed due to the COVID-19 crisis.
The National Corn Growers Association and state corn checkoff organizations such as the Indiana Corn Marketing Council have launched the Nourish the Future community network. Nourish the Future provides free virtual resources online at nourishthefuture.org.
NCGA and ICMC believe agriculture can help engage students in the STEM subjects of science, technology, engineering and mathematics.
An ag-based curriculum in the science classroom will inspire students to solve real-world issues with practical solutions. In addition, reaching students with the Nourish the Future curriculum can help address the increasing job gap in agriculture-related careers.
“COVID-19 has brought all of us challenges that we didn’t anticipate, but it also give us new opportunities that we haven’t had before,” said ICMC board member and NCGA Action Team Member Natasha Cox, who farms in Benton.
“As a mother, I understand that education doesn’t end in the classroom. I’m very happy that ICMC and NCGA can bring these ag-based educational materials to families across Indiana. Programs that help families and the long-term future of farmers is our priority.”
The Nourish the Future materials cover subjects such as biotechnology, energy and ethanol, plant anatomy and growth stages, soil science and sustainability and the role of clean water in a healthy ecosystem.
The program’s lesson plans are designed for students from middle school through high school. Advanced high school options also are available.
One of Indiana Soybean Alliance’s peer checkoff organizations, the Ohio Soybean Council, has similar virtual and classroom soybean resources through their Grow Next Gen initiative, and those can be accessed for free at www.grownextgen.org.
In addition to the Nourish the Future and Grow Next Gen curriculum, the ISA and ICMC offer a variety of educational materials through its Glass Barn website corn and soybean resource pages. Visit www.glassbarn.org to access these materials.