Supporting Ag At Your School
Are you ready to get involved? You don’t have to live on a farm to be part of the agriculture world. There are many ways to get involved right now—in your classroom, with extracurricular activities, and at home.
- Talk to your school about Farm to School, an organization that connects schools with resources and educational materials about food and agriculture.
- Join or start a 4-H Club. 4-H partners with 110 universities to provide mentoring and help you build a foundation of leadership and skills for success in your future career. The four Hs stand for four values members work on through fun and engaging programs: Head (thinking, managing), Heart (relating, caring), Hands (giving, working), and Health (being, living).
- The National FFA Organization develops the potential of students for premier leadership, personal growth, and career success as an integral part of agricultural education. Founded in 1928 and formerly known as Future Farmers of America, FFA covers all aspects of agriculture—from production farming, agribusiness and forestry to biotechnology, marketing and food processing. Almost 630,000 student members, ages 12-21, are impacted by FFA and agricultural education to achieve academic and personal growth, strengthen American agriculture, and provide leadership to build healthy local communities, a strong nation, and sustainable world.
- National FFA Organization, Discovery Education and AgCareers.com have also partnered to create AgExplorer.com, a new career exploration website that is a robust, comprehensive career resource to help students explore the broad range of careers in agriculture. AgExplorer is the tool students can use to explore this industry and see what career is the best fit for them.
- Start a school garden. Learn by doing while growing healthy food.
- Practice conservation. Conservation of our natural resources is essential to healthy, sustainable agriculture. Whether you live in a city or a rural area, there are everyday things you can do to help increase food and shelter for birds and other wildlife, control soil erosion, reduce sediment in waterways, conserve water and improve water quality, inspire a stewardship ethic, and beautify the landscape.
- One of the greatest needs in agriculture today is to make sure there are enough bees, butterflies, bats, and other pollinators to continue to grow our crops. Learn how you—and your school—can support pollinators.
Resource for the Classroom (Educators)
Want to share agriculture in your classroom? Some key resources for educators are included here.
Curricula and Teaching Tools
Smithsonian Agricultural Innovation and Heritage Archives
The history of American agriculture has been marked by tremendous transformations. Over the past 70 years, farming has become both more efficient and more sustainable, even as fewer and fewer Americans make their living as farmers. With the Agriculture Innovation and Heritage Archive, the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History is asking the public to help us preserve the innovations and experiences of farming and ranching across the United States. Visitors can share their stories and read about the technologies and innovations that have changed agricultural work, as well as how these changes have affected their communities.
The National Geographic Society
The National Geographic Society has been inspiring people to care about the planet since 1888 as one of the largest non-profit scientific and educational institutions in the world. Visit Food Education to find materials for your classroom.
USDA’s Team Nutrition – Grades 5 & 6
Ten inquiry-based lessons that engage 5th and 6th graders in growing, harvesting, tasting, and learning about fruits and vegetables.
USDA’s Team Nutrition – Grades 3 & 4
This eleven-lesson curriculum for 3rd and 4th grades includes bulletin board materials, veggie dice, fruit and vegetable flash cards, and ten issues of Garden Detective News for parents/caregivers.
Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education
A guide to sustainable agriculture-oriented educational programs and curricula that includes direct links as well as program contact information.
Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service “Hungry Pests
Hungry Pests gives educators free access to a variety of curricula designed to make youth aware of invasive species and the damage they cause to crops and natural resources. There are many lessons and resources—for both classroom and outdoors—that engage students in the process of discovery.
Natural Resources Conservation Service Soil
Everything you wanted to know about soil education and more.
Local 4-H and FFA
4-H youth development programs are available through local 4-H clubs, 4-H camps, and 4-H after school programs. In most states, kids can join 4-H if they're between the ages of 8 and 18; some states offer programs for younger children. Use the locator to find your local 4-H club and learn how to enroll in a 4-H program.
The National FFA Organization develops the potential of students for premier leadership, personal growth and career success as an integral part of agricultural education. FFA covers all aspects of agriculture—from production farming, agribusiness and forestry to biotechnology, marketing and food processing.
Extension provides non-formal education and learning activities to people throughout the country, including farmers and other residents of rural communities, as well as people living in urban areas. It emphasizes bringing knowledge gained through research and education directly to the people to create positive changes.
If you would like to connect your students with agriculture resources, your local Cooperative Extension can help.
Local USDA Staff
USDA Service Centers provide access to some of the most critical services offered by USDA, including financial assistance, help finalizing a business plan, and conservation planning. If you’d like to connect your students with agriculture resources, your local USDA office can be a first stop.