TheFirstFurrow

Wednesday, May 24, 2017 Calling All Teachers: Go Local This Summer!

Being a North Carolina Farm Bureau member has a lot of perks – discounts, scholarship opportunities, leadership development programs, and even the occasional educational trip. But there’s one program that you don’t have to be a member to enjoy the benefits, and that’s North Carolina Farm Bureau’s Ag in the Classroom program. (We talked about the program in detail last summer, so be sure to check out that post.)

Since the program’s beginning 32 years ago, we have endeavored to provide professional development workshops throughout the state for K-8 teachers. But over the years we’ve tried to shift our workshops away from a lecture format towards more of a hands-on, in-the-field learning experience. After all, if you have to earn Continuing Education Units (CEUs), wouldn’t you rather do it live on the farm instead of sitting in a classroom all day listening to hours and hours of lectured material?

Enter our Going Local Workshop series. Every summer, these workshops are held directly on the farm and are a great way for teachers to gather materials, lesson plans, and current teaching methods to help show students where our food and fiber comes from locally.

Wednesday, February 15, 2017 So What Is a “Land-Grant” College Anyway?

This week, we thought we’d explore a topic familiar to most people in the agriculture community: land-grant colleges. In the process of researching the history of land-grant institutions, we stumbled upon a fantastic write-up from the folks over at Back Story Radio, and instead of trying to out-do them we figured we’d just share their content with you. We hope you enjoy!


We hear it all the time.  We throw it around with authority – “oh, it’s a land-grant school.”  But what exactly does that mean?  And where did the land-grants come from?

Wednesday, January 25, 2017 The Future of Farming

The “Future of Farming” immediately conjures thoughts of auto-piloted drones, advanced self-driving tractors and maybe even robots working the fields. While that sounds cool and great advances have been made in agricultural technology, the reality is that the future of farming lies in our young farmers.

Farming is vital to our nation’s health and security, and remains an in-demand career. In fact, young farmers have never been more essential to the future success of our nation. That’s primarily because nearly 25 percent of all farmers are over 55 years old. Think about that. Within the next 20 years, we could have a major drop off in active, full-time farmers at the same time that food demand and world population will be higher than ever before.

For those reasons and many more, North Carolina Farm Bureau works tirelessly to discover and prepare agricultural leaders to succeed in the workplace and on the farm, and to become knowledgeable advocates for agriculture. We understand that a greater focus must be given to our future farmers and agriculture leaders, and that resources and creativity are needed to keep the future of agriculture strong and steadfast. That’s why we continue to develop and expand our Young Farmer and Ranchers (YF&R) Program.

Wednesday, November 16, 2016 Celebrating Ag Day, each and every day

Written by Dr. Randy Woodson, Chancellor of North Carolina State University.

This Saturday, November 19 at Carter-Finley Stadium, the Wolfpack not only play host to the Miami Hurricanes, but we will also be celebrating our 4th annual Ag Day, a time to recognize the many contributions that agriculture and our farmers make to our state. Agriculture built North Carolina, and people around the world depend on what’s raised and grown right here at home.

NC State University and the faculty and staff of the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences work hard with partners across North Carolina to ensure our state’s agriculture remains strong. Because of these combined efforts, remarkable things are happening.

Wednesday, September 14, 2016 Securing a Strong Agricultural Future for NC

 

Written by Dan Gerlach, President of the Golden LEAF Foundation.

The Golden LEAF Foundation was created to ensure to ensure there would be dedicated resources to help transform the economy of rural, tobacco-dependent and economically distressed communities in North Carolina.

During my more than 20 years in North Carolina and my almost eight years as President of Golden LEAF, there’s no doubt in my mind that the heart and soul of the innovation, creativity, risk-taking, vision, and significance of North Carolina can be found in the farmer and grower.

Earlier this year, the Golden LEAF Board of Directors stepped out of our usual grantmaking processes to create a fund to support the development of major industrial sites across North Carolina. This fund would reduce the time it takes a big manufacturer to be build a plant and hire North Carolina workers, exporting product all over the United States and all over the world. With this $25 million, there would be no requirement that a company be committed, but rather faith that this seed corn would facilitate the location of good-paying manufacturing jobs to North Carolina. Manufacturing has long been part of rural North Carolina’s past, and certainly important to its future – though in a different way.

So it should be no surprise that our Board of Directors made one of the biggest commitments in our history – $45 million – to ensure that a facility on NC State’s Centennial Campus in Raleigh to house the Plant Sciences Initiative would be built. Manufacturing and agriculture are the two great workhorses of our rural economy, and are a major part of our future as well.

Wednesday, August 31, 2016 Finding Your Path to CALS

Written by Dr. Richard H. Linton, Dean of the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences at North Carolina State University.

Nearly everywhere I go, it seems the conversation always includes concerns about student access or acceptance to a 4-year undergraduate degree – especially for kids from rural and farming communities. We hear this message loud and clear, and I want to let you know our college is fully committed to helping all qualified students find their path to CALS.

Paths to CALS

CALS is open for undergraduate students, and we are growing existing initiatives and developing new ones to help students access the college. We now have different paths to meet the needs of different students that are applying to CALS.

Wednesday, August 24, 2016 Back to School with Ag in the Classroom

Written by Michele Reedy, Ag in the Classroom Program Director

With this sweltering August heat it might not feel like summer is ending, but it’s back to school time for thousands of students across the state. Families are soaking up those last few days of summer before their school routines begin, and teachers are preparing their classrooms and wrapping up professional development. It’s an important time of year when administrators and teachers evaluate which programs, teaching trends, and curriculum will best prepare our students for the future.

As you are aware, it’s difficult to talk about education and new educational programs without discussing the importance of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (known as STEM). In fact, STEM education is the committed focus for many North Carolina schools and is explained by the U.S. Department of Education as, “more important than ever for our youth to be equipped with the knowledge and skills to solve tough problems, gather and evaluate evidence, and make sense of information.” That’s why North Carolina Farm Bureau created and supports a unique educational program that focuses on STEM education. Since North Carolina Farm Bureau is the largest agricultural non-profit in the state, the program is built upon the integration of agriculture as the foundation for STEM education. This program is called Ag in the Classroom.