Inviting students to your farm or ranch gives a firsthand look at what farm life is like. Follow these tips from Ag Pen Pal volunteers on how to host a successful field trip at your farm or ranch!
1. Plan Ahead
Plan with the weather in mind. Can activities be held in a shop if needed?
2. Learning Stations
Have several learning stations to break larger groups down. Ask for help from neighbors, and 4-H & FFA members to help lead sections. Sections can feature one stop at machinery and another with animals.
3. Engage their Senses
Kids want to touch animals! Arrange an immersion time with bunnies, calves, or goats that kids can get closeto and touch.
4. Share a Meal
Sharing a meal together brings the story of food full circle. Try grilling hamburgers because they are easy to prepare. Share the nutritional value of what the students are eating and connect it back to agriculture.
5. Connect to their Studies
Plan examples of how math and science are used on your farm. For example, a feed lot has ingredients used in a ration. Talk about percentages, weights, and pounds per head that are fed. Talk about biology with the animal care and with how the land utilizes manure and holding pond water. Just remember to explain each word to students!
6. Stay Authentic
Make sure your farm story is shared. How is your farm/ranch unique?
7. Dig into Careers
Invite a veterinarian, nutritionist, nutrient manager, or another agricultural professional to visit over lunch about careers in agriculture. Anyone can be involved in agriculture even if they don’t live on a farm.
8. Friendship is Important
Connect on an emotional level. Kids remember the smiles and outreach of a friendship.