The National Pork Board has teamed with the National FFA organization to create the Middle School Food and Agricultural Literacy Curriculum. The free resource can be used by teachers as a year-long course or customized to fit a shorter timeframe to teach students to become savvy consumers.
The curriculum has more than 150 free pre-packaged, stand-alone lessons and eight units to choose from.
"This is a curriculum that will educate future generations of consumers," said Karen Richter, a pork producer from Montgomery, Minn., and member of the pork checkoff producer services committee.
"The purpose is to let them know where their food comes from."
The eight units include:
- Introduction to Agricultural Science
- Food Science
- Natural Resources
- Plant Science
- Animal Science
- Agricultural Science and Technology
- Agricultural Issues
- Careers in Agriculture
A team of industry professionals, university educators and secondary agriculture educators developed the framework in which the key concepts, units and lessons objectives were determined. From there, a team of 20 agriculture educators created the lessons and the ancillary materials. The curriculum has been tested in 32 agriculture programs around the nation.
"The curriculum serves as a great tool to get young people interested in careers in agriculture," said Richter. "It also is one more way for pork producers to promote confidence in what we do and how we do it."