Agriculture and technology – these two words go hand in hand anymore. Agriculture is an ever changing industry mainly due to the changes in technology that are taking place. More and more farmers and those involved in agribusiness are utilizing GPS, auto steer, online marketing, etc. Just the other day I was speaking to a gentleman who is a commodity broker. He pulled out his smartphone and showed me an app that he had that would give him several different quotes and right there he could buy or sell options. Devices such as these are making it easier for those in agriculture to make decisions from their easy chair, in the tractor, or even on vacation (if you want to call it that because we know a lot of farmers who never really "leave their job behind to take a break"). J
Kids today are learning using this technology. It is not going away, so we may as well start teaching them young. There are many good resources out there to help do this. Many of today's youth seem to like to play some sort of video game. Check out www.myamericanfarm.com where youth can play various games that teach them about agriculture. Play games like Equipment Engineer or Harvest This or Wild Water Adventures.
Many people today own an iPad or tablet of some sort. There are many different apps out there that can be used for fun or for business. Later in this newsletter you can read about a listing of apps that may be useful in a classroom setting or even in an agribusiness. Use the Soil Web to find out what type of soil you are standing on right now. Check out the markets on one of several different apps. You can also read the latest in agriculture news in one of the many publications apps.
I encourage you to explore new ways to use technology with your students, in your personal and professional lives. Technology is a hot trend that won't be disappearing soon and we can be thankful that agriculture is keeping up with it!
-National Nutrition Month
-National Ag Week (10-16)
-Pig Day (1)
-Dr. Suess Birthday (2)
-National Biodiesel Day (18)
Do you have a Facebook account? If you do, take a moment to like the Illinois Agriculture in the Classroom page. There you can find posts on available grants, upcoming trainings, contests, and more. While there take a moment to like the Ford-Iroquois Extension page too. Local announcements will be made there.
Are you making plans to attend the Kindergarten Conference in Schaumburg on March 7 & 8? If so make plans to attend one of the Illinois Ag in the Classroom workshops that will be presented. They will be doing workshops on "Once Upon a Garden", "April Foolishness", and Ag in the Classroom's Top 10 Books.
Staff will also be attending the Illinois Reading Council Conference in Springfield on March 14-16. Workshops will be done on the following topics: "Once Upon A Garden", "April Foolishness", "Scrambled States of America", Ag – Your Passport to Reading, and Hungry? (Using the books "The Hungry Planet" and Hunger Games series).
For more information on the workshop times and locations visit http://www.agintheclassroom.org/TeacherWorkshops/teacher_workshops.shtml.
A new Ag Mag on Beef has just been released. It features "Breeds of Beef Cattle" and "Beef Brief" along with information about beef cattle and their diets and animal identification. Ag Mags are free of charge and can be obtained by contacting the Extension office.
Many schools have iPads that can be utilized by students and staff. At the Summer Ag Institute last June I was asked about different apps that could be used to help teach agriculture. Since then several people have been working on putting together a list of apps. FCAE even created their own called "Ag Career Finder" that helps students find out what ag career would be suit them and links them to information on those careers. Here is a short list of a few more to check out. The first listing is actually a blog where educators can go to recommend agriculture apps to other educators.
In honor of National Agriculture Week here are some fun facts.
· Americans today consume 17.3 billion quarts of popped popcorn each year! The average American eats about 68 quarts!
· Apples are a member of the rose family.
· There are about 7,000 cherries on an average tart cherry tree (the number varies depending on the age of the tree, weather and growing conditions).
· Almost all lettuce is packed right in the field.
· It takes 24-26 hours for a hen to produce an egg; there is 30 minutes between each egg producing cycle.
· There are over 500 different types of bananas.
· Noodles got their start in China, not Italy as many people might think.
· In the winter, apple trees need to "rest" for about 900-1000 hours below 45 degrees Fahrenheit in order to flower and fruit properly.
· California grows about 70% of all the asparagus grown in the United States.
· Pumpkins were once recommended for removing reckless and curing snake bites.
· We are eating 900% more broccoli than we did 20 years ago.
For more fun agriculture facts visit the Ag Day Website at www.agday.org.