After a week’s break, it was time to start the most intensive part of the 2012 Summer Ag Institute – four days of interactive field trips and presentations.
To start off, teachers were introduced to a variety of resources at the farm bureau—many of which they could use as foundations for lesson plans or for instant classroom use. Then, many of their food misconceptions were debunked by a presentation about food myths and facts given by Tamara Nelsen, Senior Director of Commodities at Illinois Farm Bureau.
One of the most interesting facts that Tamara shared was that if we wanted to support our country’s beef needs solely off grass-fed animals, we would have to convert the entire midwest to grassland. She went on to talk about sustainability, and how modern farm practices are what is really the most sustainable for our growing world.
Shortly after, the group boarded a bus to The Suter Company’s processing facility in Sycamore where they witnessed firsthand the production of chicken salad that is distributed throughout the Midwest under a variety of different labels. They then toured Suter’s packaging facility where products are boxed, labeled, and shipped. The last stop of the day was at Tate and Lyle Custom Ingredients where a variety of ingredient mixes are produced and sold to be blended into various dairy products.
Who knew so much went into putting one product onto grocery store shelves? The teachers were not the only ones learning about agriculture here!
Here is a short video of the day’s events that I published to DeKalb County Farm Bureau Ag Literacy’s Facebook Page…