The U.S. Farmers and Ranchers Alliance has partnered with Discovery Education to bring science, technology and entrepreneurship education to high school students by allowing them to experience the agriculture industry through the eyes of six young farmers and ranchers.
Related: Going to the Movies: Farmland
The materials, based on the Farmland film released in 2014, are collectively named "Discovering FARMLAND." They offer interactive resources that help students learn about food production's connection to science, economics, technology and sustainability.
The lesson plans are standards-aligned and aim to stimulate thoughtful conversations between educators and students about key issues including: innovative use of technology on farms and how it has transformed the industry, challenges farmers face such as weather and growing conditions, common stereotypes around farmers and ranchers, and market supply and demand.
Additionally, Farmland will be integrated into Discovery Education Streaming Plus, a comprehensive digital library containing more than 200,000 learning assets aligned to state and national curriculum standards.
"I'm excited to show my students the connections between chemistry and agriculture through real-world examples showcased in Discovering FARMLAND," said Rob Lamb, Chemistry Teacher, Pattonville School District, Missouri. "This program will introduce different career paths available in today's rapidly evolving agriculture industry while also helping to build students' critical-thinking skills."
The Farmland film connects viewers with people who grow and raise food. With the use of this film and accompanying resources, teachers and students are expected to have a better understanding of where their food comes from, as well as the various career paths available in this essential industry.
"Before making this film I had never even stepped foot on a farm, and that seems to be the case for more and more Americans," said Director James Moll. "So I'm thrilled that Farmland is reaching a whole new level together with Discovery Education."
USFRA Chairwoman Nancy Kavazanjian said there have been hundreds of screenings of the film and the group has often been asked by teachers for content they can share in their classrooms.
"The expansion of the film's distribution to high school teachers and students across the country will continue to give more people the opportunity to better connect with their food and farmers and ranchers," she said. "Through this film and interactive lesson plans, students will be able to learn about the science, technology and focus on sustainability that goes into today's farming and ranching practices."
The Discovering FARMLAND materials are available for viewing and download at discoveringfarmland.com.
The film is also available on various platforms including Netflix, walmart.com and additional video-on-demand and digital download platforms.