The Pork Checkoff has teamed with the National FFA organization to create the Middle School Food and Agricultural Literacy Curriculum. It is a free resource — available at ffa.learn.com — that 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 and aligned to the Agriculture, Food, and Natural Resources standards. 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.”
The National Pork Board has responsibility for Checkoff-funded research, promotion and consumer information projects and for communicating with pork producers and the public. Through a legislative national Pork Checkoff, pork producers invest $0.40 for each $100 value of hogs sold. The Pork Checkoff funds national and state programs in advertising, consumer information, retail and foodservice marketing, export market promotion, production improvement, technology, swine health, pork safety and environmental management. For information on Checkoff-funded programs, pork producers can call the Pork Checkoff Service Center at (800) 456-PORK or check the Internet at www.pork.org.