Visitors can watch the 80-stall rotary milking at MVP Dairy from a balcony in the state-of-the-art learning center.

On the Farm STEM expands to dairy

Building on the success of the On the Farm STEM Beef experiences, the American Farm Bureau Foundation for Agriculture is expanding its free professional development lineup to include an immersive program focusing on dairy. 

At the first-ever On the Farm STEM Dairy event, teams of science educators will travel to Minneapolis, Minnesota, to see firsthand how science is brought to life through the food production system. They will meet with local dairy farmers, researchers, nutritionists and veterinarians to learn how animals are cared for and how technology and innovative practices are advancing sustainability. 

“The Foundation is thrilled to offer another opportunity for outstanding science educators to experience farming up close, and we are looking forward to featuring another type of animal agriculture in our programming,” said Daniel Meloy, executive director of the American Farm Bureau Foundation for Agriculture. “On the Farm STEM is an excellent opportunity for teachers and classroom leaders to see how agriculture can fit into their existing curriculum and illustrate how they can encourage students to explore where their food comes from.”

The experience begins with a two-part webinar series to lay the groundwork for a four-day immersive experience, during which participants will use what they learn during the event to craft lessons and activities to take back to the classroom. The curriculum designed during the event will empower students to explore the science and engineering practices associated with sustainable food practices. 

Teams will be made up of three to five members including high school science educators, instructional leaders who support science educators, administrators who support science-based career and technical education or community partners with a passion for improving agricultural literacy. 

The Foundation for Agriculture, in partnership with Dairy Management Inc. and Midwest Dairy, will cover up to $750 of travel costs as well as meals and accommodations during the event for selected participants. Interested educators are encouraged to apply now, with applications closing April 8.  

On the Farm STEM Dairy expands on the Foundation for Agriculture’s already-successful work in science education that has been funded by the Beef Checkoff for On the Farm STEM Beef, which launched its 2022 applications in January. Applications remain open through March 11. 

Visit onthefarmstem.com to learn more about both opportunities and apply today.

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