Ensuring every student has access to accurate dairy education inside and outside the classroom is important to Midwest Dairy. Growing trust with K-12 youth is currently happening across the 10-state region as we partner with educators, administrators, and organizations to offer experiential and digital learning opportunities that focus on sharing dairy farmers’ sustainable nutrition story. By keeping a focused approach, we can leverage programs for all students to build trust in dairy and keep them eager to learn more.
Midwest Dairy has identified a gap in reaching high school-aged students as this is where they begin to form their own attitudes and opinions of dairy. That is why we are currently working with Dairy Management Inc. (DMI) to pilot an effort with the Food and Agriculture Center for Science Education, a platform of the American Farm Bureau Foundation for Agriculture. By working together, we want to help students:
- Understand the value of agricultural products, including dairy, as part of a healthy and sustainable lifestyle.
- Understand the scientific principles behind production decisions related to nutrition, environmental stewardship, breeding, genetics, and more.
- Fuel an interested and qualified future workforce for nutrition research, farm management, food production, and processing.
The pilot will provide high-quality science materials, professional development, and classroom implementation support for high school science teachers, helping them meet the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS). Part of this work is to bring science educators from around the nation to Minnesota for an educational experience allowing teachers the opportunity to learn how dairy can be used in the classroom and pilot these materials with students this fall.
Ultimately, the checkoff’s goal is to allow dairy facts about farmers, farming, and foods to be delivered through a credible source and drive trust in dairy with high school students.