AGRICULTURE AND WATER QUALITY CURRICULUM
The goal of this curriculum is to build environmental literacy as it relates to agricultural production among future farmers and the educators that work within this field. The objective, scientifically-sound curriculum is for secondary students (career and technical centers, grades 8-12). It goes beyond simply sharing information and providing outreach to require students to problem-solve, think critically, have a systems approach, as budding farmers, and embody environmental stewardship with their management decisions. Topics include: watersheds, reading the soil, soil management practices, nutrient management planning, precision agricultural technology tools, agricultural and environmental policy, and a case study.
Each unit is complete with lectures, activities, scoring rubrics, proficiency standards, and field trips which helps make the curriculum widely accessible and adaptable to agricultural educators and their students. Students will learn practical, responsible agricultural management that minimizes impacts on water resources. We encourage all educators taking part in the implementing the curriculum to provide feedback and send additional resources they may be using to add to this resource library.
To access the Agriculture and Water Quality Curriculum (AWQC) online, create an account on Cooperative Extension's online campus, Extension Foundation at campus.extension.org. Log in, search for 'Agricultural Education' in the SEARCH COURSES on the homepage, then simply select the ENROLL button. You now have full access to view and download the comprehensive curriculum!
WE FARM - Virtual Reality and Computer-based Decision Making Game
Water & Environment Farm Assessment and Risk Management (referred to as ‘WE FARM’) transports players to a virtual farm where their goals are to identify potential environmental risks and choose the management practice they believe will best mitigate potential issues. Players can see how their decisions impact the land, water, and crops. This tool is a unique platform for players to identify on-farm issues without actually seeing them in real life, better preparing them for their future farming endeavors. WE FARM was built using a cross-platform design, meaning it can be accessed through a PC computer, or with an Android smartphone via virtual reality.
To install the game, navigate to this Google Drive link and download either the PC build or Android build, depending on which type of device you are using. Full instruction on system requirements, installation, game play and more can be found in the WE FARM User Manual (PDF).
AgCONNECT - Coming Soon
AgConnect is a teacher-controlled platform which guides students through experimental design and the scientific method with an agricultural lens. Students will follow along with AgConnect as they are prompted to research an agricultural topic, form a hypothesis, lay out a procedure and experiment, collect then analyze data, discuss research findings, and share outcomes. Teachers have the option to connect their student's research with other classrooms worldwide conducting similar research in AgConnect, providing opportunity to learn from other regions and cultures, and discover why we grow what we grow where we grow it.