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Ag: the “other side” of biotech

Erin Molden, a biotechnology instructor at Miami Valley Career Tech Center, was one of the GrowNextGen teacher leaders attending Commodity Classic 2018. She shares about her Ohio Soybean Council-sponsored trip:

Everything that I experienced at CC was new to me. I knew that science plays a big role in farming but I had no idea how large the scope is or how advanced current technologies are. I really enjoyed collaborating and getting to know the other teacher leaders. We found a rhythm while walking around the CC Trade Show and were able to play off each other’s questions. Meeting with the California teachers was a great experience. I wish we’d had more time with them and were able to go visit their schools.

Soil health and how to apply that knowledge to crop planting and field maintenance was a big theme at CC. I could see incorporating this information into the microbiology unit that I do with my biotech students. It would be a great independent research project for seniors to take on to better understand what variables impact soil health and farming decisions.

One of my main goals in my CTE Biotechnology program is that students understand the many career paths available as they pursue biotech and other science degrees. The State of Ohio indicates that Biotech falls under Health Sciences, but this is a very limiting definition of our field. I look forward to incorporating some agriculture component in each of my independent learning units so that students can experience “the other side” of biotech!

I learn best in a collaborative, hands-on environment. Going to an event like CC allowed me to see what is current in industry, collaborate with fellow educators, and meet new people that have similar goals in promoting education. This experience was some of the best professional development that I have had to date. Thank you, GNG and Ohio Soybean Council, for inviting me to attend!

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