GrowNextGen teacher leader Trevor Horn attended Commodity Classic 2022 in New Orleans. Commodity Classic is America’s largest farmer-led, farmer-focused agricultural and educational experience. His participation was made possible thanks to the generosity of the Ohio Soybean Council and GrowNextGen.

While there, Horn participated in a Nourish the Future science workshop, sponsored by National Corn Growers Association and the United Soybean Board, and received supplies for science lessons in his classroom.

What was an a-ha moment from your time?
A big a-ha moment for me was all the large investments in precision agriculture and the investments of large agriculture companies to be more environmentally, economically, and socially sustainable. Social sustainability to me means investing in education, and it was great to see the amount of support we as educators received while walking the convention floor. The Secretary of Agriculture mentioned how sustainability means a lot of different things and that it looks different to everybody. It was neat to hear so many different points of view from leaders in the industry and their take on how we can continue to work towards being as efficient as possible in order to support the needs of the world.

How will you use the materials with your students, and why is it important to expose them to these topics?
The materials we received will be utilized during our Introduction to Agriculture, Food, and Natural Resources Class. The Ohio Department of Education Career Tech Objectives for that class are to prepare students for industry jobs around food production and sustainable use of our natural resources. Looking into biofuels, fermentation, and soil and water health are all ways students begin to connect the important aspects of how our food is grown, manufactured, and distributed.

How do you think the lessons and materials might help influence students’ career choices?
For my students, being introduced to the technology involved in farm-to-table practices will spark their interest as we focus on the science of food production. The materials will allow them to practice concepts with hands-on learning experiences, giving them the confidence to explore more opportunities within the Agriculture and Food Science profession.

What would you like to say to the Ohio Soybean Council who made your participation possible?
I would like to thank the Ohio Soybean Council not only for helping support our Ag and Food Science Pathway with materials, but for the support of my own personal growth. The experience I had at Commodity Classic opened my eyes to so many different opportunities to teach my students true industry information. I learned about soil health and inputs, and I even heard from NASA about how we are all working together to balance the needs of global citizens and still maintain the health of our environment. I can honestly say the convention opened my eyes to many different educational opportunities for me to research, create lessons around, and pass on to students for years to come.