GNG teacher leader Chris Brown worked on a farm this summer! He took part in a teacher externship program sponsored by the Ohio Soybean Council.

Brown spent time at Stateler Farms in McComb, Ohio, where he shadowed Duane and Anthony Stateler. “I saw their hog operation, helped with equipment repair, got a comprehensive tour of the various water quality best practices they implement, and just experienced the unpredictability of farm life,” Brown said. “For example, we were working on a combine and Anthony got a call that another area of the farm was flooding due to some sort of leak. So we just dropped everything and zipped over there to see what was going on.”

“I already knew that ‘farming’ isn’t just planting and harvesting crops, but to be able to see it and talk about it from multiple generations of farmers was something I can really take back to the classroom. A student who loves technology might not be aware of the amount of tech used in farming now from electronics in the equipment, to drones and fertilizer/nutrient application and beyond. I can tell them about all the careers connected to agriculture.”

“This was great for me, not having background in ag. Nothing compares to being there and getting your hands dirty,” Brown said.

Brown will be creating a design challenge where students will create mini farm fields using paint trays and everyday products to create a model of one of the water quality best practices implemented at the Blanchard Demo Farms, as Stateler Farms is part of this group. “They will then do some water testing to see how effective their model is. I hope to couple this with a trip to Stateler’s farm either before for inspiration/information, or after for comparison,” Brown said.

Watch for this lesson on the GrowNextGen website!