Nebraska Educators, Curriculum Leaders Learn About Animal Agriculture

They visited three livestock operations as part of an Alliance for the Future of Agriculture in Nebraska tour.

Published on: Jun 17, 2013

Curriculum specialists from the Nebraska Department of Education recently heard first-hand from farmers about the importance of agriculture to the state's economy and how the food they produce gets to our dinner tables. They traveled to three eastern Nebraska farms on a tour called "Connecting Classrooms to Their Source of Food, Fiber and Fuel."

The tour, sponsored by the Nebraska Soybean Board, was hosted by the Alliance for the Future of Agriculture in Nebraska, Nebraska Agriculture in the Classroom, and Nebraska Farm Bureau's Foundation for Agriculture.

Farm tour stops included Pillen Family Farms, a pork operation near Brainard; Grass Valley Farms, a feedlot by David City; and Tuls Dairy in Surprise.

Jim Pillen talks to participants about caring for the environment and pigs on his familys pork farm near Brainard.
Jim Pillen talks to participants about caring for the environment and pigs on his family's pork farm near Brainard.

The purpose of the tour was to raise the awareness of curriculum planners about the importance of agriculture to the state's economy and to underline the important connection that exists between food producers and consumers. At the farms, participants learned about modern farming practices used on the farms to provide safe, nutritious food for consumers.

On the bus between tour stops, Willow Holoubek, executive director of A-FAN, and Deanna Karmazin, with Nebraska Agriculture in the Classroom, led discussions and answered questions about row crop farming and how animal agriculture uses crops for livestock feed.

Carol Rinenberg, career education specialist, says the tour leaders "were outstanding hosts and impressive ambassadors for Nebraska agriculture. Their sharing of resources, knowledge of each site, and their answering a wide scope of questions demonstrated the tremendous knowledge base this team has at the tip of their fingers. They articulated well not only of agriculture as a business, but the importance of agriculture to our state's economic vitality."

According to Holoubek, "Tour participants were eager to learn about today's farming and animal agricultural industry. We appreciate their efforts of enabling students to learn the importance of agriculture to our state along with connecting them to how their food, fiber and fuel is produced."