We know educating young children about certain things is especially important. Often times we teach them how to react to threats, what planets there are, and who the presidents were. But do we educate young children where their food comes from? Do they know what their jeans are made out of? What about the milk they drink? Too often I hear people talking about other parents and the way they educate their children. Not too long ago I heard a young kid say that their eggs come out of a carton at the store. That child didn’t know that eggs actually come from a chicken.
Why not educate young children about agriculture? Not a lot of kids get the opportunity to grow up on a farm or ranch, where a lot of times families raise their own chickens for meat and eggs, and cows for meat and milk. It is essential for children to know where their food comes from.
Children from all over this country, whether they live in suburban or rural areas, aren’t always well educated about agriculture. In the U.S., FFA is a program only available to high school kids. FFA provides teenagers with lots of valuable lessons through agricultural activities, including raising their own beef cow and showing it, planting and raising their own garden, or things like sewing and scrapbooking. 4-H is available to young children but isn’t offered in schools. I believe that all K-8 schools should have some type of agriculture education class.
Providing children with information about basic agricultural practices can prepare them for a more valuable future. Children should know where their lunch meat, milk and eggs come from. Also, children should be educated about how their clothing is made and where the materials come from. Adults often are undereducated as well. Thanks to food marketing we aren’t always quite sure what’s right or wrong, unless you dedicate a good amount of time of research. Some may not even be aware of the materials used to produce their clothing. If parents aren’t informed or educated, children have a lower chance of knowing too.
The only way children will ever be more aware of this matter is by teaching them. We as adults can step up to the plate and educate ourselves so when children ask or don’t know we can answer. Research and be aware where your food comes from. How does it get there? Do you know where your local grocery mart gets their products? Are you eating organic? Do your research. Buy books and read them with your children. There are many farms in your area that will give tours and have educational tours for children. Maybe you can even go as far as suggesting farm tours to K-8 teachers. Be the informed parent, grandmother, aunt, even friend. Talk to your children about where food comes from – from beginning to end. Take pride in the extensive agriculture system the U.S. has to offer. Not every country is this blessed.