Cultivating Knowledge

Farm Academy:

The PLANT Foundation was formed in 2013 with the primary purpose of financially supporting Farm Academy Live, an online interactive virtual program transmitted directly into the traditional classroom setting. Since its inception, nearly 100,000 students have benefited from the program, gaining a better understanding of where their food and fiber comes from.

Farm Academy Live integrates Common Core and national curriculum standards in science, math, language arts, and history, with two courses: “Milk: From the Dairy to Your Door” and “Cotton: From the Field to Your Family.” Each 45-60 minute course is taught in a real time studio setting. PLANT’s agriculture expert speaks directly to the class through a computer cam system. The experience is enhanced with tactile materials sent to students prior to the session such as cotton seed and feed rations.

These initial programs have been wildly successful with educators, however, it is now time to expand our catalog of offerings into other commodities and natural resources.

Future Programing:

In addition to expanding catalog offerings through the live Farm Academy format, a need for quality video content has surfaced. Educators often find themselves with brief classroom “downtime” for a number of reasons throughout the school year. These five to ten minute segments create a void with not enough time to introduce a new subject, but are long enough where quality content is needed.

PLANT recognizes this as an opportunity to bring agriculture into the classroom without required prep work by the teacher. Through a series of on-demand videos, teachers can show mini-lessons in a manner that works with their schedule. At the end of each unit, students will have the opportunity to test what they learned and engage in a one-on-one “office time” with agricultural professionals asking questions related to what they learned. In addition to regular content, each video series will include a maker type activity to encourage hands on learning and practical application of the principles presented.

The PLANT Community:

A collection of diverse individuals from all areas of agriculture, education, technology, and financial support is needed to continue existing programming and bring new ones to life. PLANT is creating an online open sourced community of members where collaboration is encouraged and valued. Visit the “Join” section of the site to become apart of the community.

In the process of building this community PLANT has learned a few things which include:

  • Interaction as a way to educate is in demand. Students are transitioning from passively receiving information, to exploring and embracing content giving them a greater thirst for knowledge.
  • Farm Academy presenters are not teachers, but rather agriculture professionals and experts.
  • There is great value in putting a face to the farmer for kids. It’s being done with adults, but not with kids on large scale. PLANT can help change that through direct dialog with producers and youth in the agriculture industry.
  • Farm Academy programs have the ability to expose students to career opportunities in agriculture regardless of where they live.
  • What makes Farm Academy unique: Many agricultural education programs require teachers to learn the content and then take it back to the students. PLANT simplifies this by going directly into the classroom and teaching the lesson.
  • PLANT will remain committed to reaching beyond the traditional school environment working with summer camps, homeschool, afterschool, and youth enrichment programs.

Want to learn more? Get involved? Become part of the solution? Check here for events in your area or contact us

The PLANT Foundation is a non-profit 501(c)3, created to financially sustain Farm Academy Live.

Call us:   +1 (559) 633-3215

Offices in Hanford, Visalia, and Davis, California.

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