Ag Lit Bit by Diane Merrion
I bet you have had occasion to spend some time on Craigslist or perusing your local Classified Ads to find a deal on a new table, chair, car or collectible. If you’re like me you start with the Chicago listings and then fine tune it down to your local suburb or area. If there is one couch, there are hundreds. Same for most things I’ve searched. We recently moved and experienced the mad rush when you list something for “FREE”. Interesting experience and great way to reinforce the concept that one man’s junk is another man’s treasure.
There are other classifieds to explore such as the ones in this monthly Cooperator, the classifieds in FarmWeek and hundreds of online forums. I recently pulled out the FarmWeek classifieds and realized how stark the difference is between the ag-related “For Sale” listings and those in my local ads. Angus crossbred heifers, hog feeders, bales of hay, wheat straw, used John Deere 950RT with deluxe cab, Case IH 6130 with concave chopper, new 500 Bu. Gravity Flow Wagon, Hereford Bulls, and Border Collies. The border collies sounded interesting.
There were also many listings for combines, planters, grain trucks and acres of land which, after our Ag Literacy presentations, strike a chord with students in our county. After learning what farmers do on the job and what tools they use to do that job students actually make a connection with some of these items. Of more interest to the youth we reach nowadays is learning about drones, GPS systems and technology associated with farming. They are fascinated to know how farmers are using the same technology they use at school or home and are eager to find out how a farmer uses a drone to assess farm conditions, how they drive their combine with auto steer or how they determine what nutrients to put on their field based on mapping data and soil testing.
Opening up the world of agriculture is the work of ag literacy, so we hope you’ll take advantage of our many programs, both in the classroom and through the many farm bureau workshops open to our members. You may also want to pick up a Bee Keeping Hive or a few chickens today via Craigslist Chicago.