Dear Potential Donor and Supporter:
Four years ago, the Kings County Farm Bureau had a vision – to education children on the importance of agriculture in their lives. With this simple task in mind, they developed two interactive agricultural courses using the latest video conferencing technology, delivering it to schools at no cost.
Today, this program, known as “Farm Academy Live,” is delivered to K-6 classrooms via the internet, and provides students with the experience of being at the farm on a virtual field trip. Starting with 40 classrooms, Farm Academy Live has now grown to delivering over 200 programs a year, to more than 6,000 students nationwide, per year.
Understanding school district’s budget restraints, it was clear that we would have to deliver our programs at no cost to schools if we wanted to reach the masses or diverse, and disadvantaged, student populations. As our program popularity grew, so did our program costs. Our fundraising strategy included forming the PLANT Foundation, a non-profit 501c3 corporation. Through generous contributions from other philanthropic foundations, industry trade groups, and corporations, we are able to offer all classes free of charge, where no class is turned away. By targeting inner city schools, remote rural areas, and suburban districts, PLANT Foundation is able to serve an important educational value for students far removed from the farm.
Farm Academy Live integrates Common Core Standards and national curriculum standards in science, math, language arts, history, and social studies, into three courses: “Milk: From the Dairy to Your Door,” “Cotton: From the Field to Your Family,” and Food & Nutrition: From Fork to Farm.”
Each course is taught in a live studio setting, where the teacher talks directly to the students through a computer system. Hands-on interactive exercises make the courses engaging. Depending on the course, individual packets of dairy cow feed, raw cotton, or investigative materials are sent to the students prior to the day of the class, so that their experience is as “real” as possible.
Award Winning Program: For three consecutive years, Farm Academy Live has received national attention by receiving the esteemed ‘Pinnacle Award’ from the Center for Interactive Learning Collaboration; as well as the ‘Innovators and County of Excellence award’ from the California Farm Bureau and American Farm Bureau Federation.