Teaching your child about farming is about so much more than livestock and corn. The agriculture industry provided 22 million jobs in 2018 or 11% of employment and in 2017 had a 5.4% share of the gross domestic product (GDP), according to the United States Department of Agriculture.
If that isn’t a large enough motivator to understanding what farmers do for our nation and share that information with your child, then keep reading as I share more reasons.
1. Expands their career options. No matter how old your child is, they should understand that they can be in communications, technology, business, engineering and so much more while still being in agriculture. Jobs are always growing in this industry as new technology is developed and implemented; might I add that there are some high paying jobs, too! Who doesn’t want to see their child be successful in whatever they do?
2. Teaches them where their food comes from. Many kids today don’t know where their food comes from and many say “the store.” It is important for kids to know fresh vegetables and fruits come from hard-working farmers. You can also teach them the life cycle, which can be a hard lesson to learn, but if accompanied by some understanding of this necessary process of how you’re able to put food on the table every day, it might bring some appreciation.
3. Increase appreciation for food. If you can teach your child the amount of hard work that goes into making the food for the table, they are less likely to waste it and eat a wider variety of foods.
4. Life skills. Responsibility is a necessary skill for life and farming helps a child develop this and other important skills, such as communication and hard work. There are many ways to show this; one option for those that do not live on a farm is to contact a local farmer and ask if they can organize a visit. If you own a farm, start by having your child take part in the chores and teach them how to care for the animals.
If you are ready to teach your child more about agriculture, the American Farm Bureau Foundation has many resources to help. Also, our blog post Farming vs. Ranching has some helpful information if trying to explain those differences to your child.
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