Addressing Misconceptions About Agriculture
SALT LAKE CITY, January 8, 2007 – A new teaching tool produced by the American Farm Bureau Foundation for Agriculture addresses common misconceptions about agriculture using sound, science-based information. Betty Wolanyk, director of education and research for the Foundation, demonstrated the instruction kit to Farm Bureau members attending the organization’s 88th annual meeting.
“People who do not understand how food is produced and the challenges associated with its production are often easily misled,” Wolanyk said.
She noted that many misconceptions about agriculture and the environment can be found in textbooks and on the Internet. Others are perpetuated through advertising that inaccurately portrays America’s farmers and ranchers.
“The instruction kit is designed to be user-friendly and provides everything that’s needed to effectively challenge many of the common misconceptions people have about agriculture,” Wolanyk said.
The kit’s 35 issues cover topics ranging from DDT to global food issues and nutrition to organic food production.
Wolanyk presented an abbreviated version of the kit to Farm Bureau members.
“Brown cows produce chocolate milk” is one of the most common misconceptions about agriculture, even among adults, she said. When some parents can’t get the answer to that question right, “we in agriculture really have our work cut out for us,” she said.
The kit was originally designed for classroom use at the high school and college levels. According to Wolanyk, demand for the presentation led the Foundation to create a shorter version that can be presented in 45 minutes to an hour or adapted for an even shorter presentation. Both versions are included in the kit on a CD-ROM along with an 11-page lesson plan, background information on each issue and three sets of student cards.
“Addressing Misconceptions About Agriculture” instructors’ kits may be ordered online at www.ageducate.org. The American Farm Bureau Foundation for Agriculture is a non-profit 501(c)(3) affiliate of the American Farm Bureau Federation.
Tracy Taylor Grondine