The school nutrition program can be the catalyst for farm field trips. Teachers are always eager for new ideas for field trips and other educational activities. Talking with teachers about your local food purchasing efforts and engaging them in the Farm to School Program can have many positive benefits for your school nutrition program including gaining support from parents and other community members.
Farm field trips expose students to the wonders of urban and rural agricultural environments. Students are able to connect to local food and learn about where their food comes from through experiential learning. Through hands-on activities like hayrides and corn mazes, experiments, and exploration students learn about the roots of good nutrition.
Some field trip topics include composting and the living soil, plant life and plant parts, the insect environment, urban agriculture and local food systems. Students can learn about hoop houses and greenhouses while seeing crops of vegetables, fruits, herbs, and flowers. Information gained during these visits with farmers can reinforce lessons being taught in the cafeteria and classroom, and will empower students as they work in their school garden.
For farmers, hosting a field trip provides students with a fun and interactive “field classroom” to learn about food and the local farms in their communities. Think about your farm through the eyes of a student and consider ways to turn your farm into a classroom for a day.
Wisdom from Others:
A Hayride: A Resource for Educational Farm Field Trips – This guide provides tips on planning a farm field trip and connecting the field trip to the classroom; developed by the Appalachian Sustainable Agriculture Project.
Georgia Agritourism – Visit the Georgia Department of Agriculture’s Agritourism page to find a list and map of Georgia Agritourism destinations.
Certified Farm Markets – Provided by the Georgia Farm Bureau, search for certified farm markets throughout Georgia, some of which may offer agritourism activities.
Wisdom from Others (for Farmers):
Making the Farm Connection: A Guide to Field Trips for Farmers – Developed by the Community Alliance with Family Farmers, a guide for farmers on planning and conducting farm field trips for students.