Last fall I was working on getting involved with the Nebraska Ag in the Classroom program. Agriculture in the Classroom (AITC) is a nation wide program that works on education children about agriculture and where their food and fiber comes from. The program provides teachers with education and tool about agriculture so that they can provide a hands on learning experience for their students. One of the programs that is available is the Pen Pal Program. This program links a class of students to a real life farmer/rancher in the state. The farmers/ranchers are to write to the classroom about how food is produced and moved from the farm to the table. The classroom and the farmer/rancher are suppose to exchange 3 letters each throughout the school year (6 total letters) and the farmer/rancher can send pictures, video or samples to help educate the students on what really goes on at the farm. My opinion is that this is a great way to get our future customers knowledge and in touch with where their food comes from. The last time I checked the milk and cheese were made from the milk the cow gave not the made by magic in the back of the grocery store. Any time we have the opportunity to share our story - THE REAL STORY- we are 1 step closer to building a strong relationship with our customer a relationship in where they trust that we are taking good care of the resources that we have been given.
We were put on a waiting list this year and were put on the list for next school year as all the spots were already filled. I got an email yesterday saying that there was a classroom that needed a farmer/rancher and we were asked if we were still willing to participate. Of course I jumped at the invitation, and didn't have to be asked twice. Today we found which class in the state that we will be sending letters to and that they didn't get their fall letter and the winter letter is due soon! So I have a lot of writing and picture arranging to do to get 2 educational letter out in a short amount of time. I needed another project about as much as I need another hole in my head but this is important and I am told you always find time in life to do the important things!!