A Bridge to the Farm

Student activity based on the article “A Bridge to the Farm” from the February/March 2011 Our Ohio magazine.


Academic Content Standard
(Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources: LifeKnowledge® and Cluster Skills: High School): “The student will demonstrate competence in the application of leadership, personal growth and career success skills necessary for a chosen profession while effectively contributing to society.”

(Note: Key terms in bold below used from the National Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources Career Cluster Content Standards, 2009. National Council for Agricultural Education)

Discussion points

  1. Read the article titled “A Bridge to the Farm” found in Our Ohio magazine.
  2. What is your knowledge of 4-H? Do you view the organization like Erica did?  In what ways did you agree or disagree with her perception of 4-H?
  3. What stereotypes are noted in the article about farm kids?
  4. Erica hopes for a career in agriculture law. What topics might you find in an agriculture law Web search?
  5. What 4-H projects did Erica participate in as a new 4-H participant?  How did the projects change over the years, during the course of her participation?
  6. The article states that completing projects has taught this 4-Her valuable life lessons.  Explain what this means. 
  7. How can experience completing projects lead to life skills and leadership abilities?
  8. The article notes “leadership positions” that this 4-H participant has held.  In your opinion, what type of training does one need to be a good leader?
  9. What is the Ohio 4-H Foundation Board?
  10. Look up the National 4-H Leadership CongressDoes this sound like a good experience to develop leadership skills?
  11. According to the article, do most 4-H participants live on farms or in towns, cities and suburbs?
  12. Explain the benefits of 4-H participation as reflected by this article.
  13. What skills would a public speaking contest provide for one’s future?
  14. Explain what this 4-Her did to serve her community through “Santa Paws.”
  15. The final paragraph of the article examines a current event issue. What is that issue? What projects or plans should leaders make to address this issue?
  16. The Sidebars of this article provide a wealth of information and statistics.  Explain what information is provided and why it is helpful to the reader.
  17. What Ohio county is home to the first 4-H club?
  18. What leader founded 4-H?
  19. Read the A.B. Graham story.
  20. What words in the 4-H pledge indicate the development of leadership skills?

Hands on at Home or School

  1. List the characteristics that a leader must have, in your opinion.
  2. Why is group project work and individual project work important in developing leadership skills?  Are these experiences important in developing workplace skills? Explain.
  3. What is a task analysis? 
  4. Create a task analysis for a situation in your life or a school project.
  5. What are planning skills?  Do you utilize planning skills when you are faced with a project or task?
  6. Are you a leader?  Make a list of your individual strengths and weaknesses.  How can you improve any weaknesses?
  7. Would 4-H possibly help to develop you leadership skills, given the information you have read in this article?
  8. Go to the various 4-H Websites to explore the program and its benefits to youth:
  9. www.4-h.org
  10. www.ohio4-h.org
  11. Leadership
  12. What other programs help youth to develop leadership qualities? List programs with which you are familiar.
  13. How do you know what leadership characteristics you possess?    Have you ever taken a leadership assessment?
  14. Are you given opportunities in school to develop skills that will help you gain career success?
  15. What does it mean to effectively contribute to society?

This student activity was prepared by Camille Kopczewski, who is coordinator of religious education at Our Lady of Perpetual Help, Grove City. She is a former sixth grade social studies teacher for South-Western City Schools. She has undergraduate and graduate degrees in education.