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‘Farmland’ depicts big risks, big rewards

The movie “Farmland” is now streaming online from services such as Netflix, iTunes, Xbox and more. It is the story of young farmers winding their way through the highs and lows of the agriculture industry.

Award-winning director James Moll traveled all over the country to film a new generation of farmers, many staying true to a family farming tradition passed down through generations in a rapidly evolving industry. The film was made possible through support of the U.S. Farmers & Ranchers Alliance (USFRA), an Ohio Farm Bureau-supported organization.

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While the film itself is an eye-opener for anyone who may not have stepped foot on a farm, it is a useful teaching tool as well. USFRA has partnered with Discovery Education to develop lesson plans for high school teachers to help educate students about careers in agriculture.

Recently USFRA in conjunction with Discovery Education, a leader in digital content for school districts across the country, provided a virtual field trip to high school students nationwide. This no-cost field trip transported classrooms to a hog, corn and soybean farm in Illinois to see today’s modern agricultural practices in action. They discussed technology and innovation on today’s “smart” farms with those farmers using it.

That same partnership has developed standards-aligned curriculum guides, lesson plans and interactive resources, which have become increasingly popular with high school teachers and students who are using these timely tools to gain real-world insights about where their food comes from. The curriculum brings to life many of the themes covered in the Farmland film and teaches students about food choices, sustainability, entrepreneurship and antibiotics, among many other topics. Visit farmlandfilm.com.

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Amanda Domsitz 

Amanda Domsitz is a communications specialist for Ohio Farm Bureau.