In April, more than 170 FFA students learned about the Blanchard River Demonstration Farms Network, kicking off the start of tour season of the three northwestern Ohio farms.
The farms in the Western Lake Erie Basin have been testing both new and traditional conservation methods to help reduce nutrient runoff and better protect water quality. The goal is to show farmers what type of conservation practice would work best on their farms. Ohio Farm Bureau and the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resources Conservation Service are partners on the five-year project.
On April 13, FFA students from a dozen schools visited Stateler Family Farms in McComb. They learned about the farm’s conservation practices through hands-on education, as well as visited booths staffed by experts in various agricultural fields who will discuss career opportunities.
“This is one of the many different types of audiences that we’ll be reaching out to,” said Aaron Heilers, Ohio Farm Bureau’s project manager for the Blanchard River Demonstration Farms. “Other groups that will be coming out include county Farm Bureaus, educators and lawmakers. Our goal is to reach as many different types of groups as possible, including those who don’t really understand agriculture.”
Education and outreach will continue to be the focus during the spring and summer, including the production of brief videos made of every conservation practice on the demonstration farms. Available later this summer, the videos will help teach about conservation in a classroom environment.
Interested in a group tour of the Blanchard River Demonstration Farms? Visit the demo farms’ website to set up a tour (use the email button at the bottom of the home page) or to learn more about the project, which is part of Ohio Farm Bureau’s $2.6 million comprehensive Water Quality Action Plan.