Month: September 2018


Community Service Program of the Month
Ag Adventure

School: Colorado State University Region: IACURH
Person in charge: Marshall Frasier Nominator: Caelynn Moon

Target Population: 2000 Time Needed to Organize: 6 months
Number of People in Attendance: 2000 Date(s) of Program: September 26-27, 2018
Number of People Needed to Organize: 11 Cost of Program: $6500
On-Campus Population: 6039 Chapter Size: 30

Origin of Program:

The Ag Adventure program started in 2001 and was an outgrowth of Ag Council (the student governance body of the College of Agricultural Sciences). It was and is an education effort aimed at elementary aged kids in the Fort Collins/Denver area.

Word Count: 42

Please give a short description of the program:

Where does your milk come from? It seems like the answer should be obvious, but there are so many school age kids, particularly from urban and suburban areas, that honestly believe the answer is “from the grocery store.” At first it seems totally bizarre, but then I remember a conversation that my mom, my sister and I had in the car once when we were about 8 and 10 respectively. My sister was eating Smartfood popcorn and suddenly declared “I think it’s made out of corn! Look, there’s corn on the package!” My mom and I burst into laughter, reiterating the term “pop-corn,” as if it was the most obvious thing in the world, but really, popcorn looks nothing like its parent. If kids don’t correlate milk with cows, who could blame them? It definitely looks nothing like the source!

In an effort to bridge this educational gap, Colorado State puts on the Ag Adventure program every year, which is organized and run by college students (generally those who are in the College of Agriculture) for about 2,000 local third graders. The elementary students get bused out to CSU’s Agricultural Research, Development and Education Center (ARDEC) for a day of hands-on learning about anything and everything related to agriculture in September of each year. They get the chance to see and even reach inside of a fistulized cow, or one that has had a hole made in its side for research purposes, they learn about pollinators, how their fruits and veggies are grown, and yes, even where their milk comes from. Everything that they learn in this single day will go on to help them be a more informed buyer, and be more conscious of the fact that the things that we consume have more of an impact than just satisfying our hunger. There is an entire field, both work field and a literal field, behind every meal that we consume, and the approximate 1.3 billion tons of food that gets wasted annually. It’s not a day of doom and gloom, though. What this program really, truly is, is an opportunity for students from elementary age to college to come together and learn from one another. Everyone comes away with something, no matter how young or old, and that’s why this program has been so successful for the last 17 years.

Word Count: 392

Goals of the program:

This program seeks to give young people a deeper understanding of where our food comes from, and why the agriculture industry is a fundamental part of everyone's daily life. It does this through exciting demonstrations and hands-on, engaging learning that students wouldn't be able to receive within a conventional school setting. The whole point is not just to educate kids, but also to instill within them a sense of ownership about the world in which they live, and open their eyes to all of the work and amazing things that go into putting their dinner on the table each night.

Word Count: 101

Positive and lasting effects of the program:

Kids are able to go into the world understanding where a lot of their basic necessities come from, and why protecting resources is so important. They're able to learn and get excited about something that many people just take for granted, and they get to have an experience that many children just don't have the opportunity to have. In this single day they are getting indispensable information that will very likely stick with them for years to come. I still remember a field trip that I took in elementary school over 10 years ago to a dairy farm to learn about where my milk came from and that the brown cows, in fact, do not produce chocolate milk. Falsehoods like this are so prevalent, and even sometimes believed by adults, and by participating in this one day program kids are able to come out of it with completely new and valuable information.

Word Count: 152

Short evaluation of the program:

This is an absolutely phenomenal program, and there is a reason why they are able to completely cover their fees through donors every year. Everyone involved is able to come away with something, from CSU student volunteers, to the Poudre District third graders that participate, and to their teachers and parent volunteers that come out. Not only do the kids get to learn, but they get to come have a blast with college students and get an introduction into higher learning, and the college students get to do the same while increasing their leadership skills. It is a totally unique and amazing opportunity for people to take part in, and it is just one of many ways in which CSU, and even the College of Agriculture, participates with the local community.

Word Count: 132

How could this program be adapted to other campuses?

Not every school is able to have their own farm, due to a wide range of factors, but that's okay! Not every school has an agriculture program, and that is perfectly okay as well. The main take away for this program is that kids (yes, college students are basically just big sleep-deprived kids) get to teach kids, and convey important information about the world in a fun and interactive way. If another campus is engineering school, then have an engineering day and explain why what is happening there is so important, and the impact that it has on the world at large. Or if it's art, then teach them about art and culture and how people interact with art worldwide. There are so many options, and so many applications of a program like this, and it really embraces the idea of education through active learning, not passively sitting in a classroom. Those are the lessons that really stick with people for the longest time.

Word Count: 165

Date of entry into database: 2018-09-25 00:50:14

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