Our GREENandSAVE Staff is pleased to inform our members and readers about organizations that are helping to promote sustainability. If you would like us to profile your organization please Contact Us.
Student Farmers is actively looking to recruit a student ambassador in Montana, as well as farm mentors in Montana that can help guide students. Overall, student farming is a great way to reduce the distance from farm to table and increase health for students as well as their parents.
Here is an overview on Student Farmers
Student Farmers is a growing group of students who are committed to in-home and in-school sustainable farming as a means to promote physical fitness and environmental stewardship.
Our Mission: To improve health and nutrition education, combat the challenges of climate change, and support each other in generating some revenue to help pay for college.
Our Vision: To increase knowledge about the advantages of eating more heathy and locally grown vegetables across the range of high school and college age students. We also hope that many of the parents of the students will learn from their children’s engagement in our organization and adopt a diet with less processed foods to reduce the growing cost of healthcare.
Here is an example of an agriculture education program in Montana:
BOZEMAN — Last week, current and future growers and producers from all corners of Montana gathered in Linfield Hall on Montana State University’s campus, intently listening to a lecture on remote sensors. The challenging lecture covered engineering, electromagnetic radiation and theory, but each of the 23 producers were engaged and focused on how remote sensing can help them in their careers.
The producers were part of “Sustainable Opportunities in Precision Agriculture,” an inaugural weeklong boot camp intended to give attendees a crash course on precision agriculture and its benefits for farms and ranches in Montana. The camp was hosted by the MSU College of Agriculture and was funded by a grant from the CHS Foundation.
Attendees were current MSU agriculture students, recent graduates, agricultural educators and producers looking to learn about precision ag. According to Alan Dyer, co-director of the camp and a professor of crop science, precision agriculture covers a wide range of information – from soil health and drones to reading data and managing fertilizer rates. The common goal of precision agriculture topics is to make a farm more efficient and profitable, while improving quality of life.
“It’s not just about improving the benefits of cost,” Dyer said. "It’s about the improvement of their lives, and that cuts across all generations.”
The boot camp’s instructors were MSU faculty and expert guest speakers. Topics covered included remote sensing and mapping; soil variability; yield mapping; livestock management technologies; digital farming and economics; and more.
Feedback on the courses was collected daily, and Dyer said the surveys showed nearly 80% of attendees indicated they were likely or highly likely to adopt something they learned from the camp into their careers.
Dyer said the camp also reduces anxiety about new technologies and helps producers understand their value — and that they don’t have to be data experts to adopt precision agriculture practices.
“The biggest value from the workshop is the attendees are informed consumers of that tech, and they don’t have to necessarily be a guru of analytics,” he said. “But they certainly have a feel for what it’s about and understand enough so they can evaluate these different programs being provided by companies.”