By Rick McNary on July 16, 2018
Are you looking for fun, educational and outdoorsy ways to spend time with your grandkids? Although you might have grown up on or around a farm and have your own garden, there are a surprising number of children who don’t know where their food comes from.
Below are ten tips grandparents can use to show their grands just how their food is grown.
- Take them on a farm tour – There are many farms and ranches within driving distance that are happy to have you stop in for a visit. If you don’t know of any, contact your local Farm Bureau County Coordinator. You can find that information here: http://www.kfb.org/contact
- Take them to the county and/or state fair – County fairs are exciting opportunities to engage your grandchildren in fun and educational forays into agriculture. You can make it more enjoyable by doing a little pre-work with them by coming up with a list of questions in a scavenger hunt format. For example:
- What’s the biggest animal there?
- What’s the smallest animal?
- How many kinds of animals can we find?
- What was your favorite 4-H project?
- Sign them up in 4-H – Young parents are busy and often don’t have time for yet another evening activity with their kids. Step in and help them out and take your grandchild to 4-H. There are all kinds of projects and leadership training that will interest your grandchild and you can help them with it.
- Encourage them to join FFA if it’s available in their school.
- Take them to a farmers market and see if they know what the different items are or have them try something new. It’s a good time to talk about how much food is wasted because people won’t buy imperfect produce in the grocery store. Talk to them, or even engage them, in the idea of gleaning, such as After the Harvest.
- Buy them books – Kansas Farm Bureau has excellent resources for you to help your grandkids learn.
- Visit a county extension office and agent – Kansas State University is a Land-Grant college, which began with President Lincoln’s idea to have a college in each state that was dedicated to agriculture. KSU makes all of their wonderful research and knowledge available to the public through County Extension offices and agents. These people are a wealth of knowledge and love sharing their information with you – that’s why they are there.
- Start a garden – Kids love playing in dirt and a garden gives you an opportunity to teach a variety of life lessons interwoven with the joy of watching a seed bear fruit.
- Talk to a local butcher – This is a great opportunity to teach your grandchildren about the importance of meat and nutrition in our diets. Talk to your local grocery store butcher, or better yet, take them to a local meat processor near you.
- Talk to a Farm Bureau County Coordinator – each county has a County Coordinator who is an excellent resource for information and connecting you to the farming and ranching community. They love to talk to people, especially kids through their Ag in the Classroom series, about how food is grown.
As a grandparent, we just assume our grandkids know how their food is grown. However, a recent survey found that 16 million people in America believe chocolate milk comes from brown cows. Children are more and more removed from the land and you have an excellent opportunity to do something fun, educational and outdoorsy with your grandkids.
To save the best for last, I’ll make this final suggestion: Gift them with a Kansas Farm Bureau Membership!