Tuesday, September 14

Farming & Ranching Curriculum for Teens

One of our sons is more the hands-on, outdoors type of kid.  He works hard and has great work ethic, but doesn't really plan to continue schooling beyond graduation.  He does, however, love working with animals and the land...

As he ventures into this field with a more adult-eye, we have pulled together a full-year course on farming and ranching for middle / high school students who are agriculturally-minded.  If you follow us, you can snag the curriculum free in our Subscribers Library.

Peek Inside the Course!

We've pulled together books, videos, and hands-on projects covering both animal husbandry and agriculture.  To the right, you'll see some of our favorite chicken resources!  These are cute, quick reads that will introduce your students to life on the farm.  Older readers will breeze through them, but still enjoy the humor!  We start out by covering the difference between farming and ranching and how the work of these folks affects you everyday, such as in the grocery store.
The curriculum includes:
  • Books & book guides
  • Videos & video guide
  • Virtual Tours
  • Science Experiments
  • Building Projects
  • ...and more!


Hands-On Soil Experiment
This simple experiment from the curriculum shows the importance of having vegetation covering the soil to your kids! 

  • 6 empty 2-L bottles
  • 1piece of ply wood
  • Wood glue
  • Scissors / knife
  • String
  • Soil from the garden / compost
  • Seedlings
  • Mulch (bark chips, dead leaves and sticks)
  • Water
  • Prep your first three bottles...
    • Cut a rectangular hole along the side of three of the empty bottles.
    • Glue the bottles to the board, and be sure that the necks of the three bottles protrude a little over the edge.
    • Fill the first bottle with plain garden soil and the other two with a soil and compost mixture. Press down firmly to compact it.
    • Leave the first bottle as is.
    • Cover the top of the soil in the second bottle with your mulch (bark chips, dead leaves and sticks etc).
    • Plant your seedlings in the third bottle. Make sure you plant them tightly together and press down firmly to compact the soil.
  • Prep the other three bottles...
    • Cut the other three bottles in half, horizontally, and keep the bottom halves.
    • Make two small holes opposite each other, nearest the cut side of the bottle.
    • Cut three pieces of string, roughly 10" long and insert each end into the holes. Tie a knot on the ends to secure them. This will form a “bucket” to collect the water.
    • Hang them over the necks of each of the three bottles on the board.
  • Watch what happens!
    • Slowly pour equal amounts of water into each of the bottles. Pour the water in at the end furthest from the neck of the bottle.
    • Take note of the color of the water collecting in the cups! {The water in the first cut is really dirty, the water from the second and third cups are much cleaner which shows that both mulch as well as the root structure of plants assist in preventing soil erosion.}
    • Do this every day for a week or two, and see how the soil erodes away in the first container while the plants hold the soil in the last one. 

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