Nebraska’s fourth-grade classes have been quick to take advantage of a new program developed by the Nebraska Soybean Board (NSB) and the Nebraska Pork Producers Association (NPPA) to introduce students to the importance of the agricultural industry to the state’s economy. Brokaw Marketing, Inc. worked with both of the Commodity groups to develop and manages the program. The program which began in 2010, is now in it’s sixth year and both the Nebraska Corn Board (NCB) and the Nebraska Beef Council (NBC) have joined NSB and NPPA in support of the program.
The Nebraska AG Sack Lunch Program is designed to educate Nebraska fourth-graders on the important role agriculture plays in the state’s economy, from a past, present and future perspective. The program takes advantage of the fact that over 20,000
fourth-graders visit the State Capitol Building in Lincoln each year as part of their curriculum.
The program includes a sack lunch featuring nutritious food produced in Nebraska, a 15-minute presentation by Ag Ambassadors on the vital role agriculture plays in the state’s economy, and a fact-filled card game designed for students to take home and play with their
families. “Ag Ambassadors,” who are trained UNL students, make the brief presentations, which typically run 10 to 15 minutes. “Some students just aren’t aware of where their food comes from, just taking it for granted”, one Ambassador said.
Their presentations tell students that one in three jobs in Nebraska have some connection to agriculture, including a variety of support industries such as equipment manufacturing and sales, building construction, transportation, and food retailers. Of these jobs, only about 10% are traditional farmers.
Invitations were sent to 660 fourth-grade teachers in 44 counties in the eastern third of Nebraska. The program provides 5000 Ag Sack Lunches each year. The program continues to receive positive comments from Teachers, students and parents.