Here’s a game for your next car trip: Name something you see, and see if your kids can link that object to a farmer. For starters: orange tree, landscaping plants… Then houses (wood, carpets…), cars (fabrics, resins, polymers, adhesives, biofuels…) and road signs (paint pigments, poles). How about the lowly water bottle there in the cupholder? More and more of those are made with plant-based plastics.
Continue the game when you get home. Curtains, picture frames, furniture, all made with wood or fiber from trees and plants. A sofa made of leather. Wallpaper. Hardwood floors. Medicines and makeup often include plant extracts.
There are lots of fun facts out there about agriculture. CDFA has a large selection on its kids’ page: http://www.cdfa.ca.gov/kids/, available to kids of all ages. The Agriculture in the Classroom program has a great map allowing people to click on each state for a summary of what makes farming great: http://www.agclassroom.org/kids/ag_facts.htm
So, what did we learn today, class? It’s easy to link farmers to food, but agriculture is much more than that. Which brings us to the real question: if the fake plant in your office window is made of plant-based plastic, is it really “fake?”