Each spring, farm fairs are traditionally held across Montana to educate youth about where their food comes from. Due to the coronavirus, in-person farm fairs cannot take place this spring.
But COVID-19 isn't slowing down the Montana Farm Bureau Federation (MFBF), which will host a virtual farm fair the week of May 11.
Melville rancher Bonita Cremer, chairwoman of the MFBF Promotion and Education committee, said Farm Bureau members from across the state have come together to create educational videos that will be posted to Facebook.
“When we realized that at-home learning was going to be continuing through the end of the school year, we knew that kids were not going to be able to participate in those farm fairs like they typically do,” said Cremer. “They usually get those field trips away from school for the day and go to find out what's occurring on farms and ranches. While also learning what's happening with agriculture all across Montana. We did not want that opportunity for those kids to learn to be lost just because we couldn't have an in-person farm fair.”
“There are 10 different videos,” Cremer said. “Each one of them is about eight minutes long and we're going to be covering topics of about different types of agriculture that occur across the state. We have volunteers that are Farm Bureau members that have stepped up to the plate here and decided they wanted to participate in this. So, they've really taken it on and have done some amazing videos.”
While the content is focused for fourth and fifth grade students, the whole family can participate in the diverse learning modules.
Cremer said the topics include “how bees turn pollen into honey. We're going to be talking about cattle and lambs. Branding. Why we brand calves and what that means. We're also going to be talking about pulse crops. We're going to learn my favorite station ever, and I think probably everyone's, is how to make your own ice cream. Also, they're going to be learning about some chickens as well. These videos are targeted for the fourth fifth grade age level, but you know, there's something in there for everyone.”
For more on the virtual farm fair, visit mfbf.org.