Farming can bestow many incredible learning lessons and character traits to young children that can be carried in to adolescence and adulthood. Whether planting flowers, harvesting fruits, caring for a farm animal or going through difficult farm related experiences, children can take the lessons learned on the farm to help them navigate life more successfully as society puts pressure on them to perform and conform to certain standards. FARMILIES CONNECT™ encourages Michigan families to purposefully incorporate agriculture in their children's lives in small and large ways such as going to local farms through school field trips, participating in local 4-H programs or learning or grow herbs and food in a vegetable garden. Here are 3 agriculture learning lessons for families.
Perseverance is a humble strength that many farmers possess that carries them through year after year, a learning lesson worthy of passing on to families and future generations.
A core character trait and lesson that agriculture teaches us is responsibility. Having to tend to and care for something other than yourself, whether it be plant or animal life can teach a child to plan ahead, organize, prioritize and become selfless in the pursuit of keeping something growing or living. Days filled with tending to gardens, doing barn chores, pulling weeds and mucking stalls develops character and a strong work ethic. Helping a child understand that their actions can be productive, illustrates in a tangible way how they can become self-sufficient instead of relying on others to do tasks on their behalf. Using farm tasks to teach children the benefits of responsibility and taking ownership over ones tasks is a gift that will keep on giving for years to come. Giving a child the opportunity to be responsible opens the doors to problem solving, ingenuity, creativity and imagination.
2. Hard Work
Reap what you sow. A simple yet profound concept. Planting can be used in many different metaphors, but the tangible reward of actually harvesting something after putting in weeks and months of hard work cannot be bought with a price. Teaching children the value of hard work at a young age is a learning lesson that will take them far in whatever circumstances and opportunities they find themselves in the future. Putting hard work in to farming opportunities at a young age can translate into others areas of life such as relationships, careers and their own families one day. Behind hard work lies consistency, which is another essential learning lesson applicable to different life scenarios. Being consistent in words, deeds and actions and determining to follow through can be brought about through hard work in small and large farming operations and agricultural activities.
Anyone who knows someone who works in agriculture knows that farming takes more than its fair share of stubbornness and willingness to see things through no matter how things turn out. It's often said that farmers are a different breed of human and some of the greatest risk takers in our societies. Much of agriculture has a balance and often that balance is out of human hands or human control. Weather changes, sick animals, complicated birthing experiences, losing crops to insects and drought, it's the difficult moments in agriculture that teach the importance of perseverance and seeing things through the highs and the lows. Perseverance is knowing that despite the bad day you had today, you still have to get up and do it all over again tomorrow. Perseverance is a humble strength that many farmers possess that carries them through year after year, a learning lesson worthy of passing on to families and future generations.
market innovation and agricultural education. Agritourism is the bridge for both and a catalyst of fun and learning for families to experience. The purpose of this platform is to bridge the gap between farming and future generations, making agriculture appealing and engaging for children and adults, alike. This initiative strives to connect farms and families in Michigan through growing its membership and fostering engagement between members. Help support Michigan's diverse agriculture and farms by becoming a Family or Farm Member on a platform designed to connect farms and families in Michigan.
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