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Click HERE to view the 2022 Annual Meeting Information Statement

 

School Farm Visits

Are you a farmer interested in hosting school groups or an educator looking to enhance school learning by visiting a farm?

School farm visits are mutually beneficial as they provide the farmer an opportunity to share their passion and knowledge of agriculture and to connect to their local community.  Students benefit from visiting the farm because it provides an opportunity to discover and learn about agriculture, participate in hands-on activities, have real-world experiences, and foster a better understanding of agriculture. 

Both the farmer and the educator will need to prepare for school visits in order to ensure a safe and enjoyable experience for everyone. To assist with preparations, we've developed this learning portal containing:

  • Resource Guide: School Farm Visits, A guide for farmers and educators
  • Top 10 Tips for Hosting a School Group
  • Checksheets covering a wide range of topic areas
  • Activities and curriculum resources
  • List of potential community collaborators
  • Additional resource links

This portal will assist you as you prepare for school farm visits and is appropriate for farmers interested in hosting school groups and for educators interested in taking students to visit a local farm.


Resource Guide: School Farm Visits

Download the full guide, HERE. The guide contains considerations for both farmers and educators, tips for the day of the event, an event information form and surveys for both the farmer and educator.


Top 10 Tips for Hosting a School Group

Download the tip sheet, HERE.

Checksheets

Ensure the health and safety of visitors to your farm. Browse a collection of checksheets covering a wide range of farm safety topics.

Source: Integrating Safety into Agritourism - www.safeagritourism.org

Checksheets For All Farming Operations 

Download Full Booklet

Click on a topic below to access the full checksheet. These checksheets are applicable to all farming operations.

After completing checksheets, click HERE to access signage, sample policies, logs, etc. to help address safety issues.*

*Consult your attorney for information on how you can manage liability specific to your farming operation and obtain information on your requirements when hosting school groups.

Activity Specific Checksheets

Download Full Booklet

Click on the specific activity to access the checksheet.

After completing checksheets, click HERE to access signage, sample policies, logs, etc. to help address safety issues.*


Curriculum

Curriculum Resources

National Ag in the Classroom - Access their curriculum matrix

Virginia Ag in the Classroom - Browse multiple agriculture-focused activities to enhance student learning

Mid-Atlantic Farm-Based Education Network - Access activities reflecting the regional needs of the Mid-Atlantic

Green Mountain Farm-to-School - Find multiple agricultural lessons appropriate for farm visits


Additional Resources

Links to Reputable Resources
  • Virginia Cooperative Extension - Agritourism - Find multiple resources on managing liability
  • West Virginia University Extension - Agritourism News
  • Integrating Safety into Agritourism - Visit www.safeagritourism.org for interactive walk-throughs, checksheets, signage and additional resources to address items found on checksheets.

*Consult your attorney for information on how you can manage liability specific to your farming operation and obtain information on your requirements when hosting school groups.

Potential Community Collaborators
  • Farm Credit - Reach out to your loan officer or local branch office. 
  • Cooperative Extension - Your local cooperative extension office may be able to speak at your event, and bring hands-on activities and handouts.  Depending on your local office, you may have access to 4-H, Ag and Natural Resources, Livestock agents, and Master Gardeners. Search for your state extension services HERE.
  • Agriculture Education/FFA groups - Consider reaching out to your local middle school or high school and speak with the ag educators or FFA advisors. They may be able to assist in multiple ways and could consist of on-site help on event day, assistance with youth activities, activity suggestions, and brainstorming.
  • Soil & Water Conservation Districts - Your local field office may be able to provide support by offering to speak at your event.  They may even have activities and hands-on learning resources to bring along. For example, many field offices have activities related to soil health and erosion.  They would make a great “station” students are able to visit while at your farm.  Your soil and water conservation staff will be able to speak on topics directly related to your location. Search for your state office HERE.
  • U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service - The U.S. and Wildlife Service is committed to educating the next generation of land and wildlife stewards.  They seek to engage in educational opportunities. They may be able to assist you with on-site educational programming or be able to provide you with educational resources.  Reach out to your local office to inquire about their offerings.  You can search for your local office HERE.
  • Commodity Groups - Search for a multitude of commodity groups in the National Commodity and Agricultural Organization Sites contact list. Get in contact with the organization’s local contact about any educational services they provide or free literature you can have. Search for a National Commodity site HERE.
  • Farm Bureau - Your local Farm Bureau may have resources to help as they house Ag in the ClassroomYoung Farmers and Ranchers and Women’s Leadership Programs.

Important Notice and Disclaimer

These materials are provided for educational and informational purposes only and do not constitute legal advice, financial advice, tax advice, or investment advice on any matter. These materials may not be current and up-to-date. You should not act or refrain from acting based on these materials or the information they contain without seeking legal advice from an attorney licensed in your jurisdiction or other appropriate professional. Farm Credit of the Virginias, ACA expressly disclaims any liability for all acts and omissions taken or made in reliance on these materials or any information contained in these materials.