Mr. Smith goes to Commodity Classic 2017
Commodity Classic is America’s largest farmer-led, farmer-focused convention and trade show. Seed to STEM’s sponsor, Kansas Corn, made it possible for S2S teacher leaders to experience this event. Blake Smith teaches Earth Science, Meteorology, & Emerging Technologies at Maize South High School in Wichita. Here’s what he had to say about this trip:
The biggest thing I was wanting to get out of the event was a better understanding of how farming works. Being a city boy, I was coming into the event without much understanding of the daily life of a farmer. I was amazed at the amount of technology used in farming. It was eye-opening to say the least!
The most beneficial part of Commodity Classic from a teacher standpoint was being able to actually sit down and talk to farmers, vendors, and people connected to farming. Having 20 minute conversations and picking their brains is not something you get to do everyday. It helped increase my knowledge of the industry and get a better perspective to take back to the classroom. Plus, the number of contacts gained was tremendous!
I have to make a confession… I have never been on a combine. My jaw dropped when I saw how huge the equipment was! To be able to sit in one was such a great experience. The thing that blew me away even more was the amount of technology used by farmers on a daily basis. It was impressive.
In our Earth Science class, we teach an entire unit on sustainability. I will take the knowledge I gained about ethanol, growing crops responsibly, disease shielding crops, and the technology back to the classroom to give my students an understanding of how important farming is to our lives.
I want my students to know that our world is dependent on farmers and farming practices. We need farmers to succeed in developing new technologies and expanding their knowledge of best farming practices if the world wants a safe food supply as population growth continues.