Have you ever wondered about engaging people in conversations regarding the tough issues and personal values in agriculture? If so, “A Call to Action” curriculum is for you! This curriculum was borne out of inspiration from Dr. Michael Martin, Assistant Professor in Agricultural Education, who initiated the first lesson as a way to encourage communication with groups or individuals on opposing sides of difficult issues in agriculture. Dr. Martin is also interested in research related to values sets, or what each individual places value on in agriculture. His influence in this project and subsequent data collections from surveys provided great momentum.

The curriculum was expanded considering major issues found in media or at the forefront of the general population. This curriculum project was designed and led by Dr. Kellie Enns, Assistant Professor in Agricultural Education, who has envisioned this curriculum to inspire participants to action. Regardless of the topic or associated values, it is hoped that participants will understand opposing viewpoints and will be encouraged to further ignite their passion for agriculture. Ultimately, the outcome of this curriculum will depend on what the participants choose to do with it – what is your action plan? What are you inspired to do now that you have more knowledge? It is hoped that this curriculum is not just a passive educational experience, but rather one that will promote debate, productive discussions, and a revitalization of agriculture and communities.

Colorado Young Farmers Educational Association became involved in this curriculum as a way to engage an adult learner in agriculture and promote inclusion in the local agriculture community. Their vision for this curriculum is to engage a larger population to help grow and expand the influence of their organization. With many current Young Farmer members actively involved in the agriculture industry, it is hoped that this curriculum will be used as a resource to expand and reinforce knowledge of current topics and encourage advocacy throughout the industry.

We are appreciative of the gracious support for this project provided by American Ag Credit and Mr. Mike Flesher which has provided the opportunity to bring this curriculum to the forefront for Colorado! A tremendous thanks is offered to Kaity Gaines, the primary researcher and creative mind who brought this work to realization.

This curriculum is presented in modular form which will allow you to use just one, or multiple parts of curriculum. It was designed so the modules could be used once a month for a community or agriculture organization meeting or as training in agriculture issues for high school agriculture programs. Each module includes an opening activity, video links, discussion questions, and an informative flier with facts and statistics about the topic. This curriculum can be led by someone with vast experience and knowledge, or by novice individuals with a little facilitation finesse. Following the delivery of the modules; participants are encouraged to extend their learning by engaging in a number of ways. Several are suggested in each module; but the sky is the limit. It is hoped that participants will engage in some form or fashion. Please help us by collecting closing surveys so that we can do additional improvement and curriculum work over time.

Let’s get started; you have been called to action!