AgEd Barn Resources

Cool Ag Education Resources

Part 1: Resource Sites

1. Animal Planet: Cat Breed Directory

"Whether cats are completely domesticated is questionable, but it is believed that humans have bred cats for specific characteristics for the past 2,000 years. These profiles explore some of those breeds and their unique traits." Try the breed selector to find the best cat for your family, or use the drop-down breed list to learn more about a specific breed. Each profile page includes a rating of breed characteristics such as activity level, vocality, playfulness and compatibility with children and other pets.

2. 4-H Virtual Farm

Learn more about life on a variety of farms, including those that raise horses, dairy cows, beef cows, fish, and poultry. Each section is organized a bit differently. For example, the horse farm section is a colorful, interactive site with games, videos and Flash quizzes, sponsored by the Virginia Horse Industry Board. In the diary farm section, you can meet farmer Donna Kerr. "The Kerrs have a 650 acre farm in Amelia County near Virginia's capital city, Richmond. They milk about 150 cows and grow most of the food for their cows and replacement heifers."

3. PBS Nova: Tales from the Hive

In this PBS documentary, the film maker shot "inside a hive and followed bees in flight to capture closeups of honeybee behavior." Along with a complete transcript of the film, the companion website features Anatomy of a Hive (an annotated photo gallery describing the physical and social infrastructure of a beehive colony), Dances with Bees (a multimedia activity exploring bee communication), and the Buzz About Bees ("a flush fund of fascinating facts").

4. USDA: Questions and Answers: Colony Collapse Disorder

The USDA presents a brief overview of Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD) and what scientists are doing about the mysterious trend. "The main symptom of CCD is simply no or a low number of adult honey bees present but with a live queen and no dead honey bees in the hive. Often there is still honey in the hive, and immature bees (brood) are present." Don't miss the two-minute video overview. The link is prominently displayed in the middle of the main article.

5. PBS: Online NewsHour: Alternative Fuels

This collection of alternative fuel articles, interactives, video, classroom activities and lesson plans certainly lives up to the high standards we've come to expect from PBS. Highlights are the ethanol analysis (which lays out arguments both for and against the increased use of corn-based ethanol fuel), a multimedia explanation of how a fuel cell works, and Car of the Future (moderated by Car Talk's funny guys: Tom and Ray).

6. U.S. DOE: Alternative Fuels and Advanced Vehicles Data Center

This Department of Energy site is my pick of the week because of its short, straightforward summaries of all the alternative fuels currently being used, and technologies still under development. "There are more than a dozen alternative and advanced fuels in production or use today. Although government-regulated and voluntary private fleets are the primary users of these fuels, consumers are showing a growing interest in them. Use of these fuels is critical to reducing dependence on foreign oil and improving air quality."

7. got milk?

With a playful, fanciful design, the California Milk Processor Board explains the myriad health benefits of milk. Click on the treadmill-running horse for a multimedia game designed to teach how milk rebuilds muscle. Or visit the X-Ray 9000 to play Help Mr. Osseous Rescue Cartoons and learn how milk fights osteoporosis. The site also includes dairy recipes, a news archive, links to related resources, and a Spanish sister site: Toma Leche.

8. CDC: Fruits and Veggies Matter

Although not specifically for kids, this CDC site has interactive tools, tips, and information for all ages. How many fruits and veggies do you need each day? Enter your age, sex, and level of daily physical activity into the tool on the front page, and learn the benefits of adding more fruits and vegetables into your daily diet. Other reasons to visit include Fruit & Vegetable of the Month (pretty pictures to enjoy with your little ones) and What Counts as a Cup? "In general, 1 cup of raw or cooked vegetables or 100% vegetable juice, or 2 cups of raw leafy greens can be considered as 1 cup from the vegetable group."

9. Windmills

Since the seventh century, man has built windmills to grind flour and pump water. As steam power developed, however, it became less and less economical to rely on the fickle wind. Today we are left with a "tiny fraction of the elegant structures that once extracted power from the wind. These remaining windmills, scattered throughout the world, are a historic, and certainly very photogenic, reminder of a past technological age." Although this site focuses primarily on the windmills of England, it includes extensive links to windmills around the world.

10. Arbor Day Net

Arbor Day Net tells the history of Arbor Day, from 1872 Nebraska to President Nixon's 1970 creation of National Arbor Day. Nebraska's first Arbor Day, proposed by state agriculture board member J. Sterling Morton, was an amazing success -- more than one million trees were planted. So when Nebraska made Arbor Day an official state holiday in 1885, they chose to honor Morton by celebrating it on his birthday , April 22nd. Arbor Day (or some variation) is celebrated in many countries around the world, including Australia, Japan, Korea and Israel.

Part 2: Video Resources

1. The Agricultural Revolution: Crash Course World History #1

In which John Green investigates the dawn of human civilization. John looks into how people gave up hunting and gathering to become agriculturalists, and how that change has influenced the world we live in today. Also, there are some jokes about cheeseburgers.
The Agricultural Revolution: Crash Course World History #1

2. High Tech Agriculture - 9 Billion Mouths to Feed: The Future of Farming (Ep. 4)

In a world of advanced technology, science, and environmental concern we talk to students who have a vision for the future of farming and are working to create high-tech tools to help make agriculture more precise. We also take a look at plant genetics, biotechnology, and a unique couple - an organic farmer and a plant geneticist --both of whom work at UC Davis and strongly believe that the two traditionally opposing sides actually have the same goals. Series: "9 Billion Mouths to Feed: The Future of Farming" [Agriculture] [Show ID: 24297]
High Tech Agriculture - 9 Billion Mouths to Feed: The Future of Farming (Ep. 4)

3. Animal Agriculture Myths and Facts

Learn more about modern animal agriculture in the United States.
Animal Agriculture Myths and Facts

4. Anna Lappé & Food MythBusters -- Do we really need industrial agriculture to feed the world?

How can we feed the world—today and tomorrow?

The biggest players in the food industry—from pesticide pushers to fertilizer makers to food processors and manufacturers—spend billions of dollars every year not selling food, but selling the idea that we need their products to feed the world. But, do we really need industrial agriculture to feed the world? Can sustainably grown food deliver the quantity and quality we need—today and in the future? Our first Food MythBusters film takes on these questions in under seven minutes. So next time you hear them, you can too.
Anna Lappé & Food MythBusters -- Do we really need industrial agriculture to feed the world?

5. Farming First

Help farmers prevent the next food crisis.
Farming First is a global call-to-action to increase agricultural output in an environmentally sustainable, economically feasible, and socially responsible manner. Governments, businesses, scientists, and civil society groups must focus attention on the source of our food security. We must work together to enable farmers and put farming first.
Farming First

Part 3: Podcast Resources

1. Beef Management: Purdue University

Podcasts that offer beef producers basic information about best management practices for a profitable beef herd.

2. Animal Behavior Podcasts

Weekly mp3 podcasts hosted by Dr. David B. Miller at The University of Connecticut, Storrs, CT, U.S.A. These are weekly discussions of animal behavior with Honors students enrolled in Dr. Miller's Animal Behavior course.

3. PetSpeak

PetSpeak is designed to address the behavioral and learning needs of pets. With advice, behavioral principles, and training tips, PetSpeak helps owners better understand their animals. Understanding leads to the use of effective training which in turn produces a happy and healthy pet/ owner relationship.

4. KSRE / College of Agriculture Podcast - K-State Research and Extension: Agriculture Today

K-State agricultural specialists and other experts examine agricultural issues facing Kansas and the nation. Hosted by Eric Atkinson

5. Farm And Ranch Country (Bill Graff)

A podcast where country values and lifestyle merge with business and political reality. Topics covered: Farm Bill, Precision Farming, Tractors, Country Living, Farm Life, Cattle, and all things ag.