Ag Tabloids Kit*
•7 Agriculture Issues Information Sheets (one per group)*
•Walk in Someone Else’s Shoes Worksheet per student
•Message House Worksheet per student
•Computer and Internet Access
Students will explore issues facing agriculture, analyzing each issue from the perspective of farmers, consumers and lawmakers. Using the perspectives they’ve gained they will create reliable and knowledge based messaging on each issue.
Part I: Beach Ball Perspective
Before Class: Write the numbers 1-4 or 1-6 on a ball.
1) Standing in the middle of the room, hold up the ball for your students to see. Without rotating the ball, ask students in different locations of the room what numbers they can see. (Students will see all or part of different numbers).
2) Ask students: Why if you are all looking at the same object, a ball, are you seeing different numbers?
This is because each or you have a different point of view. Each of you see entire numbers, partial numbers, or no number at all. This is similar to how farmers, consumers and lawmakers see agricultural related issues.
Part II: Agricultural Issues
Today, we are going to look at seven issues facing the agricultural industry in assigned groups.
1) Divide students into six groups and then assign roles: each group needs a farmer, consumer and lawmaker. There can be multiple of each role if needed depending on your group sizes.
2) Provide each group with one of the agricultural related topics (Food Safety, GMOs, Water & Agriculture, Environment, Labor and Animal Well-Being & Antibiotics). Keep the Food Accessibility topic to use an example study for the class.
3) Read the Food Accessibility issue as a class or individually.
4) Once students have finished reading, discuss the concerns from each of the perspectives as a class.
5) After the example, have students work within their group to do the same process for their agricultural issue. Students will first work individually to read the information provided on the issue then fill in their roles’ perspective on the shoe. They may need to do some additional research on the topic using a computer and internet to identify concerns of the stakeholders.
6) Once each member of the group has filled in their roles’ perspectives have group members share what each other role’s were concerned with on that issue.
7) When groups have finished compiling their information, have students work together to find shared values for each topic amongst the stakeholders. The shared values of each stakeholder will help students to create a list of common concerns that each of their perspectives would agree with and list them in the Common Concerns sections of their worksheet.
8) Once students are in agreement on common concerns have them start creating consumer approved messaging for their agricultural issue. The Message House worksheet provides guidance and examples of messaging to help students develop their own messaging based on the common concerns their group developed.
9)When groups have finished compiling their information, have each group share a summary of the issue presented and the concerns from each of the perspectives, common concerns and the messaging they developed. They can share it in the form of the Message House with concerns on a poster board or powerpoint to share with their classmates.