Iowa elementary student invited to learn about pigs

Two pigs walking. (Photo by Natalie Sleichter.)

Iowa elementary school students will have the chance to learn about life on a pig farm through a virtual visit on Oct. 26.

The Iowa Pork Producers Association is working with the Iowa Agriculture Literacy Foundation to host a “Learning with Pigs Farmchat.” Students can join IALF’s Education Program Coordinator Alex Osborn virtually as she tours the Benton County pig farm of Todd and Denise Wiley.

“We appreciate the opportunity to educate grade school students as well as 4-H and FFA kids who have a genuine interest in learning about animal agriculture and raising pork,” said Todd Wiley.

Kids will learn how farmers keep their pigs safe, what a hog building looks like, what pigs eat, and much more. Students can also ask questions as they engage with a farmer and see pigs in real time.

This webinar is ideal for elementary students in 4th grade or older.

Kelly Foss, executive director of the Iowa Agriculture Literacy Foundation, emphasized the importance of showcasing the connection between agriculture and students’ daily lives. “We focus on helping youth see the relevance of agriculture in their daily lives and support teachers as they integrate agriculture into their curriculum. The Learning with Pigs FarmChat provides students a unique insight into where their food comes from.”

To support educators in making the most of this experience, a comprehensive kit and associated resources will be provided to teachers. These tools help teachers see that agriculture isn’t confined to a one-day event, but rather serves as a lens they can use to help students explore scientific and social studies concepts.

“I hope the kids get a basic understanding of what goes on inside the barns, an opportunity they might not have had otherwise,” Wiley said. “While they might not remember every detail we discuss, we hope they remember these animals are well cared for and treated with a great amount of respect.”

The IPPA and IALF encourage teachers all over the state to participate in this learning opportunity.
Questions can be directed to Cathryn Carney at [email protected]

Teachers can go to this link to register for Ag in Action: Learning with Pigs. It will take place at 10:30 a.m. on Oct. 26.