Author Archive

Behind the Scenes: From Soil to Store Virtual Field Trip

Monday, January 11th, 2016
  Wow! Over 54,000 students joined us in December for our Live from the Farm: From Soil to Store virtual field trip event! If you were one of them, thank you for tuning in. (more…)

FFA Friday: Louisiana

Friday, October 10th, 2014
Ponchatoula FFA Takes First Place Award Honors, Central LaFourche FFA Wins Second, and St. Amante FFA Wins Third Place Happy FFA Friday! Louisiana had six participating chapters in the Helping Communities Grow Program this year. Congratulations to the top three chapters, Ponchatoula FFA, Central LaFourche FFA, and St. Amante FFA. Ponchatoula FFA won first place by creating and presenting exhibits for community events. The chapter presented fertilizer and planting demonstrations for strawberries to over 10,000 visitors at their town’s annual Strawberry Festival. The chapter also volunteered at a local organization for people with disabilities, helping them evaluate thefertilizer needs for the soil in their  raised bed gardens. Central LaFourche FFA won second place for their nutrient lessons for fourth and fifth grade students. The chapter split into teams of two and visited classrooms demonstrating the soil components, they discussed which nutrients are required to help plants grow, and raised awareness of coastal erosion. They used the Nutrients for Life curriculum to design experiments for the students, including a bean plant and soil layers experiment. The St. Amante FFA chapter won third place for developing hands-on workshops for elementary school students. The workshops focused on plant development, soil testing, planting vegetables, and how to apply fertilizer to gardens. They also taught the students how to track how fertilizer increases plant production. Congratulations to all the chapters that participated! The Nutrients for Life Foundation program in Louisiana is supported by the program’s founding sponsor, PotashCorp. FFA chapters, remember to complete step 1, by November 14, 2014, to participate in the 2014-2015 program! Details can be found at here.

FFA Friday: Iowa

Friday, September 26th, 2014
Sibley-Ocheyedan FFA Takes First Place Award Honors, South-Tama County FFA Wins Second, and Westwood FFA Wins Third Place We are back with another FFA Friday post! Iowa had eighteen participating chapters in the Helping Communities Grow program this year. Congratulations to the top three chapters, Sibley-Ocheyedan FFA, South-Tama FFA, and Westwood FFA. Sibley-Ocheyedan FFA took first prize with their fertilizer and seed germination experiment project. The chapter developed lessons and activities to do with elementary school students. During the experiment about the students saw how plants germinate. .The experiments also showed how different levels of nutrients in the soil affected plant growth and development. South-Tama FFA won second place by starting a recycling and composting program at their school. FFA members gathered food waste and placed it in a composter. They presented their composting project and results at an Ag Expo during National FFA week. Westwood FFA won third place by doing a variety of activities about plant nutrients and fertilizer. The chapter visited elementary school students and taught lessons on the vital nutrients plants need to grow and develop into a consumable product. The chapter also created an interactive game called “Feed the Corn” to learn about the nutrients plants need to grow. Congratulations to all of the chapters that participated! The Nutrients for Life Foundation program in Iowa is supported by the program’s founding sponsor, CF Industries. FFA chapters, remember to complete step 1, by November 14, 2014, to participate in the 2014-2015 program! Details can be found at here.

FFA Friday: Illinois

Friday, September 19th, 2014
Prairie Central FFA Takes First Place Award Honors;  Cuba FFA Wins Second, and Maroa Forsyth FFA Wins Third Place Welcome back to FFA Friday! Illinois had 22 participating chapters in the Helping Communities Grow program this year. Congratulations to the top three chapters, Prairie Central FFA, Cuba FFA, and Maroa Forsyth FFA. Prairie Central FFA won first place for a three part project including an elementary educational program, an informative breakfast for students and staff, and a community booth titled “Harvesting Hope.” The educational program taught elementary school students about the role of fertilizer in growing plants. The breakfast highlighted the farmer’s role in feeding the world. The community booth had games and handouts for all aged showing the positive aspects of fertilizer and maintaining a food supply. Cuba FFA won second place by leading various activities throughout the year. In the fall, younger FFA members grew a 1,800 square foot garden and older members grew 200 acres of corn and soybeans. In the springtime, members gave back to their community by planting flowers in planting beds. Third place goes to Maroa Forsyth FFA for growing plants in their greenhouse and hydroponic system. With their new knowledge, members taught fourth through tenth graders about soil and fertilizer. Congratulations to all of the Illinois chapters that participated! The Nutrients for Life Foundation program in Arizona is supported by the program’s founding sponsor, CF Industries.  FFA chapters, remember to complete step 1, by November 14, 2014, to participate in the 2014-2015 program! Details can be found at https://www.nutrientsforlife.org/helpingcommunitiesgrow.

FFA Friday: Idaho

Friday, September 12th, 2014
Another FFA Friday post!  Idaho had eleven participating chapters in the Helping Communities Grow program this year. Congratulations to the top three chapters, Salmon FFA, Hansen FFA, and Genesee FFA. (more…)

FFA Friday: Florida

Friday, September 5th, 2014
Happy FFA Friday! Florida had sixteen participating chapters in the Helping Communities Grow Program this year. Congratulations to the top three chapters, Lincoln Middle FFA, Fort White FFA, and Hamilton County FFA. The Lincoln Middle FFA took top honors for a project addressing the issues in food availability, quality, and stability. The chapter gave presentations to the community about growing fresh produce in small spaces and the importance of fertilizer. Fort White FFA won second place for educational presentations about the importance of plant nutrients in the production of food in their very own back yard. The chapter was able to donate 590 pounds of mustard greens to two charities, serving over 190 families. Hamilton County FFA took third place for research on different aquatic plants and the plants ability to removed nutrients and improve water quality. They learned that nutrients the aquatic plants drew in from the water made the plants grow quickly and also cleaned the water. Congratulations to all of the Florida chapters that participated! The Nutrients for Life Foundation program in Florida is supported by the program’s founding sponsor Agrium Inc. FFA chapters, remember to complete step 1, by November 14, 2014, to participate in the 2014-2015 program! Details can be found at https://www.nutrientsforlife.org/helpingcommunitiesgrow.

FFA Friday: California

Friday, August 22nd, 2014
Welcome back for another FFA Friday Post! The 2013-2014 Helping Communities Grow program in California had eleven participating FFA chapters. Congratulations to the top three chapters, Hughson FFA, Liberty Ranch FFA and Healdsburg FFA! (more…)

FFA Friday: At Large

Friday, August 15th, 2014
It’s FFA Friday! Today we are highlighting the top chapters from the At Large category. The Helping Communities Grow program’s at large category had eleven participating FFA chapters this year. Congratulations to the top three chapters, Canby FFA, Troy FFA, and Corinth Holders FFA. (more…)

USA Science and Engineering Festival

Wednesday, June 4th, 2014
Recently, the Nutrients for Life Foundation participated in the third annual USA Science and Engineering Festival (USASEF).The event has taken place in Washington, D.C. for the past 4 years and is the largest science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) event in the United States. (more…)

From the Ground Up: The Science of Soil Launch in Review

Friday, May 2nd, 2014
Exactly one month ago, we launched our middle-school focused educational program with Discovery Education! From the Ground Up: The Science of Soil is designed to highlight the importance of soil, soil nutrients and soil science to sustainable global plant and crop growth. (more…)

School Garden Spotlight: Tony Jensen

Monday, March 24th, 2014
Mr. Jensen, agriculture teacher in Nebraska, has always spent a lot of time outside.  From landscaping with his wife to activities like hiking and camping, he knows the value of getting some fresh air.  Now, with the creation of a growing dome, his students are able to connect with nature while at school!  The garden is almost a year old and has already had two successful seasons of growing vegetables.  Below, Mr. Jensen shares the challenges and opportunities of creating a school garden. Name: Tony Jensen School: Freeman Public School County, State: Gage County, Nebraska Grade, Class: 7-12th Grade Agriculture   Tell us about your background with soil science, nutrients, and gardening. I have always enjoyed being outdoors doing activities like fishing, hiking, and camping.  My wife has a horticulture background so our family spends a lot of time in the garden and working on landscaping around our home and community. Why did you decide to start a school garden? We constructed a growing dome greenhouse in May 2013 and are using the raised beds inside the growing dome to grow vegetables year-round.  We then donate our harvests to local food banks and pantries to provide for our neighbors in need. To me, there are many teachable moments that come from this facility.  We can teach about crop production, soil science, renewable energy, healthy eating, food safety, and service to others through hands-on activities. What were the first steps in making the growing dome a reality?  We researched a feasible option for a greenhouse structure that would meet the needs of our school, we set goals for our project, and then began raising funds for the structure. What did you grow and how did you choose that plant?  The first year, we decided to experiment with a variety of different vegetables to…