Archive for the ‘Spreading the Word’ Category

2015-2016 Helping Communities Grow FFA Program Winners

Tuesday, July 5th, 2016
There were many outstanding applications in our Helping Communities Grow program with 100 total participating FFA chapters across 17 states reaching over 600,000 community members. The program challenged FFA chapters to investigate and discover the critical role fertilizer plays in improving plant health for an abundant, affordable, and safe food supply. (more…)

Making Connections at National FFA Convention

Tuesday, November 3rd, 2015
The 2015 National FFA Convention & Expo was held in Louisville, KY on October 28 – October 31, 2015.  A record breaking 64,409 FFA members and registered guests attended the annual meeting! We embrace this youth organization that puts emphasis on agricultural pursuits and exemplary leadership. During the expo, Nutrients for Life Foundation (NFLF) staff had direct communication with over 500 agricultural educators.  During this time we were able to build awareness of our curriculum, resources and the Helping Communities Grow program. New Auburn FFA members and Prairie Central FFA members helped NFLF staff work the booth and shared with attendees how the Helping Communities Grow program had impacted them, their career choices and the activities that their FFA chapter does to promote crop nutrient education. Rick, regional representative for California, Washington, and Idaho, surprised everyone on Halloween with this fantastic Phantom of the Opera costume! The opportunity to make connections with such a large group of FFA members and agricultural educators to forward our mission is invaluable to the Foundation.

NSTA in the Windy City!

Wednesday, March 25th, 2015
Chicago is always a great place to visit and this year the National NSTA conference was held in the windy city. The conference ordered some beautiful weather that put the teachers attending in the mood to learn and take home new ideas for their science classrooms. (more…)

10 Ways Soil Nutrients are Similar to Human Nutrients

Thursday, September 18th, 2014
“Show me your hands! Wow, they look too clean! Let’s get them dirty!” School is way more fun when the students get to dig in! I am a regular volunteer at our school garden and the students love to see me in the hallway because they know they are going to get dirty while they learn. With almost every garden lesson we talk about the importance of fertile soil. To make it relevant to the students, I often compare their needs to the needs of plants. Humans and plants both have nutritional needs. Whether you in the garden, the kitchen, or at school, you too can teach the importance of human and plant nutrition. Here are ten ways soil nutrients are similar to human nutrients. Nutrients for plants mainly come from the soil. Nutrients for humans primarily come from food, often food grown in the soil. Potassium helps human control muscles and the rhythm of the heart. In plants, potassium helps plants control and use water efficiently. In the context of plant requirements, carbon, oxygen, and hydrogen are called the non-mineral nutrients. People need these too. The full list of essential nutrients both humans and plants need includes manganese, magnesium, molybdenum, iron, copper, carbon, nitrogen, oxygen, hydrogen, phosphorus, sulfur, and chlorine. Nutrition labels & fertilizer bag labels give a clear breakdown of the nutrients provided. If only I didn’t have to worry about pesky calories like a pea plant! All of the essential nutrients plants and humans need can be found on the periodic table of elements. Iron in humans helps move oxygen. Iron helps the body make hemoglobin that moves oxygen and hemoglobin through the blood. This is similar to phosphorus moving energy around the plant. Calcium equals strong bones for humans. Whereas in plants, nitrogen helps grow strong stalks.…

Teacher Retreat Recap: A Meeting of the Minds at the Mine

Monday, July 28th, 2014
With beautiful mountain ranges as a backdrop, eight educators from around the country recently convened at the Simplot Smoky Canyon mine to “talk soil.” Their mission was an important one: guide the development of future education materials for the Nutrients for Life Foundation. (more…)

Meet Pink Tractor

Tuesday, June 17th, 2014
We have a big garden, a few acres of brome hay, one heifer, two steers and a barn full of cats. I wish I could say that was enough to make me a farmer, but it doesn’t. I just tell people we pretend to farm. (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…)

Teachers, Apply To Attend Foundation 2014 Teacher Retreat!

Monday, May 5th, 2014
Every two years, the Foundation gathers some of the best and brightest educators in our network to advise on education resources and materials. This year, the group will meet in Smoky Canyon, Wyoming from July 15-17th to discuss education goals and next steps for the Foundation. The attendees will also tour a phosphate mine, a very rare opportunity! In the past, some amazing ideas have sprung for this meeting, and we hope you will let us know if you are interested below. If chosen, your flights, meals, activities, and accommodations will be taken care of out of appreciation from the Foundation. Loading...   Here are some highlights from the 2012 teacher retreat in North Carolina! Against the calm flow of the Pamlico River, eight educators from around the country convened at the PotashCorp Bath Lodge in Bath, N.C., in July 2012 to “talk soil.” Their mission was an important one: guide the development of future education materials for the Nutrients for Life Foundation. Comprised of elementary to secondary science and agriculture teachers, the small group met to discuss the desired path for future materials and programs for NFL. “This group of diverse teachers examined each component of the Nutrients for Life curriculum and arrived at a 'top ten' list of curriculum additions that they believe would be beneficial to teachers who teach soil science and plant nutrients,” explained Julie McGuire, education specialist for the Foundation. “We want to develop resources and materials that are precisely what teachers will find useful in effectively teaching soil science. To do this, we wanted to hear straight from the teachers.” The list included the development of a new edition of Nourishing the Planet in the 21st Century high school curriculum, due out in early summer 2014. Other materials developed based on this meeting included new classroom visuals…

Happy Earth Day!

Tuesday, April 22nd, 2014
  It’s Earth Day, so let’s celebrate the Earth! I love the feel of finely tilled soil and it’s earthy smell. Did you know that only 3 % of the entire Earth provides all of our food? We are dependent on this tiny bit of Earth for every morsel we put to our mouth. (more…)

From the Ground Up: The Science of Soil Launch

Monday, March 17th, 2014
The Foundation is excited to announce it is now expanding its reach into the digital education world! In collaboration with Discovery Education,  the Foundation is making an impact with a program called From the Ground Up: The Science of Soil.  (more…)

Foundation 101: What is the Nutrients for Life Foundation?

Thursday, February 6th, 2014
I often get asked, “What does the Nutrients for Life Foundation do?” My standard response goes something like this, “Since 2004, we have been providing science-based information to educate people about the valuable role fertilizers play in feeding our growing world.” I follow up with how much I love my job and how fulfilling it is to work in the one industry our world cannot live without, agriculture.  Our role at the Foundation is to educate others about agriculture and, specifically, how crop nutrients help increase our food supply by fifty percent. We have a big task, because the general public knows very little about the industry as documented in the following video.   http://youtu.be/mldl5Iyw_gU   Every time I play this video I get a few good laughs from the crowd, especially if they know a lot about agriculture. I realize there are some extreme examples in this video, but in reality, most consumers know very little about food production. Consumers lack basic scientific knowledge as it applies to agriculture. In the video they are talking about nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium; all three are elements on the periodic table. After 6th grade science, we should all recognize these basic elements. Why were the interviewees confused? Where does the confusion come from? Was it because they didn’t have a good scientific background in school? Or, perhaps, they haven’t learned to think critically about what they learned? I share this video, first, because it is eye opening, but secondly because it shows that we need more agriculture educators. At no other time in history has my job, as an agriculture educator, been more critical. I believe our biggest challenge isn’t feeding the world’s population, rather, educating them on HOW we are feeding them. In our efforts to educate, the Foundation has a…