There are only two Seed Survivor trailers and both travel throughout Canada and the United States all year long to give children the chance to learn about the building blocks of agriculture. Over the past several weeks, the Seed Survivor trailers have traveled from Weld and Larimer counties to the San Luis Valley and Walsenburg, engaging hundreds of elementary school students.
Students get their hands dirty with hands-on activities like a fossil search (fossils forming the major source of phosphorus) and planting seeds to grow their own food. They need to figure out for themselves that the right balance of sunlight, water, and nutrient-rich soil isn’t as easy as farmers make it look.
Focusing on plant/crop growth, the trailer itself is a one stop shop of interactive displays with games featuring watershed wildlife, the water cycle, photosynthesis, the three major nutrients of potassium, nitrogen, and phosphorus, and many more activities. While the kids play, they are also learning important information on how these elements contribute to agriculture.
At one of its last stops, on October 24, 2022, the Seed Survivor trailer spent a day at Bill Metz Elementary School in Monte Vista. This small town on Highway 160 is a vital part of the agricultural center of the San Luis Valley, which produces millions of pounds of potatoes every year. Although it seems easier to point to urban areas as more disconnected from the labor growing our food, fiber, and fuel, students in rural areas can be just as vulnerable to missing the connection between the produce and livestock in the field near their house and that at their local grocery store.
The Seed Survivor trailer, which is a partnership between the Colorado Foundation for Agriculture and Nutrien Ag Solutions, offers a mobile education experience for kids whose worlds can be pretty limited, even with fields and pastures just outside their school windows.
The Monte Vista classes exploring the Seed Survivor trailer were a precocious mix of farm kids and “townies.” They listened to presenters from the Colorado Foundation for Agriculture Board (including CDA’s own Deputy Director of Communications & Outreach Bethany Howell) talk through soil health, plant needs, and cool agriculture facts. All of them were excited to engage with the activities, participate in discussion, and try their best to keep their planted seeds growing and thriving.
It’s great to see agricultural education work as intended - connecting kids in a meaningful way with the industry that provides tasty, nutritious and carefully grown produce and livestock for their families and communities. CDA is honored to partner with CFA, Nutrien Ag, and many other organizations and educators who are dedicated to strengthening the producer-consumer connection.