American Farm Bureau Foundation for Agriculture – On The Farm STEM®

The Challenge
Within the past five years, a critical need was identified to provide STEM teachers with support, resources, and professional development. Because AFBFA has traditionally reached a K-5 grade audience, this opportunity vastly different from their original target audience for increasing awareness and literacy around agriculture. Teachers deserve the tools and resources to teach students about agriculture and further develop their Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) knowledge. This is where the idea for On the Farm STEM (OTF STEM) was created.
The Solution

This need led to the development and launch of On The Farm Stem through the partnership of AFBFA and Vivayic with funding from the National Beef Checkoff. As a trusted contractor for AFBFA, Vivayic helped bring the program to life by reaching K6-12 teachers, students, administrators and non-formal educational institutions in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math subject areas. The On The Farm STEM experience was designed to be a professional development program that provides workshops, immersive experiences, resources, and a learning community that supports teachers through Next Generation Science Standards with an emphasis on agriculture and food production.

Vivayic has guided the experience for the participants, from facilitation to finding appropriate agriculture experiences in each location. The entire professional development program has been planned with the educator and their students in mind. OTF STEM meets each participant where they are in terms of their NGSS understanding and agricultural knowledge. Equipping our participants with the resources they need to reach their goals is an important component of the On The Farm STEM model.

The creation of On The Farm STEM has improved education by providing immersive and one-of-a-kind professional development for educators across the nation. The students of those educators are learning how agriculture can be connected to science.

The Outcome
Participants for On The Farm STEM are immersed in food and fiber production and are provided hands-on experiences by visiting a variety of farms, food processors, research facilities and end-user industries. This connection allows for teachers to provide relevant and authentic examples of science in their students’ lives. Year after year, the event is a success, and the program continues to be funded and supported. Previous event attendees continue to apply to the program or share with colleagues, based on their experience. The lead funder, National Beef Checkoff, has requested the program to evolve into a local program that follows the model set by the national program. Local implementors will be able to duplicate the OTF STEM model for their own community because of the continued partnership and development of resources.
Identify Transformation

On The Farm STEM went from just an idea to a national event, with impact across the country as teachers bring what they learned back to their classrooms. Now, the OTF STEM model has expanded to locally certified programs.

Scroll to Top