How do you make farming cool to kids who may not know where their food comes from? By using one of their favorite sports! Hickman’s Family Farms, Arizona Cardinals and the Arizona Farm Bureau have partnered to bring students From Farm to Football. This educational program uses football to teach students about where their food and crops come from.
Agriculture is one of Arizona’s largest economic contributors and an important subject to teach our kids. From Farm to Football is a free, fun and interactive program geared toward teachers and K-12 students and runs from October to December. Each month, teachers are given lesson plans that focus on a different crop – eggs, dairy and cotton. The curriculum meets Arizona State standards. Additionally, students will become pen pals with an Arizona farmer or rancher each month, to have their questions answered and learn more about what these farmers do.
Arizona Cardinals player #44 Markus Golden is the spokesperson for From Farm to Football. By using football, the hope is to give students a real-life example of how agriculture impacts our lives on a daily basis. For example, cotton is used to make the socks Golden and students’ wear, and the leather used to make a football comes from cowhide. Both cotton and cattle are major agricultural products in Arizona. Golden will also be sending video messages to students each month highlighting different crops and why they are so beneficial.
Classrooms that participate in From Farm to Football also have the opportunity to compete in the Harvest for All Penny Drive. Students will be encouraged to collect pennies (or other coins) from October to December 1. The grade level that collects the most coins of all schools in the state will receive a Cardinals hosted event in February. This special event will include appearances by Markus Golden, Arizona Cardinals cheerleaders and coaches. The event will be an active, fun-filled day for the students. The collected coins will be donated to a local food bank.
From Farm to Football is one example of the dynamic programming the Arizona Farm Bureau offers as a way to bring agriculture into the classroom. Education is Hickman’s biggest initiative in the community; making partnering on this program a great opportunity. To learn more, visit azfb.org.
Written by: Sharman Hickman
Sharman Hickman is the Director of Community Outreach and Education at Hickman’s Family Farms. The Five Hickman grandchildren of Guy and Nell Hickman ended with Sharman. She is a co-owner of the four generation egg company Hickman’s Family Farms; headquartered in Buckeye, Arizona. Sharman starting gathering eggs behind her mom and co-founder at four years of age, she has always been involved in the family business. Sharman earned a Bachelor of Science from Arizona State University to aid her older brother with the sales and marketing functions, customer service, and community advocacy areas within the company. She continues in these roles today, specifically focusing on promoting education through the From Farm to Football program supported by the Arizona Farm Bureau and the Arizona Cardinals.