Success Story of Virtual Field Trips

Minnesota Agriculture in the Classroom provides students and educators with a variety of experiences to increase agricultural literacy. One of the classroom-focused initiatives is the virtual field trip series. Throughout the school year, classrooms can virtually tour farms and agricultural sites  throughout Minnesota via Zoom. The virtual field trips are targeted to K-5th grade students and are thirty minutes in length.  During the 2023-2024 school year, 10,352 students and 478 classrooms attended the virtual field trip experiences. Take a look at the different series we had to offer this school year.

Anoka County Composting Site Virtual Field Trip

At the Anoka County Composting Site, Organic Recycling Coordinator Kathryn Jordan shared how composting is for everyone and the key ingredients needed to create a compost. Students learned how she helps Anoka County residents create a complete food cycle: food is grown and ate, food scraps are composted, and then the compost is added back to the soil to grow more food!

Gaynor Cranberry Company Virtual Field Trip

This virtual field trip to Gaynor Cranberry Company was a unique experience where Minnesota Ag in the Classroom, Wisconsin Ag in the Classroom and Cranberry Learning, Inc teamed up. 

The tour was hosted by Gaynor Cranberry Farms of Central Sands of Wisconsin. Our guide, Heidi Slinkman, is a 3rd generation cranberry grower, who showed a behind-the-beds look at their work to harvest over 200 acres of cranberries. Students learned about the process of flooding cranberry beds and saw how cranberries are harvested.

Fireside Orchard & Gardens Virtual Field Trip

Virtually visiting an orchard gives students the opportunity to learn about the many different apple varieties grown and the unique aspects of farming in an orchard. The virtual field trip to the Fireside Orchard and Gardens of Northfield, Minnesota taught students about the apple production process from orchard to market. Students also got to see their rose garden and koi pond for in-person visitors to enjoy while at the orchard.

Fahlun Turkey Farm Virtual Field Trip

During the month of November, a virtual field trip to a turkey farm is a fun agriculture connection for students to Thanksgiving. Students get the ability to see a variety of different turkey farms throughout the state each year as a result of these virtual field trips. This year, Fahlun Farms near Lake Lillian, Minnesota introduced  students to their turkeys and demonstrated how they care for these turkeys on their  farm that was established about 60 years ago.

Bushel Boy Tomato Greenhouse Virtual Field Trip

Growing tomatoes and strawberries year-round in Minnesota seems impossible, especially to those who have outdoor gardens. Chuck Tryon, President of Bushel Boy Farm in Owatonna, MN, provided students with a virtual tour to show students how it’s possible to grow tomatoes and strawberries in Minnesota in January. In the past 32 years,  Bushel Boy Farm has grown to nine large greenhouses that grow tomatoes and strawberries throughout the year. This tour allowed students to see the technology used to extend the growing season for strawberries and tomatoes.

Past Virtual Field Trips 

We love to provide educators with a fun, engaging way to learn about agriculture with  their students. Many agricultural sites do not allow visitors for biosecurity reasons, making these virtual field trip experiences extremely  valuable. To watch virtual field trips  from previous school years, check out our Virtual Field Trip YouTube Playlist.

What’s Next?

Planning for the 2024-2025 school year has already begun. We are excited to share that the virtual field trip series will be continuing again next school year! Stay tuned for future details about next year’s tours.

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