You’ve been granted free access to this subscribers only article.
Boy Scouts, Farm Bureau members agree on merits of ag
By Cyndie Sirekis
Boy Scouts in Indiana will have more opportunities than ever before to earn agriculture-related merit badges in 2012, thanks to members of Farm Bureau in Indiana who are responding to a shortage of volunteers. Farm Bureau members are training to become registered merit badge counselors with Boy Scouts of America.
Boy Scouts of America merit badge counselors must be experts in a specific subject. Counselors encourage Scouts to learn about the chosen subject and coach them in how to fulfill the requirements to earn a badge. Through the merit badge program, boys learn career skills that often prove useful later as they consider which profession to enter. Regardless of rank, they may work on any merit badge at any time. The only catch is that a merit badge counselor in the chosen subject must be available.
Agriculture-related badges offered by the Boy Scouts of America include animal science, plant science, farm mechanics, soil and water conservation, horsemanship, and veterinary medicine. Other merit badges with agricultural ties are fish and wildlife management, environmental science, gardening, and landscape architecture.
The requirements for completing each merit badge are rigorous. Typically, Scouts must demonstrate academic competency in the subject area and research related career opportunities, in addition to completing hands-on requirements. For the ag-related merit badges, hands-on requirements include visiting a farm or related agribusiness, raising a feeder pig or chicks, growing a crop, pruning plants, and helping harvest a crop.
“This is a great opportunity for Scouts to learn from experts in various agriculture-related fields while earning merit badges on their path to Eagle Scout,” explained Clay Worley, team leader in partner services at the Indianapolis-based National FFA Organization. Boy Scouts generally enter the program at the beginning of sixth grade and advance through several ranks; Eagle is the highest.
“Earning the ag-related merit badges is a great way for young people to learn about the complexity of today’s agriculture, so that they realize it’s much more than just corn and soybeans, which is a very common perception,” Worley said.
A Boy Scout leader for his son’s troop, Worley will provide training in becoming a merit badge counselor to interested Indiana Farm Bureau members at their annual Young Farmers & Ranchers Conference at the end of January.
“Our young farmer and rancher members are committed to serving their communities by volunteering and making a difference,” said Julie Roop, director of program development at the American Farm Bureau Federation. “That is why Farm Bureau and the BSA merit badge program is such a great fit,” she said.
Cyndie Sirekis is director of news services with the American Farm Bureau Federation.
Your Opinions and Comments
Be the first to comment on this story!
You must be logged in to post a comment.
Agriculture Today Archives
Crow is 15th in the nation (July 22, 2015)
Have you seen a Texas horned lizard? (July 22, 2015)
Hay & Forage Report (July 22, 2015)
Landscaping picks (July 22, 2015)
Livestock Market Reports (July 22, 2015)
Offices issue receipts (July 22, 2015)
Recent rains — fewer grasshoppers! (July 22, 2015)
Stallman announces departure in January (July 22, 2015)
TDA Market Report (July 22, 2015)
Benefits of the Chinese pistache (July 15, 2015)
Cattle market outlook, trends short course (July 15, 2015)
Conservation assistance online for landowners, users (July 15, 2015)
Crouch Memorial Bull Riding is July 25 (July 15, 2015)
Hay & Forage Report (July 15, 2015)
Livestock Market Reports (July 15, 2015)
Mischief-maker transforms into equine world champion (July 15, 2015)
TDA Market (July 15, 2015)
Wardens investigate alligator attack (July 15, 2015)
Ag-Pro continues John Deere tradition (July 8, 2015)
Cattlemen, Floresville FFA unite (July 8, 2015)
Hay & Forage Report (July 8, 2015)
Livestock Market Reports (July 8, 2015)
Locals attend conference (July 8, 2015)
Much of peach crop excellent quality, quantity (July 8, 2015)
Nomination period open for farm committee (July 8, 2015)
TDA Market Report (July 8, 2015)
Things farmers do when it rains (July 8, 2015)
Two-part water conservation landscaping workshop in SA (July 8, 2015)
U.S. cattle herd safety threatened by Brazilian beef importation? (July 8, 2015)
West Nile virus vaccine in horses (July 8, 2015)
Will new driveway affect live oak? (July 8, 2015)
Hay & Forage Report (July 1, 2015)
July 2015 Gardening Calendar (July 1, 2015)
Livestock Market Reports (July 1, 2015)
Native anaqua is a tasty treat for wildlife (July 1, 2015)
TDA Market Report (July 1, 2015)
Texas railway raises concerns on eminent domain (July 1, 2015)
Third time's a charm for Buck Taylor roping (July 1, 2015)