The students from Nancy Bell’s animal science class at North Montgomery Community Schools recently completed their swine unit, and to provide students the opportunity to see what swine production looks like in real life, AMVC public relations coordinator, Alicia Humphrey, was invited to give the students a virtual sow farm tour.
Humphrey and the 18 students met through Google Meet, an online meeting platform, making it possible for the students to experience a sow farm without leaving their classroom chairs. Throughout the hour class period, students learned about the day-to -day responsibilities on the farm, the technologies used and about different job opportunities in the swine industry. From the screen in their classroom, they saw the designated rooms where sows give birth, sows drinking water and eating their feed and piglets nursing their mother.
Bell was thrilled to have her students experience the virtual tour and commented her students loved being able to take a virtual field trip and get the sights and sounds of the farm in real-time.
While many people see hog buildings from the road as they drive by, few can tour the inside of the building and understand how pigs are raised. Today’s modern farms house pigs in buildings and farmers limit outside guests to protect the health of their herd. Therefore, this interactive virtual tour reinforced student’s knowledge by demonstrating how the concepts they learned in the classroom are applied on the farm. Presenting live from the farm provided the students with a more interactive experience, as they could watch the animals and hear the feeders and noises the piglets were making.
“Technology provides us with a great opportunity to educate the next generation without having to worry about lining up a bus for a field trip for the students,” said Humphrey, who has given in-person classroom presentations ot Bell’s students for the past four years. “The students asked great questions and it was fun to hear what they wanted to learn more about on the farm.”
AMVC Management Services, a diversified swine management company, headquartered in west central Iowa, has a swine management presence in 10 states. AMVC owns and manages AMVC Crawfordsville, a sow farm located about 15 minutes from the high school.