Technology is all around us, impacting our lives in different ways. This summer as the Grain Discovery Zone Ambassador, I learned about the educational power of one kind of technology in particular: video games.
One day at a county fair, a school aged boy and his teenage brother visited the exhibit, and they had a long conversation with me about all of the farm equipment toys, and the videos of planting and harvesting playing inside the trailer. They knew so much that I assumed they were from a farming background, so I asked where their family farmed. The brothers told me no, and that in fact they have never even been on a farm.
I was pretty surprised. I asked how they knew so much about farming, and it turns out that the brothers played the popular video game Farming Simulator. Farming Simulator is a video game where the player acts as farmer in the game buying and using farm equipment to produce crops and raise animals. It is a great concept for anyone to really learn how a farm works- the equipment, technology, and monetary value of farming.
A few weeks later I talked to a mother who plays this game with her kids, and while she had no experience in farming, she knew about all the types of headers you need to use on a combine to harvest different crops.
It often feels like most people are getting farther away from the agricultural roots of our communities, but it’s exciting to hear that some kids who don’t live on a farm have a way to learn so much about it. Even if it is just a game, it is a fun and interactive way for anyone to learn about the equipment, technology, and basic awareness of how farming works.