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Harrisonville farmer selected for national leadership opportunity

Posted at 10:23 PM, Jun 21, 2024

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Matt Moreland doesn't just talk about agricultural education, he lives it.

“What’s going on behind me is LC's Farm School at Red Barn Ranch," he said about the collection of backpacks and other items. "Think of it like a preschool, but it’s on the farm. The kids that come out of our preschool program are the same that go to a public school program. The only difference is they’re on a farm. They’re learning to count things like chicken eggs instead of blocks.”

It's a clear example of his passion for teaching others about what makes a farm work.

“Agriculture education is incredibly important to me because people are three, four, five generations removed from the farm," he said. "Meaning that even their great-grandparents maybe didn’t come from a farm. So a lot of people have no concept of what happens on a farm."

He stepped up with the farm school and he's stepping up again now that he's been selected as one of 10 farmers across the nation to be part of a special educational program.

It's a leadership class, Partners in Advocacy Leadership, created by the American Farm Bureau Federation.

Farmers learn to be advocates and educators.

“That’s why this class is such a great opportunity," he said. "Because it helps people like myself that are passionate about agriculture education really get into helping to educate."

Moreland is already a huge advocate for his farm and the programs he runs, but says he'd like to expand his skill set as a voice for farmers.

"To get in and be able to educate, no matter where I'm at," he said. “I’m looking forward to it.”

He and the others selected are starting the program this week in New York City.

Their first task will be explaining rural farming to people at a farmers market.