Introduction to Michigan Agriculture
PING 2020 includes activities centered on farm life. It was made more difficult over Zoom, but PING administrators made it work.
The participants were given a virtual tours and explanation of the Michigan State University Horse Barn and Dairy Farm as a way to see the opposite side of their interests.
It seemed as if it couldn’t possibly relate to their future fields, but the participants saw how farmers, engineers, and yes, even physicists have the potential to interact in the real world. The participants learned about new technologies being utilized in dairy farming. These technologies included automatic robotic milking machines, data analysis systems and even about milk chillers. In this tours, it was explained what a glycol chiller is and how it chills milk nearly instantaneously.
Once all of these technologies were explained, the students realized farmers and those on a STEM career path are not so different--they learn from each other and they need each other for different reasons. Farmers help produce important food products--people with STEM careers help them do it most efficiently.