United States, Ohio, Iowa discussed on Heartland Newsfeed Radio Network
This statewide still to come cursive, writing is required to be taught in schools. But will kids use it once they're out of class report on that it's on the way. Up next politicians are known to vote. The words in the reconcile to stir patriotic feelings, but nearly thirty million acres of US farmland, or held by foreign companies, and that's a steep increase from just two decades ago and one that has ringing alarm bells and many farm communities, and from Hervas public media Rene wild has more on that when the stock market tanked during the last recession foreign investors began by a big swath of US farmland. And because there are no federal restrictions on the amount of land that can before known it's been left up to individual states to decide on any limitations Texas's kind of a free for all. So they don't have a limit on how much land can be owned, you look at Iowa and they restrict it no land in. Iowa's owned by a foreign entity tie Higgins is with the Ohio farm bureau. Ohio, like Texas also has no restrictions and nearly half a million acres of prime farmland are held by foreign owned entities companies from the Netherlands, alone have purchased sixty four. Thousand acres for wind farms, one of the main reasons that we're watching this type of issue is because once a foreign entity buys up, you know, however many acres, they want Americans might not ever be able to secure that land again. And so once we lose, it may lose it for good every acre of productive farmland that they convert over is an acre of land, no longer produces food, and since agriculture and food production contribute, twenty million dollars to Ohio GSP that loss is felt from the state level all the way down to rural communities. Ngelo Huffman is a six generation farmer this farm in the northern part of the state has been in her family for almost two hundred years. Right out my back door here. Chinese-owned Smithfield foods, the largest pork producer in the world has recently bought out, a couple of grain elevators, basically extracting the wealth out of the community to be fair US firms and corporations. Also invest in overseas. Agriculture owning billions of dollars of farmland from Australia to Brazil, but the Smithfield food by out has really raised concerns with American farmers as part of that two thousand and thirteen sale. A Chinese company now owns one hundred and forty six thousand acres of prime US farmland, the money that those elevators used to make a stayed within the community today. The money those elevators make will go in the pockets of someone's thousands and thousands of miles away. Even those farmers that have buildings and a raising hogs for SM. With field. They really just become tenants on their own land. This is going on across America. Joe Maxwell is a fourth generation farmer from Missouri. He and Huffman are part of the organization for competitive markets. An advocacy group of farmers and ranchers across the nation. He says Ohio will continue to see an influx of foreign investment as other states. Put restrictions in place. So when they're looking for investments in the US and agriculture or house, a great egg state, and you don't have any restrictions like others. In the central part of the state tractors are busy planting this year's crops nationwide. It's Canadian investors who own the most farmland here in Ohio. It's Germany was seventy one thousand acres, Jon trimmer manages thirty thousand acres of corn and soybeans for German, investors. He's been working with German families who want to get into US agriculture since the eighties. They started to buy land in Iowa and Minnesota, but the right one they started in the past state laws, we were restricted foreign ownership, instead, they turned to Ohio, but trimmer, says there is a misconception about foreign owners that they aren't good. Neighbors are good stewards of the land. What he sees is a growing divide between older family members who still live on the farm, and their children, who have no interest in the family, business and want to cash out the land the last two farms. We bought here through owner her and her brothers and sisters. Herited from their mother. And none of them wanted to farm. None of them have an interest in farm with a median age of US farmers at fifty five many face retirement with no prospect of family members willing to take over the national young farmers coalition anticipates that two thirds of the nation's farmland will change hands in the next few decades. So in states with no restrictions to cap for ownership. It's likely that lots more of it wind up in foreign hands. I'm Renee wild in Ohio schools are putting more emphasis on stem education, but that doesn't mean they're leaving the liberal arts skills behind chase Cavanaugh has this report stems stands for science, technology, engineering, and mathematics, and educators at all levels are encouraging students to study subjects much of this has to do with the economic growth of Silicon Valley and the higher salaries that jobs in the tech sector can provide exposing students to these more advanced subjects can start as early as elements and middle school. Becky Griffith is an instructor at north. Illinois university's digital convergence lab. She runs a video game coating camp for elementary and middle school girls. They to draw their characters can create a story board thinking critically that way, and then as well as coding and making their game run. But campers use an engine called gamemaker to translate, their ideas into software, Amelia, one of the participants describes the art, she's creating for her game, basically you're squid trying to get through a maze in undersea in the enemy is an anglerfish camp, draws on many different skills, such design, art and coating. It also introduces Amelia and others to concepts like, revising code stuff, you got to workout and other things that might go wrong activities like this camp show, how different elements interact, and how to apply different areas of knowledge, but now, teachers are also emphasizing skills that one would regularly use in a professional setting in the coating camp. For example, group, work is a common site. It also extends into the school year, Dr. How salt us is the special programs director at Rockford public schools. Her purview includes the systems, steam academy with the a standing for arts. It's all very collaborative so working with others, having to compromise and collaborate have into communicate what you really want really need in order to get the job done and deliver. What your initial idea is? Those are all the soft skills that start I think, with a steam focus that's the lens that is emphasized even more in higher education courses, judge McCurry, is the dean for arts, communication, and social sciences at Kish walkie college. He says, employers want career candidates to have a strong set of the soft skills. The ability to communicate well in spoken language, or, or written language debility to work collaboratively in a team the ability to think critically and to analyze problems knowing, how to research knowing how to find information to examine and assess the information and know what's, what's good information. Many of these skills can come from a standard liberal arts curriculum, but curry says students of stem can also expand their horizons. In unexpected ways he gets the example of Steve Jobs, taking a college calligraphy course, understanding print faces type fonts and the importance of visuals in communication. And that, that went right into his development of the graphical user interface that apple became famous for educators want students to develop the critical thinking and knowledge base that comes from a liberal arts, education. They also hope to encourage the kinds of Steve Jobs, moments that can come from studying outside one's major. Doctor, Judy ledger, would is acting dean of northern Illinois university's college of liberal arts and sciences. She says one way to encourage the study is by requiring a certain amount of liberal art classes to graduate, but this can be less effective. If students already took advanced placement college courses in high school that certain number of students would come in, in their gen, Ed classes, they would say, oh, I like that history class. I'm now I'm gonna major in history or I like that anthropology class. Now I'm gonna major politics because they've take. Taken that the AP class, a don't, regardless of how stem students are led to liberal arts courses curry of kittiwake college says, if it's a subject, they enjoy the students will expand their studies, once they taste it. They realize that these liberal arts areas, the arts sciences, social sciences humanities, they're not broccoli their ice cream, and they're delicious, and they just want more of them, educators, hope this, and solid, grounding and soft skills lead to well rounded students at all levels. I'm chase Cavanaugh. Each week statewide brings you reports and conversations from in and around Illinois.