Judy Krall loves talking about her life on the farm.
But with the need for increase bio secuirty, it is tough to bring people through the doors of her Petrolia poultry farm which produces 65,000 eggs a day. At least it was until now.
Krall and her husband Doug are now part of the Digital Human Library. Leigh Castle, a teacher in the Stratford area, started “library” as a resource for teachers.
“It’s a library of individuals of different professions that teachers can access for students to benefit from learning about those professions,” says Krall.
Teachers can contact Krall or any of the others in the library and ask for a tour via Skype. Krall, who has been a public school trustee and an advocate of using technology in the classroom, loved the idea.
She’s already had a virtual visit from the Grade 3 class at St. Peter Canisuis in Watford. “I skyped with them for an hour and a half,” she says. The class was talking about composting and Krall has a commercial composter right on the farm. She took her cell phone right back to the composter and showed them around.
“The kids had lots of questions,” she says. “That’s something the kids would not typically not see.”
They also got a tour of the barns and the egg room and even had a chance to calculate average egg weights.
Krall is encouraging other farmers to get involved in the Digital Human Library. She, through the Lambton Federation of Agriculture, is asking for more volunteers for the project.
“As farmers we’ve missed two or three generations of people to tell our story, really why we do this…We know as far as high school students…we know there is a shortage of people going into agricultural spin off,” she says.
“Teachers are looking for this and the only way you are going to get the story out there is by being available.”
And she says the video conferencing eliminates the one big barrier most farmers face, bio security. Some farmers are now putting viewing windows in new barns just to keep potential hazards out.
Krall says with video conferencing, no extra precaution is needed. “It’s a great way for us who can’t allow visitors because of bio security to allow people to see what we do.”