A Coaching Session
PotashCorp takes lesson about fertilizers on the road through coaching kids on crop nutrients program.
February 5, 2009
Through this new PotashCorp-sponsored program, "Coaching Kids on Crop Nutrients," Lewis, the company's manager of customer relations, is a coach informing children in third through sixth grade about good crop nutrition. After warming up his audience with some of his National Football League clips, Lewis shows cartoons of a character named "Coach Mini," who is a miniature version of himself.
Lewis makes sure children understand how fertilizers increase crop yield on farms around the world. "We've got to really get smart in our farming techniques," he says. "If we don't, there'll be a lot of people starving. We don't have room to grow everything and feed everyone organically."
The 45-minute presentation uses a blend of football analogies, a comic book-style lesson guide, animations, and an interactive quiz challenge modeled after a popular television game show.
For each presentation, Lewis appears in traditional football coach attire, complete with clipboard, whistle, polo shirt, and baseball cap. Lewis leads students through a series of educational drills on crop nutrients and soil science.
By the end of each session, the kids know enough about the key nutrients — nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P), and potassium (K) — to pass along the knowledge to other people.
Talking To Students
Sussex Elementary School in SusÂsex, New Brunswick, Canada, is just one of more than a dozen schools where Lewis presented the "Coaching Kids on Crop Nutrients" program since January 2008.
The school is located in a rural community, where farming, potash mining, and tourism are the cornerstones of the economy, and students are already familiar with growing crops, applying fertilizer, and producing livestock.
With some 515 students in kindergarten through fifth grade, Principal Gary Crossman is open to having educational programs such as PotashCorp's part of the school day. "I believe the students learned a great deal about fertilizer," Crossman said. "They gained a better appreciation of crops, nutrients, and their importance to each other."
Lewis is available to speak to schools on a first-come, first-served basis. For more information about having him speak to a school in your area, please e-mail Diane.Kooistra@potashcorp.com.
Filipek is media relations manager for Fergus/Peters Group, Des Plaines, IA.