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Farmer Brown Tha MC - Teaching Minority Youth The Importance Of Agriculture Using Hip-Hop

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BENEFITING:

EVENT: TI Education Challenge

John Harris

THE STORY:

“Farmer Brown Tha’ MC” is a Hip-Hop themed educational production similar to “Sesame Street" or Barney and Friends”, or “Smokey the Bear”.

Farmer Brown Tha' MC is a local urban farmer who introduces various concepts and terminology related to Agriculture and Natural Sciences with catchy hip-hop songs and a culturally identifiable persona. Farmer Brown Tha' MC also engages the children in various activities such as farming practices, nutritious eating, and other environmental topics.

I am currently conducting research at Kentucky State University to determine if Hip-Hop themed audio and video educational productions will attract the interest of elementary aged students, particularly in urban areas in the subjects of Agriculture and Natural Sciences. It is becoming common for minority youth to seek careers in sports and entertainment, but these career choices have a very low success rate. In actuality, agriculture makes more money than all of the sports franchises and entertainment industry COMBINED and this industry is underrepresented by minorities.

With agriculture and related sectors being the second largest employer in the US, accounting for more than 22,000,000 jobs and more than a $TRILLION DOLLARS$ in revenue annually, it is important that the younger generations of students are introduced to the subject of agriculture in such a way that it doesn’t seem abstract or non-identifiable with the environments where these students live.

Enter Farmer Brown Tha MC !!!

Kentucky State University has paid for 6 more video modules as well as made provisions to present the research at various research symposiums and conferences around the nation. I have presented my program for 500+ students in the Central Kentucky area at various schools and events, which has gotten a great response as far as engaging the students.

With the assistance of major entities such as Tidal, along with other land grant institutions and universities (12 total in the Southeast), I believe that we can accomplish shrinking the wide gap of ethnic minority students participation in the STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Agriculture and Math) sectors where minorities make up only a small percentage, 17% which is a far distance from our 31% demographic representation in the nation.

Up to this point, I currently have an 8 song music EP “Going Green N Tha City”, which is available on line  >>> H E R E <<<, 2 educational music videos “Chicken Leg Shuffle”, “Grow Harder” , a Promo video and a Pilot episode “Classroom Speaker” which was filmed by the production crew at the College Of Agriculture Food Science and Sustainable Systems at Kentucky State University.  (click on song titles to view videos)

I have educational curriculum complemented by workbooks and activity books covering Agriculture, Environmental Science, Health and Nutrition, Food Production, Energy Production, and parent, teacher and student surveys available on survey monkey. All of the videos filmed can be viewed at >> Trevor Claiborn's YouTube Channel <<

The beauty of Farmer Brown Tha MC is that it is NOT just an idea, but it is actually off the ground and getting outstanding responses from the educational community as well as the children who have witnessed Farmer Brown Tha MC in action.

Farmer Brown Tha MC has presented at the Library of Congress (Washington, DC) for the 125th Anniversary of the Morrill Act, in which each state was awarded 30,000 acres of Federal land for the creation of land-grant colleges for the studies of Agriculture and Mechanic Arts, presented at the National Conference for Undergrad Research (2015,2016) and the University of New Mexico Peer Mentoring Conference (2015).

Monies raised will be used for:

Short-term goal = take Farmer Brown Tha MC on the road to actively engage with children aged Pre K-5th Grade. The first priority region is the Southeast where more than 55% of minority students attend school. Travel, lodging and food will be needed to that Farmer Brown Tha MC can make in class presentations, facilitate a community event (i.e. starting community gardens, educational field party/concerts/community fairs) and to finance studio time and production costs of additional videos and music.

In a series of audio and video productions Farmer Brown Tha’ MC introduces basic concepts and terminology related to Agriculture, Environmental Science, Health and Nutrition, Civic Duty, and Energy Production through hip-hop themed video shorts.

Long-term Goals = Create an animated series to increase Farmer Brown Tha' MC's commercial viability and reach.

There are more than 2 million students in the Southeast region and the first year goal is to reach 5.4% of those students in the 3,500 service area school districts, giving Farmer Brown Tha' MC the opportunity to present to more than 116,000 kids during the pilot run.

The bottom line is that our youth are the ones who will inherit this world and with the current (and real) problems of food deserts, unemployment and lack of connection and/or understanding of the environment, their future is bleek.

Using hip-hop to engage the students in a fun, educational and culturally recognizable way, Farmer Brown Tha' MC stands to bring awareness to critical environmental, lifestyle, nutritional and employment issues that lie ahead.

It is a GREAT program, the kids love it and really gravitate to learning how to grow food. Farmer Brown Tha' MC is seeking funding to expand throughout the Southeast where the student's that stand to gain the most and the majority of the land-grant colleges are located.

If you would like further details about the roll out of the pilot program, timeline, curriculum and program structure feel free to contact Farmer Brown Tha' MC at : fbtmc23@gmail.com and be sure to friend Farmer Brown Tha' MC on Facebook. 

Look at the pictures from events on Facebook and videos on YouTube for yourself !! The effectiveness of the program is UNDENIABLE and LASTING. >> Trevor Claiborn's YouTube Channel <<

If you help to reach our fundraising goal of $75,000, with the matching funding from Tidal and TI, it would help to get Farmer Brown Tha' MC on the road to teach the youth the VALUABLE life skill of growing food, learning how to be caretakers of the Earth which supplies us life and introducing the idea of economic independence.

I, and the children this program is intended to serve THANK YOU for your donations in this endeavor.

Sincerely, 

Trevor Claiborn

Agricultural Systems Senior at Kentucky State University                                  Associate’s degree in Arts and Humanities at Bluegrass Community and Technical College                                                                                      Founding member of Environment Education Leadership Cohort (EELC) at Kentucky State University                                                                        Member - Kentucky Association of Environmental Educators, Spring 2015 email: fbtmc23@gmail.com                                                                   Facebook: Farmer Brown Tha MC

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