Increasing the Effectiveness of Education Efforts through Live Virtual Farm Trips

This event was held July 27, 2017. Registrations are no longer being accepted.

School budgets for transportation and field trips have been cut. Most students have never stepped foot on a farm and need education to be prepared as tomorrow’s consumers. At the same time, farms face a variety of challenges limiting their ability to host in-person tours as consumers are seeking more transparency in food production.

Since 2014, more than 10,000 students have participated in or viewed a virtual field trip to a farm through the Virtual Farm Trips program implemented by Shift-ology Communication in partnership with commodity livestock organizations in a handful of Midwest states.

With the click of a mouse, this one-of-a-kind learning experience helps “open the barn doors” by turning classrooms into virtual farms and transporting students to fields, barns and livestock, guided by a real farmer as they learn about how food is grown and see what the farmer does each day to care for their animals. A live Q&A session with the farmer allows students and teachers alike to have their questions answered while seeing what life is like on the farm.

Join us at 10 a.m. EST on July 27 for an invite-only webinar hosted by Shift-ology Communication to learn more about the Virtual Farm Trip program and gain insights from organization leaders who have experienced success through the program that has teachers praising it and coming back for more!

You will learn:

  1. The history of the Virtual Farm Trips program, its hurdles, successes and expansion.
  2. An overview of how the program works and what is required.
  3. A case study and insights from ag organization leaders participating in the program.
  4. Opportunities for your organization to host Virtual Farm Trips.


Dan Toland

Virtual Farm Trip Program Manager
Shift-ology Communication

Dan is an agricultural account manager and digital specialist for Shift-ology Communication who has managed and developed the structural, logistical and technical support to streamline, build and grow clients’ success through the Virtual Farm Trip program. Dan’s digital acumen, unending desire to work smarter not harder, and propensity for tinkering with technology ultimately empowers his clients to greater levels of success. For over a decade, Dan has worked for and with farm organizations on agricultural advocacy and education efforts through the use of digital and social media. He has spoken to thousands and trained hundreds on the subject and has received national awards for his contributions. Dan also received the Young Professional Achievement Award from Ohio State University’s College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences Alumni for his early work in agricultural advocacy.

Jennifer Osterholt

Director of Marketing & Education
Ohio Pork Council

Jennifer is the director of marketing and education for the Ohio Pork Council, who sought the assistance and support of Shift-ology Communication to help pork producers reach Ohio students through video conferencing technology in 2013. Jennifer has been instrumental in piloting, fine-tuning and growing the Virtual Farm Trip program from just a test with a few classrooms to the point where it became nationally-recognized and started expanding to other Midwest states in 2015. Jennifer will share her insights on the program, from conception through its growth and expansion, including lessons learned, what is required and the tangible and intangible results Ohio Pork Council has experienced .