By Jessica Domel

For the past few weeks, 23 elementary school students from the San Antonio area have followed me throughout my day-to-day life, learning about Texas agriculture. But instead of having the children board a bus each day, our connection is made digitally thanks to an eight-inch tall man with a bright red tie.

Flat Golden Fox hanging out in a Central Texas wheat field

Flat Golden Fox hanging out in a Central Texas wheat field

His name is Flat Golden Fox, and he’s part of a Flat Friend program similar to Flat Stanley.

You see, a young boy sent me Flat Golden Fox in the mail and asked me to share my life and adventures with him.

So, each day I take Flat Golden Fox, now outfitted with cowboy boots and a hat, to meet those involved in Texas agriculture.

I snap photos and send them back to the class with information about what they’re seeing.

It takes only a few minutes of my time, and it shows the kids what it’s like up close and personal with the men and women who raise their food and fiber.

They learn cool facts about crops, cattle and advocating for agriculture.

I’ve taken them to our family farm to see corn growing, the disease in wheat, what a head of wheat looks like up close and on a tour of Washington, D.C.

Flat Golden Fox at the U.S. Capitol

Flat Golden Fox at the U.S. Capitol

Flat Golden Fox even had a close call when one of the calves wanted to lick him!

Why did I invite these kids into my personal life and onto our family farm? Each year, more and more children are distanced from agriculture.

Not everyone grew up knowing that grain sorghum itches or that there are different types of corn. Not everyone knows why farmers do what they do.

This is a simple way for us in agriculture to share what we do and why.

Not only that, it’s fun! I’ve been involved in agriculture my whole life, and even I am learning new things as I try to find fun facts for the kids.

It’s an exciting way to connect with the next generation of consumers. And it’s something I invite all of you, whether you’re in agriculture or not, to consider. Kids love to learn. What better way to teach them about the world around them than through a new friend?