Cass County Farm Bur­­eau member Alan Zellmer welcomed more than a dozen local teachers to his family’s cattle farm, A to Z Feeders, near Atlantic last week.

Zellmer told the teachers that Iowa farmers need employees who are not only comfortable using today’s technology, but are also excellent communicators and are good with numbers — without depending on smartphones for the answers.

"We have a great need for math, reading and writing. That is probably one of the biggest demands that we have here with our employees," Zellmer said.

"It all comes back to the simple things of being able to write things down so I can read them and do the simple math. If you (teachers) can keep those basics in our system, it will help us dramatically here."

The teachers toured Zellmer’s farm...