Increasing agriculture literacy has been an objective of the agriculture industry for a long time. An agriculturally literate person understands how the agricultural industry works — everything from who grows the food, agriculture’s effect on the economy, environment, technology, lifestyle and its relationship to livestock.
In an effort to increase agriculture literacy, the American Farm Bureau Foundation for Agriculture has awarded $9,500 in grants to 10 communities that are creating new and exciting ways to help learners of all ages understand agriculture and the important role it plays in their lives. The grants are funded through the White-Reinhardt Fund for Education program.
Criteria for selecting winners included: the effectiveness of demonstrating a strong connection between agriculture and education, how successfully the project enhances learner engagement in today’s food, fiber and fuel systems, and the timeliness and processes for accomplishing project goals. Grants are awarded twice a year, in the spring and fall.
2021 Fall Grant Recipients
Arizona Farm Bureau
Arizona Farm Bureau will expand the virtual offerings of their Ag in the Classroom program. This grant will be used to purchase technology that enables the production of video and audio agricultural education programs accessible to classrooms in Arizona and beyond.
Cherokee County Farm Bureau, Georgia
Woodstock High School plans to add a garden component to its existing Nutrition and Food Science courses. This will provide students with a strong understanding of where food comes from and how it is produced.
Georgia Farm Bureau
Grant funds will go toward a new hands-on activity for visits through the Georgia Ag Experience, a 36-foot mobile classroom. The Georgia Ag Experience visits elementary school students across the state to instill knowledge of agriculture and cultivate interest in farming careers.
Carroll County Farm Bureau, Iowa
Carroll County Farm Bureau will create a Building Agricultural Relationships Now (BARN) project, supplying students and teachers with an agricultural library. Six local schools will receive a book BARN tailored for Pre-K through fifth grade students.
Hardin County Farm Bureau, Kentucky
Creekside Elementary is planning to grow a tower garden to educate students on plant life cycles year-round. Students will learn about aeroponics and increase their science proficiency while also practicing transferable gardening skills.
Pope County Farm Bureau, Minnesota
Pope County Farm Bureau is hosting their third annual Breakfast on the Farm event at Dorrich Dairy to introduce people of all ages to local farmers and the daily operations of a dairy farm. Grant funding will go toward educational signage to be used each year for the event.
Lancaster County Farm Bureau, Nebraska
Lancaster County Farm Bureau plans to add an exhibit about the science of growing corn to their Fun on the Farm engagement zone at the county fair. Visitors will also be able to bring home their own corn plants to watch the process themselves.
West Pottawattamie County Farm Bureau, Iowa
West Pottawattamie County Farm Bureau will create a Building Agricultural Relationships Now (BARN) project, supplying students and teachers with an agricultural library. Six local schools will receive a book BARN tailored for Pre-K through fifth grade students.
New Jersey Farm Bureau
Middletown High School North will add a heat sink to their greenhouse. This will extend the growing season and provide more students an opportunity to interact with the existing greenhouse project and chicken coop.
Allendale County Farm Bureau, South Carolina
Ag Books for Allendale will be a year-long program in which kindergarteners receive a book about agriculture and a related lesson and activity each month. Each month’s topic is based on local agriculture or common products to encourage youth to want to learn more.
The White-Reinhardt Fund for Education, which honors two former American Farm Bureau Women’s Leadership Committee chairwomen Berta White and Linda Reinhardt, is a project of the Foundation in cooperation with the Women’s Leadership Committee. White and Reinhardt were trailblazers in early national efforts to expand the outreach of agricultural education and improve agricultural literacy.