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Students asked to “Thank an American Farmer or Rancher”

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Thanksgiving is right around the corner and this year, the American Farm Bureau Foundation for Agriculture is asking pre-K to first-grade students to “Thank an American Farmer or Rancher.”

The free Thanksgiving-themed lesson plan helps teachers explain where food comes from and includes a letter from a farmer, suggestions for books to read, class discussion ideas and all about the American farmer lifestyle. Teachers are also encouraged to ask students to write, draw, or create thank you letters or cards for America’s farmers.

“Most Americans have never been to a farm and didn’t even grow up near one, but they are ready to learn more about where their food comes from,” said American Farm Bureau Federation President Zippy Duvall. “‘Thank an American Farmer or Rancher’ is a fun classroom activity that helps young learners make the connection between farms and ranches and the food they eat.”

Classroom ideas include:

· Complete a free sample lesson from Farm a Month and read a free sample letter from a pumpkin farmer, followed by a discussion about farming in America.

· Pull up a picture of a Thanksgiving Day plate or ask students to name common holiday foods such as turkey, cranberries, green beans, potatoes, and stuffing, then discuss the agricultural origins of each item.

· Have students in groups research online to discover where ingredients such as pumpkins, butter, sugar, and wheat come from. Give each group one ingredient; don’t tell them what the final product is going to be. Have students present where their ingredient is from and then have the class as a whole guess what the recipe is for!

· Invite a local farmer into your classroom to discuss how he or she produces food, fiber, or energy.

Letters written by students as part of the activity will be given to real farmers and ranchers in January at AFBF’s Annual Convention.

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