The American Farm Bureau Foundation for Agriculture has awarded nine $1,000 mini-grants to communities across the nation to expand agricultural literacy.
The grants stemming from the White-Reinhardt Fund for Education program are allocated through county and state Farm Bureaus and are used to create new agricultural literacy projects or expand existing agricultural literacy efforts.
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 processes and timelines for accomplishing project goals.
“It’s rewarding to help bring new agriculture literacy ideas to life across the nation through the mini-grant program,” said Julia Recko, education outreach director for the Foundation.
The White-Reinhardt Fund for Education is a project of the Foundation in cooperation with the American Farm Bureau Women’s Leadership Committee. The fund honors two former committee chairwomen, Berta White and Linda Reinhardt, who were trailblazers in early national efforts to expand the outreach of agricultural education and improve agricultural literacy.
2018 Mini-Grants Awarded to State and County Farm Bureaus:
Arrowhead Regional Farm Bureau, Minnesota
Arrowhead Regional Farm Bureau is partnering with United Way of Northeastern Minnesota to provide farm- and agriculture-related books to augment United Way’s literacy programs. Grant funds will be used to purchase books for 10 area early childhood service organizations.
Barbour County Farm Bureau, Alabama
Barbour County Farm Bureau will create an outdoor learning area to teach students about raising poultry. Students will also learn about the importance of chickens as a food source, how chickens help the environment, and the farmer’s role in providing food for consumers.
Cayuga County Farm Bureau, New York
Cayuga County Farm Bureau will partner with Cornell Cooperative Extension of Cayuga County/Cayuga County 4-H to build and promote hands-on educational kits for classroom use. The kits will include reusable supplies educators and volunteers can use for agricultural lessons on topics including dairy, gardening, and crops.
Cortland County Farm Bureau, New York
A “Day at the Farm” project will allow kindergarteners and their families to see a farm firsthand and learn about the dairy industry. Each student will also receive an accurate ag book.
Coshocton County Farm Bureau, Ohio
Coshocton County Farm Bureau will create permanent educational materials including interactive displays that will be used in the “Little Farmer Zone” of the Coshocton County Fair. Displays will introduce young children to agriculture and where their food comes from.
Ionia County Farm Bureau, Michigan
Ionia County Farm Bureau will partner with local middle schools to create educational signage on nutrition based on the Agriculture Department’s MyPlate recommendations for healthy eating. Signs will highlight local farmers and commodities as well as misconceptions about agriculture.
Pratt County Farm Bureau, Kansas
“Twenty-one Days to EGGcellence” is a trip into the world of chicks—where they come from, how they hatch, and how to care for them. Lessons for third-grade students were developed for all ability levels.
Rock Island Farm Bureau, Illinois
Personalized barn banners purchased from the Foundation will be used at the county fair, school programs, and community events. Banners will be available for loan to schools with related activities and lessons.
Rutherford County Farm Bureau, Tennessee
Rutherford County Farm Bureau will create book barns with accurate ag books for 12 primary and elementary urban schools. Book barns will be displayed in school libraries, exposing urban students to farming and where their food comes from.