From Birchbox to Stitchfix, how many times have your kids seen you run out to the mailbox in excitement for a monthly subscription service? Now your littles can sign up for a new monthly mailing that combines their love of ag with the opportunity to join an all-inclusive club. Welcome Ag Kids Club!
A brand new subscription service launched this week for youngsters ages 4 to 10, Ag Kids Club brings educational content about corn, dairy cattle, Angus and Herefords, agricultural jobs, cotton, spring planting, horses, swine, watermelon, poultry, soybeans, and more to their doorstep.
“I have tried out Stitch Fix, Trunk Club, and I love how easy it is to get things on a regular basis in the mail,” said Rachel Cutrer, primary educational designer at Ag Kids Club. “My daughter gets a monthly box subscription from a sticker club, a travel club, and a book club. I thought – why is there not one of these for ag!”
Cutrer, who is also the founder of Ranch House Designs and a cattle rancher at V8 Ranch in Wharton, Texas, envisioned the idea of Ag Kids Club after seeing how her 6-year-old daughter, Mollie really enjoyed learning and talking about ag with other students at her elementary school. She also noticed that her daughter was always mentioning being in some type of fictitious ‘clubs’ made up on the playground — Ballerina Club, Cheer Club, Lost Tooth Club.
“So, we came up with the idea to make this ‘club’ for something that was completely all-inclusive of any young child, no matter their interest,” Cutrer said. “The motto is that everyone is welcome at Ag Kids Club.”
And Cutrer’s daughter Mollie has remained an active visionary behind the whole project.
“She and I have worked together on the entire concept, from coming up with the name, to choosing the logo, to naming the characters, to choosing the colors, to deciding what would be in the boxes and packages,” Cutrer said. “My daughter is quick to tell me what is ‘cool’ or ‘not cool’ and I think that’s going to be invaluable because we have that children’s perspective.”
Cutrer’s colleagues at Ranch House, who also are moms of elementary children, have also provided some great feedback. And before launching, Ag Kids Club test marketed the product on both rural and urban audiences.
“In our initial market research, we actually found that the urban audience might actually be more interested in this product than those who live in rural America. Our initial research shows that people love agriculture…. especially people in cities that don’t necessarily get the luxury of growing fresh vegetables for their family or going to a county fair,” Cutrer said. “Ag Kids Club brings that to children no matter where they live.”
So what exactly does Ag Kids Club deliver?
Upon joining, members receive a Welcome Box which includes a welcome letter from characters Luke and Laurie, stickers, a member-only journal, a membership card, an Ag Kids Club portfolio, an Agriculture in the U.S.A. poster, and ‘Sam’ the dog.
After that, your child receives two items each month in the mail. At the beginning of the month, they’ll get a packet featuring educational information about an agricultural product or commodity. Ag Kids Club works with commodity boards and agricultural groups for each theme box to assure facts are accurate and science-based. Monthly packages also include another letter from Luke and Laurie about the month’s theme, along with stickers, activities, craft sheets, and a book or toy all centered around the agricultural product of the month.
Mid-month, members will receive a postcard mailed to them with information about one of Luke and Laurie’s recent trips to an agricultural fair, farm, or event. The first one features a family farm in Illinois, since the first box is a corn-based educational package. During dairy month, they will get a postcard from World Dairy Expo. Some postcards will be directly from family farms across the USA, and others will be from agriculture events like stock shows, farmer’s markets, commodity board meetings, and more.
“We hope that when the children get a postcard from say – Louisville stock show – then that will give an opportunity for the parents or grandparents to interact with the children and tell stories of when they have visited there or maybe even showed there. Or, when they get a postcard from a soybean farmer, they can talk about people they know that raise soybeans,” Cutrer said. “The postcards are designed to create a dialog between the children and parents to get a conversation started about agriculture.”
Cutrer said schools and classrooms can get an Ag Kids Club subscription too. They have also been collaborating with a variety of commodity organizations and even some universities to provide science-based educational activities that are mailed each month. For example, for their first corn-theme box, Ag Kids Club worked with two state corn producer organizations to fact check the materials and provide ideas.
Whether a child comes from a rural or urban background, Cutrer said Ag Kids Club strives to bring real life stories from many great farmers and ranchers to their doorsteps monthly.
“Ag Kids Club brings that lifestyle to children’s front doors twice a month,” Cutrer said. “Whether your child is a farm kid who’s engrossed in agriculture – or a urban child who gets a little cooped up in town and longs for the outdoor life – this helps drive that passion and foster a love of agriculture in children.”