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Local Communities Benefit from Ag Literacy Mini-Grants

WASHINGTON, D.C., July 21, 2014 – The American Farm Bureau Foundation for Agriculture has awarded 11 $500 mini-grants to communities across the nation. The grants are awarded through the Foundation’s White-Reinhardt Fund for Education program.

The grants are allocated through county and state Farm Bureaus and are used to create new agricultural literacy projects or expand on 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.

“The mini-grant program was developed to help Farm Bureau members provide free tools to share with educators in their communities,” said Julie Tesch, executive director of the Foundation. “Our primary overall goal is to help teach young rural and urban students about the importance of agriculture and the vital role it plays in our everyday lives.”

The White-Reinhardt Fund for Education is a project of the Foundation in cooperation with the American Farm Bureau’s 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.

2014 Mini-Grants Awarded to State and County Farm Bureaus:

Chaves County Farm Bureau, New Mexico Educational program that incorporates the poem “Harvest Told” and a “Tracking My Taco” activity to teach students where their food comes from and how markets operate, as well as the importance of sustainable agriculture.
Colorado Farm Bureau A Mobile Ag Trailer to be used at schools, county fairs and other events with five “Educational Barns” that illustrate ag commodities and industries in Colorado.
Cook County Farm Bureau, Illinois Summer library program to introduce urban children to livestock and their uses through literature, learning activities and a craft or snack.
Davison/Hanson County Farm Bureau, South Dakota Creation of a combining DVD and display to teach students about the harvesting process and products made from crops.
Franklin County Farm Bureau, Maine Supplemental agricultural literature for the “Book Nook” that accompanies raised bed gardens, to reinforce the benefits of interdisciplinary teaching.
Franklin County Farm Bureau, Virginia “What’s in the Garden?” project to educate pre—K-5 students on how food grows from soil to table through hands-on activities, interactive labs and age-appropriate printed materials.
Irwin County Farm Bureau, Georgia Creation of an Agriculture Reading corner for the local elementary school that contains accurate ag books to encourage children to explore the world of agriculture through literature.
Kalamazoo County Farm Bureau, Michigan The Barn Library, a traveling library with 20-40 ag books to teach students the importance of farming and agriculture to the Michigan economy.
Madison County Farm Bureau, Idaho A greenhouse to be integrated into the junior high school science curriculum. Students will have hands-on opportunities to see plant growth and plant structure.
Monroe County Farm Bureau, Illinois Agriculture Book of the Month Club where 3rd grade classrooms in the Columbia School District will receive books each month.
Wexford County Farm Bureau, Michigan Expand the current Book Barn by purchasing books on Michigan food products, expanding reading level to 4th grade and replacing worn out books.

The Foundation will announce a second mini-grant application process in fall 2014. Applications will be available online at www.agfoundation.org under What We Support – Mini-Grants.

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Contacts:   Will Rodger
(202) 406-3642
willr@fb.org
  Cyndie Sirekis
(202) 406-3649
cyndies@fb.org