County Farm Bureaus Increase Agricultural Literacy in Local Youth

Sydney Garrett

Communications Assistant

The American Farm Bureau Federation celebrates county Farm Bureaus for their unique, volunteer-driven programming.

photo credit: Brazoria-Galveston County Farm, used with permission

Through its annual County Activities of Excellence Awards, the American Farm Bureau Federation celebrates county Farm Bureaus for their unique, volunteer-driven programming. The following counties are being recognized for their programs and activities in 2022 and 2023. The programs featured here focused on education and agricultural promotion.

Books and Barns Ag Literacy Project –Trumbull County Farm Bureau, Ohio

The Books and Barns Ag Literacy Project, created by Trumbull County Farm Bureau, is a dynamic initiative aimed at promoting agricultural education, fostering a love for reading and building positive perceptions of agriculture among children. The project focuses on hosting “Storytime with a Farmer” sessions, constructing book barns for local classrooms, and donating accurate agriculture books to local libraries.

This project was targeted toward urban youth to help increase their agricultural literacy. A key objective of the Books and Barns Ag Literacy project is to inspire young people to consider careers and opportunities within the agricultural sector. By nurturing an early interest in agriculture, the project hopes to cultivate a new generation of individuals who may choose to pursue careers in farming, agribusiness or related fields.

Local Agriculture Activity Book –Logan and Auglaize County Farm Bureaus, Ohio

Logan and Auglaize County Farm Bureaus partnered to create an agriculture activity book for community youth. The activity book is a one-of-a-kind coloring and lesson book featuring several counties’ agricultural resources. It highlights farmers from four neighboring counties and the commodities they grow and includes age-appropriate activities and games for kids.

In celebration of National Ag Day, the workbook was distributed to over 3,500 students and used as an educational tool in numerous classrooms. Many teachers and parents shared positive feedback about the books and the impact they have had on local youth. Logan and Auglaize counties look forward to expanding the project in the future.

Farmers Corral Agriculture Learning Center - Brazoria-Galveston County Farm Bureau, Texas

With the number of urban residents increasing within their counties, Brazoria-Galveston County Farm Bureau created the Farmers Corral, an agricultural learning center, for the counties’ fairs in April and October. The center had 10 stations, five of those including live animals, to educate about various aspects of agriculture and was run by multiple adult and youth volunteers from local FFA, 4-H and ag extension groups.

A total of 15,000 people went through the Farmers Corral, which also generated a lot of traffic to the fairs via social media and word of mouth. This project strengthened Farm Bureau’s relationship with the urban community and helped build trust between farmers and their consumers.

Harvest Fest – Johnson County Farm Bureau, Texas

Johnson County Farm Bureau created “Harvest Fest” to better connect local consumers and commodity producers while also fostering a deeper understanding and appreciation for how food travels from farm to fork.

The event took place at a local baseball game and offered interactive activities, like a combine simulator and commodity stations, and allowed game attendees to meet farmers and other volunteers who answered agriculture-related questions.

By combining America's favorite pastime with agriculture, the event appealed to a broad audience, fostering a sense of community and promoting a deeper appreciation for both baseball and the agricultural sector.

These counties displayed their winning activities at the 2024 American Farm Bureau Convention in Salt Lake City, Utah, in January. County award winners received up to four free registrations to the Convention (cost of travel and housing not included) and a $2,250 stipend to apply toward the cost of travel and exhibition. More information on the County Activities of Excellence can be found here.