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A Bounty of Ag Education Resources

Viewpoints / The Zipline October 27, 2021

Credit: AFBF 

Recently, I got to celebrate my granddaughter’s birthday with her friends and our family. All my grandkids are always eager to tell their friends how their “Bee-Pop” is a farmer. Then all the farm-related questions tumble out from their classmates. I love sharing about our family farm, especially with those who haven’t had a chance to see a farm first-hand. And I never tire of setting the record straight that “No, I have never gotten chocolate milk from a brown cow.” These opportunities also renew my pride in the great resources our American Farm Bureau Foundation for Agriculture produces year-round to engage with learners of all ages.

This week the Foundation for Agriculture released the latest edition of one our most popular resources, Food & Farm Facts. This guide to agriculture is as educational as it is engaging covering everything from the diversity of American agriculture to the sustainability gains of American farmers and ranchers. Students of all ages can learn how much of the food dollar makes it back to the farm (just 14 cents) and how many people one farm can feed (172, in case you were wondering). You can find these and many more facts by ordering a copy from the Foundation store. The Foundation team also provides resources and ideas for teachers looking to incorporate Food and Farm Facts into their lessons and classroom activities or for volunteers exploring opportunities to engage with their local schools and communities.

The Foundation for Agriculture is leading the way in engaging with students of all ages to help them better understand where their food, fuel and fiber comes from.

Over at the Foundation’s publishing arm, Feeding Minds Press, we have a new children’s storybook, Barn at Night. This is the perfect gift if you’re getting ahead on your holiday shopping. It’s beautifully illustrated and tells the story of how a farm family cares for their animals as everyone pitches in to get work done. This book took me back to my days as a kid on the farm, helping with chores and milking cows. I have already enjoyed sitting and reading it with my grandkids whether at home or over FaceTime. Like with all titles from Feeding Minds Press, there’s also an accompanying educator guide.

Our Foundation team is always looking for new and creative ways to engage students in the classroom and online. This fall, the team released a new learning module, called the Prized Pumpkin. It walks students through the newest Little Ag Me book, demonstrating the pumpkin life cycle, outlining the steps for planting a crop, introducing what an agronomist does, and explaining the role of pollinators. This FREE tool, which is available in English and Spanish, includes an audio version of the book, interactive trivia and quizzes, writing activities and videos.

These latest books and resources are just a sampling of the bounty of ag education tools, games, training and curriculum our Foundation team is working on year-round. From ag-based STEM activities in the Purple Plow Challenge to one of the popular educational game, My American Farm, the Foundation for Agriculture is leading the way in engaging with students of all ages to help them better understand where their food, fuel and fiber comes from. But none of this would be possible without support from our sponsors and individual donors. In short, our work wouldn’t be possible without you.

If you haven’t already, I invite you to consider partnering with the Foundation as a donor—every little bit helps. If you’re joining us for the 2022 American Farm Bureau Convention in Atlanta, I hope you’ll also get your tickets now to join us for the Flapjack Fundraiser. It’s a great time celebrating the work of the Foundation, and you’ll be the first to hear about and receive the Book of the Year.

You can also join in the Foundation’s mission by sharing resources with friends, family and neighbors. Wouldn’t it be amazing if a Food and Farm Facts booklet sparked a lifelong interest in agriculture? Maybe a story about caring for farm animals inspires a future veterinarian. Or perhaps, an audiobook plants the seeds for the next pumpkin farmer. These are the exciting possibilities that drive our Foundation team to come up with the latest ideas to bring the farm to students everywhere. We invite you to be part of this exciting work as we share the story of American agriculture.

Zippy Duvall

Vincent “Zippy” Duvall, a poultry, cattle and hay producer from Greene County, Georgia, is the 12th president of the American Farm Bureau Federation.

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Credit: Robert Raines / CC BY 2.0 

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