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Opening Doors to Ag Literacy

Zippy Duvall


photo credit: AFBF Photo, Philip Gerlach

Have you opened a holiday book yet this season to read to the kids? Or if your grandkids are like mine, maybe you find yourself reading an old favorite, again...and again...as they recite the words along with you. Maybe this holiday season you’re looking to introduce them to their next favorite book. How about Farm Boots or Potatoes for Pirate Pearl? Those are the two newest books from the American Farm Bureau Foundation for Agriculture’s Feeding Minds Press as they grow their library of ag-accurate children’s books.

Feeding Minds Press has really found its groove. If you haven’t checked out one of their delightful farm stories, don’t waste another minute. You could be reading about what’s going on Right This Very Minute on the farm with your kids or grandkids or following the adventures of Chuck and his Dairy Godmother. I LOVE Strawberries – both the fruit and the book – and so do readers across the country! It’s in its fourth printing and keeps bringing home impressive awards. It was named a Best Kids Book by Good Housekeeping in 2022 and earned a 2023 Benjamin Franklin GOLD Award.

The Foundation works year-long to ignite curiosity about agriculture in learners of all ages as they create resources and help students understand how their food is grown. From award-winning books to rigorous STEM curriculum, the Foundation is increasing ag literacy among future consumers and inspiring the next generation of agriculturalists.

The Foundation works year-long to ignite curiosity about agriculture in learners of all ages as they create resources and help students understand how their food is grown

The Foundation is planting seeds for ag literacy every day with online resources designed to help students understand how food reaches their plates. They have crafted an array of resources such as lesson plans, games, activities and videos that teachers and volunteers can use in the classroom. Each resource is thoroughly researched, written by education specialists and reviewed by subject matter experts so teachers can feel confident in their accuracy. The Foundation is also committed to equipping educators with opportunities and training, including farm tours and scholarships, to give them tools to help these lessons come alive in the classroom.

Our Foundation’s efforts for agricultural literacy keep reaching new heights thanks to partnerships across the food and agriculture chain—and because of generous donors across the country. This holiday season, what better way to join in the season of giving than to contribute toward the mission of ag literacy? You can also commit to giving your time this season or in the new year.

Reach out to your county and state Farm Bureau to see what volunteering opportunities may be available to bring agricultural literacy to the classroom. Across the nation, our local and state leaders are engaging through activities like hosting booths at county fairs and visiting local elementary schools and libraries to read books about agriculture.

If there are no opportunities in your community, I encourage you to see what you can do to get something started. It takes just one person to help spark that curiosity and inspire the next generation to get excited about agriculture. You can work to support local teachers through donations, invite students to see your farm, or maybe even set up a community event. You can also start with something small and simple, like an email to your local library requesting Feeding Minds Press books.

By volunteering or donating in any way, you are opening doors for more students to learn about agriculture. You are sowing seeds to help cultivate our future ag leaders, and you are helping ensure the next generation is well-informed and excited about agriculture. On behalf of the Ag Foundation board and staff, thank you for your partnership and support!

For more information on all the Foundation’s resources, visit agfoundation.org. You can also get the latest and best books, either for yourself or to give as a gift, with the 2024 Monthly Farm Book Bundle. For more information on how to order, check out: