WASHINGTON, D.C., July 25, 2016 – The American Farm Bureau Foundation for Agriculture has awarded 13 $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 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 is our way of giving back to our grassroots members to assist in helping younger generations learn about agriculture and the role it plays in our everyday lives,” said Julie Tesch, executive director of the Foundation. Farm Bureau members share free educational resources with educators in their communities as part of the program.
The White-Reinhardt Fund for Education is a project of the Foundation in cooperation with the American Farm Bureau 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.
2016 Mini-Grants Awarded to State and County Farm Bureaus
Arenac County Farm Bureau, MichiganCreation of a community garden that will be harvested each fall and lessons plans for K-8 students. Students and their families will learn about where their food comes from by growing produce.
Butler County Farm Bureau, OhioCopies of The Beeman for each of the 55 elementary schools in Butler County. Many of the schools have urban populations so this book will be a great introduction to different aspects of agriculture and related careers.
Carroll County Farm Bureau, VirginiaA barn tent with interior and exterior panels that provide interactive, hands-on, virtual agricultural experiences for children. The tent will also feature accurate ag books for children to further explore agriculture. This tent will be used at fairs and schools and will teach students about cows, sheep, chickens and much more.
Gray County Farm Bureau, KansasSpecific commodity lessons throughout the year for elementary school students. In October, fourth-graders will learn about pumpkins, in November first-graders will learn about wheat and later in the year fifth-graders will learn about corn through math lessons.
Logan County Farm Bureau, Ohio“A Journey through Food” will introduce third-graders to where their food comes from. Students will meet farmers and participate in hands-on projects to learn about the ag industry and increase ag literacy.
Mecosta County Farm Bureau, MichiganThird- and fourth-grade students will learn about healthy food choices and the availability of local produce by dehydrating fruits and vegetables for take-home snacks.
Middlesex County Farm Bureau, MassachusettsSeven-hour “Day of Agriculture” teacher workshop held on a working farm. Teachers will be introduced to the Pillars of Agricultural Literacy and attend workshops with hands-on agricultural topics.
Oceana County Farm Bureau, MichiganAn egg incubation project will teach students about the life cycle and how organisms get energy from food. Some of the chicks raised may be entered in the county fair, which will help students become more aware of and involved with 4-H and agriculture.
Pickens County Farm Bureau, South CarolinaIntroduction of agriculture in after-school programs at three locations. Children will read accurate ag books and participate in hands-on science and gardening lessons.
Robertson County Farm Bureau, TennesseeThe Life Skills Comprehensive Development Class at White House Heritage High School will plant “The Garden Table.” Students will care for and harvest vegetables and fruits, developing skills and independence that will be useful in adult living.
Sangamon County Farm Bureau, IllinoisCreation of Farm2Classroom educational video series. This farm video series will educate students on topics including farming technology, soil/water/environmental conservation, planting, harvesting and fertilizer/herbicide use.
Smyth County Farm Bureau, Virginia“Farm a Month” book bundles and lesson plans, as well as “First Peas to the Table” books for the Smyth County Women’s Committee to use in the local community. Volunteers will visit classrooms each month to discuss a different commodity with Farm a Month. With the “First Peas to the Table” books, students will learn about peas, gardens and Thomas Jefferson.
White County Farm Bureau, IllinoisWhite County 4-H clubs will partner with area businesses and organizations to develop Growing Illinois Food Together (the GIFT Garden Project). This garden will act as an outdoor classroom and site for ongoing community services; fruits and vegetables grown will be donated to the needy in the community.