Teaching tomorrow’s decision makers about agriculture

As a Farm Bureau member, you play a role in ensuring that rising generations of decision makers understand the value of agriculture in their communities.

Virginia Agriculture in the Classroom provides teachers with a wide variety of agriculture-themed educational materials at no cost. Its mission is educating the commonwealth’s children about the importance of agriculture, which is Virginia’s and the nation’s largest industry.

Agriculture in the Classroom is a nonprofit affiliate of Virginia Farm Bureau Federation that receives support from county Farm Bureaus, as well as from individual and corporate donors.

The program spearheads Virginia’s annual Agriculture Literacy Project, which opens concurrently with National Ag Week in March. This year, nearly 1,100 volunteers visited 500 local schools, preschools and libraries, where they read to more than 40,000 children.

Many of them read the 2016 AITC Book of the Year, The Cow in Patrick O’Shanahan’s Kitchen by children’s author Diana Prichard, and they donated nearly 1,800 copies of the book to school and local libraries. Some also talked about what happens on their own farms, brought farm animals and educational exhibits to schools and answered children’s questions about farms and food.

Additionally, Agriculture in the Classroom has awarded 32 mini-grants of $500 to schools across Virginia during the 2015-2016 school year. The grants will help fund agriculture-related activities for more than 11,000 children in 25 localities.

The grant program is ongoing, and details and an application are available at AgInTheClass.org.

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