Michigan Farm Bureau was one of ten $1,000 White-Reinhardt spring mini-grant recipients awarded by the American Farm Bureau Foundation for Agriculture. The grants are allocated through county and state Farm Bureaus and used to create new agricultural literacy projects or expand existing ag literacy efforts.
Six themed Ag in the Classroom kits will be created to highlight six seasonal commodities. Kits will include a tabletop poster highlighting the commodity, one K-2nd grade-level book, another for 3rd-5th grades, and a laminated copy of corresponding, grade-appropriate lesson plans.
The commodity posters are replicas of posters used in our Food, Agriculture & Resources in Motion (FARM) Mobile Science Lab and Project Rural Education Day booth posters. This provides a consistent messaging approach throughout our Michigan-produced youth ag literacy programming. Curriculum was chosen from the National Agriculture in the Classroom curriculum matrix as well as American Farm Bureau Foundation for Agriculture recommended age-appropriate, ag-accurate books.
Collegiate Farm Bureau Chapters will use the kits in three ways dependent on their schedules, county participation, and elementary school involvement.
Kits can be used independently of each other during the appropriate month. For example, pumpkins are the kit assigned to October. Collegiate members can set up time with the local elementary school to present their lesson plan on pumpkins during October.
Another option is to provide monthly lessons from October to April for each kit to be presented as an Ag in the Classroom series within local elementary classrooms and/or through afterschool programs.
Finally, Collegiate Farm Bureau members can combine all six posters into a commodity booth for county Farm Bureau events. For example, MFB’s Project RED (Rural Education Day) events bring fourth-graders to a farm or county fair to rotate through stations learning about agriculture from booth presenters. Collegiate members can prepare a 5-10-minute presentation on the variety of commodities grown in Michigan and share with teachers the agriculture accurate books to extend the experience back into the classrooms.
County Farm Bureaus near a collegiate chapter are also encouraged to reach out to the chapter advisor for potential partnering opportunities utilizing the Collegiate Ag in the Classroom kits.
For more information, contact Katie Eisenberger, MFB high school & collegiate specialist, at [email protected] or 517-679-5444.