As Virginia’s Agriculture in the Classroom program celebrates its second Agriculture Literacy Week concurrently with National Agriculture Week (March 4-10), the Rappahannock County Farm Bureau’s Ashleigh Cannon Sharp will join volunteers from more than 40 other Farm Bureaus and other organizations to read books about agriculture in their local schools.
Many will be reading the book, “From Our Fields . . . To You,” by Kellie Worrell, a Carroll County teacher and farmer, and donating copies to school libraries. The book was selected as AITC’s Farmer Ben Book of the Year and details the process of getting fresh produce from the farm to consumers.
“This will give us an opportunity to share agriculture with children and help them understand why it’s so important in Virginia and right here in their community,” said Sharp.
Last year, volunteers read to more than 54,000 children and shared more than 1,800 copies of the designated 2011 book, “Ready Set GROW!”
“Having members of the agriculture community in classrooms across Virginia is a great opportunity for teachers and students to learn about agriculture from those who know it best,” said AITC executive director Karen Davis. “The number of Farm Bureau volunteers, state agriculture officials and others who stepped forward to read to children in their communities was just amazing, and I hope they will encourage others to participate this year.”
Virginia AITC is part of a nationwide effort to help teachers and students understand and appreciate agriculture, which is Virginia’s and the nation’s largest industry. The program provides training and materials to about 1,800 teachers and pre-service teachers each year, and its website at AgInTheClass.org, provides teachers with Standards of Learning-aligned lessons, literacy activities and more. All AITC services are provided to schools and teachers at no cost.
Rappahannock County Farm Bureau is one of 88 county organizations in the Virginia Farm Bureau Federation. With more than 150,000 members, VFBF is Virginia’s largest farmers’ advocacy group. Farm Bureau is a non-governmental, nonpartisan, voluntary organization committed to protecting Virginia’s farms and ensuring a safe, fresh and locally grown food supply.