bees

County uses grant funds to provide books to libraries

Butler County Farm Bureau was a recipient of a White-Reinhardt Mini-Grant which funds projects that increase agricultural literacy. According to the American Farm Bureau Foundation for Agriculture, county and state Farm Bureaus may apply for grants of up to $500 for classroom education programs for grades K-12 in order to initiate new ag literacy programs or expand existing programs.

The Fall 2017 cycle is open and applications are due April 15. Farm Bureaus may apply for grants again in October.

Here is a summary of how the county used the grant money, provided by Jeanne Walther, promotion and education committee co-chair:

The Promotion and Education committee of the Butler County Farm Bureau decided to distribute the book, The Beeman by Laurie Krebs and Valeria Cis, because of the interest shown in a Butler County Farm Bureau Grow and Know event, The Buzz, we had on beekeeping and honey. Also, the book is about
an aspect of agriculture that is not widely known.

We checked with several school librarians who verified that the school libraries did not have this book. We ordered 60 copies of The Beeman. Our original intention was to distribute the books to public elementary school and parochial school libraries. Due to a discounted price for the book we received from American Farm Bureau, we were also able to order books for the local libraries and private elementary schools in our county.

We contacted the National Honey Board and explained our plan to them. They contributed several age appropriate booklets that were included with each book. We only had to pay the shipping expenses for the Honey Board items. Also, we placed an Ag Mag on beekeeping with each book distributed.

The P and E committee placed the book plate and the National Honey board literature in each book along with a letter from the county board president and the P and E co-chairs explaining the contribution and how we received the funds to make the contribution.

Each book was personally delivered by a P and E member to each school and library. Many school staff members expressed their appreciation for the
donation and many talked about a link they had with Farm Bureau. We received thank you cards with pictures from several schools.

We believe this was a successful project because each elementary school
aged student now has access to the book about a lesser known segment of agriculture and future potential career or hobby. Beekeeping is currently receiving media exposure because of concern for the environment and concern about bee colony collapse. This project exposes students and elementary staff
to Farm Bureau and its concern for the environment.

In addition, many school districts have listed our contribution in their newsletters exposing Farm Bureau to the parents.

About the fund

The White-Reinhardt Fund for Education is a special project of the Foundation in cooperation with the AFB Women’s Leadership Committee. It was established to honor two former chairs of that committee, Berta White and Linda Reinhardt, who were leaders in the national effort to improve agricultural literacy.

Lynn Snyder 

Lynn Snyder is senior director of communications for Ohio Farm Bureau.