As I was catching up on some of the issues facing agriculture, I came across an article in my American Farm Bureau newsletter that caught my attention — “‘A Berry Good Project’ Available from Feeding Minds Press.”
My first thought was, “Awesome! Another good agriculture book for kids.”
“A Berry Good Project” is a free, downloadable book sponsored by Nichino America geared toward third through fifth-graders, and available here. The story is loaded with information about agriculture and focuses around a boy and his classmates who are put in charge of the strawberry field.
These students and readers learn about how and why farmers make choices related to pest management and what goes into growing and protecting a strawberry crop.
Then I wondered who is Feeding Minds Press and what are they all about?
Feeding Minds Press is a children’s book publishing venture from the American Farm Bureau Foundation for Agriculture. It was launched in 2018 to advance the foundation’s efforts to identify books that accurately cover agricultural topics. Nearly 500 books for children, teenagers and adults have been identified and are listed in at this database.
Included in this database are all of the Book of the Year award winners. Book of the Year selections are educational, help to create positive public perceptions about agriculture, inspire readers to learn more and touch their readers’ lives as well as tell the farmer’s story.
The 12th award winner and the first one published by Feeding Minds Press is a book written by Lisl Detlefsen and illustrated by Renee Kurilla, “Right This Very Minute.” The book explains to children how every minute of every day, someone, somewhere is working to bring food to their table.
To accompany this great book, the Foundation has created an educator’s guide.
I explored the database and found a lot of cool books and resources. There is a series titled “Who Made My Lunch?” by Bridget Heos, with books titled “From Milk to Cheese,” “From Milk to Ice Cream,” “From Grapes to Jelly” and “From Wheat to Bread.”
You will also find a fun rhyming book by Christy Mihaly called “Hey, Hey, Hay!” which is about a mother-daughter team harvesting hay. Another series of books written by Rick Henningfield explores careers in agriculture including florist, ag teacher, dairy farmer, veterinarian, plant scientist and an ag journalist.
The last resource I’ll tell you about is the Ag Mag. They have different topics and are great for the classroom. Snacks Ag Mag is a teaching tool about snacks and a great accompaniment to “Right This Very Minute.” Another is the Plant Breeding Ag Mag, a great tool to teach about plant breeding and how it has evolved, seed technology, how DNA works within the cell, and seeds found around the world.
Please explore the database full of fun reads. Kids have to learn and some adults need to be reminded, that food doesn’t just show up at the grocery store. There is so much that is happening — right this very minute!
Submitted by Mary Smallsreed, a member of the Trumbull County Farm Bureau, who grew up on a family dairy farm in northeast Ohio.
OFBF Mission: Working together for Ohio farmers to advance agriculture and strengthen our communities.