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From what started out as a single event at my childhood elementary school, has turned into an amazing program, even winning us a spot at American Farm Bureau Convention.
Not quite two years ago, I did a storytime with a farmer activity for a group of elementary kids. Since doing that, I have now done multiple of those events at various schools and libraries, and it has turned into an even bigger program with book barns to compliment the story time.
As a farmer myself, and part of Trumbull County Farm Bureau, I really try to promote farming and educate the consumers as much as possible. I would say by nature, that it comes fairly easy for me to speak and present on a topic that means so much to me. With that, when starting an ag literacy program within our county Farm Bureau, I quickly volunteered to head up the storytime with a farmer portion. Over the past couple months, I have read to children from two years of age, to their guardians probably 70+ years in age. Not only have I read a story about dairy farming, but each child has had the opportunity to make their own cow craft to name and take home. To see these kids light up when picking names for “their” cow, and adding their own unique number of spots to their cow has been such a joy to partake in.
Not only have I had the wonderful chance to witness them learning about farming, but some of the questions that I have been able to answer for them have been significant as well. From something as simple as what do cows eat, to more complex questions like what is milk composed of. No matter what the question may be, I have taken great pride in being able to help these consumers get a better understanding of what we farmers do on a daily basis to care for our animals, and how we produce the wholesome products that are found on grocery store shelves.
In addition to the storytime with a farmer portion of this project, other Farm Bureau volunteers are crafting book barns to be donated to locations throughout the county that will contain ag-related books to help further educate the public. As time goes on, we hope to expand this program in various ways. So far, based on all that we’ve done, we have the chance to travel to Salt Lake City, Utah in January to present our project at the American Farm Bureau Convention. I think that all of us are looking forward to this and look forward to sharing the details after returning from the trip.
Submitted by Julie Holler, a member of the Trumbull County Farm Bureau board of trustees.
OFBF Mission: Working together for Ohio farmers to advance agriculture and strengthen our communities.
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