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Three Georgia County Farm Bureaus receive White-Reinhardt Grants


By: Georgia Farm Bureau
3/8/2017 11:05:36 AM


The American Farm Bureau (AFBF) Foundation for Agriculture has awarded $500 mini-grants to Butts County Farm Bureau, Cherokee County Farm Bureau and McDuffie County Farm Bureau. The three counties were among 12 nationwide to receive the grants, which are awarded through the Foundation's White-Reinhardt Fund for Education program.

Cherokee County Farm Bureau sought the grant to support the learning garden it is building at Hasty Elementary School in Canton, where 123 5th-grade students were invited to make use of two customized raised beds on wheels.

The Learning Garden will create a space for gardening in the courtyard outside the school library, expanding the environment for reading, science and art. The students will get hands-on experience planting vegetables, watching them grow, harvesting and tasting.

The students will learn valuable skills and enjoy the fruit of their labor while learning about healthy eating. It will also show them that in a small space they can grow vegetables at home, let them know where their food comes from and expose them to potential careers in agriculture.

McDuffie County Farm Bureau (MCFB) will be partnering with McDuffie County schools to increase agricultural literacy among pre-K through 12th-grade students by building and stocking an agricultural library in each of the seven schools in the district.

MCFB is working with local FFA chapters to build bookcases as a service project for each of the schools, as well as purchasing reading materials that are age-appropriate for the students. The books can be connected to standards that are taught at each grade level and the agricultural library serves as a resource for teachers as they incorporate agriculture into their curriculum.  The total project will take about two years to complete.  There are more than 4,000 students in the McDuffie County Schools and the project will provide students direct exposure to a wide variety of topics related to agriculture. MCFB is using the Pillars Matrix to identify books recommended by AFBF to stock the ag libraries.

Butts County Farm Bureau requested the grant to support a program at Pleasant Grove Christian School in Jackson, where middle- and high-school horticulture students work in greenhouses planting, watering, organizing, lighting and rotating flowers and vegetables, which are transplanted in a community garden, also cared for by the students.

The AFBF grants are allocated to county or state Farm Bureaus and are used to create new agricultural literacy projects or expand existing agricultural literacy efforts.

Criteria for selecting winners included: the effectiveness of demonstrating a strong connection between agriculture and education; how successfully the project enhances learner engagement in today's food, fiber and fuel systems; and the processes and timelines for accomplishing project goals.

"Through the mini-grant program, we're able to help younger generations learn about agriculture and the role it plays in our everyday lives," said Julia Recko, education outreach director of the AFBF Foundation. Farm Bureau members share free educational resources with educators in their communities through the program.

The White-Reinhardt Fund for Education is a project of the Foundation in cooperation with the American Farm Bureau Women's Leadership Committee. The fund honors two former committee chairwomen, Berta White and Linda Reinhardt, who were trailblazers in early national efforts to expand the outreach of agricultural education and improve agricultural literacy.


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