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Newton school staffer, Paulding County Farm Bureau win AFBF prizes

American Farm Bureau


The American Farm Bureau Foundation for Agriculture has awarded seven $1,000 mini-grants to communities across the nation through the White-Reinhardt Fund for Education program, and 10 scholarships of $1,500 each to educators who have worked to encourage agricultural literacy.

Paulding County Farm Bureau received one of the mini-grants to support a worm composting system, irrigation and grow light system for seedlings to be used in the school garden at McGarity Elementary School. This “Children’s Garden” exposes children in grades K-5 and their families to Georgia agriculture and careers.

The grants are allocated through county 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.

“We are excited to help foster new agricultural literacy efforts through the mini-grant program,” said Julia Recko, director of education outreach for the Foundation.

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.

Sarah Nichols, who works at Mansfield Elementary School in Newton County, was one of 10 recipients of the White-Reinhardt Scholarship to attend the National Agriculture in the Classroom Conference in Portland, Maine, June 26-29. The Foundation, through the White-Reinhardt Fund for Education, sponsors the scholarships in cooperation with the American Farm Bureau Women’s Leadership Committee.

The conference helps educators from across the nation learn how to incorporate real-life agricultural applications into science, social studies, language arts, math and nutrition lessons. Scholarship recipients were judged on their past use of innovative programs to educate students about agriculture as well as plans to implement information gained at the NAITC conference in their own lesson plans and share the information with other teacher and volunteer educators.

The American Farm Bureau Federation and state Farm Bureaus also support and participate in the program’s efforts. The White-Reinhardt Fund for Education honors two former American Farm Bureau Women’s Leadership Committee chairwomen, Berta White and Linda Reinhardt, who were leaders in early national efforts to educate about agriculture and improve agricultural literacy.