AFBF Foundation grants awarded to three Georgia counties
Compiled by Georgia Farm Bureau
County Farm Bureaus in Banks, Barrow and Jackson counties were among 10 counties nationwide awarded Spring 2023 grants by the American Farm Bureau Foundation for Agriculture from the White-Reinhardt Fund for Education.
The American Farm Bureau Foundation for Agriculture has awarded $10,000 in grants to recognize the exceptional efforts of 10 county Farm Bureaus and their agricultural literacy programs. Additionally, the foundation has awarded $15,000 in scholarships to 10 educators who exemplify excellence in engaging students to learn where their food comes from.
Banks County Farm Bureau will use its grant in support of a school garden program at Banks County Elementary School.
The school is one of 25 schools in the state participating in a three-year pilot program that allows students to participate in a garden-growing learning experience. One challenge the school faces is students being unable to see the outcome of their planting before school lets out for the summer. To help expedite the plant growing process, the grant will fund grow lights for their classrooms and ag lab, small and large seed starter containers for transplanting, and provide them the opportunity to plant seeds and monitor growth in the classrooms.
Barrow County Farm Bureau’s grant will support work to teach students about poultry production.
In alignment with The Pillars of Ag Literacy – a planning tool, a framework for learning, a starting point, and a guide to measure success – the students at Kennedy Elementary School will learn how farmers raise and care for chickens. Using the grant funds, Kennedy Elementary’s goal is to engage all eight of the school’s kindergarten classes in incubating and raising chicks, learning the business of selling eggs, and being introduced to different jobs raising poultry and its importance in the community.
The grant to Jackson County Fam Bureau will be used to help West Jackson Elementary School enhance its aquaponics program.
The school has developed an innovative aquaponics system to show environmental stewardship and sustainability in their community. While their system is meant to use fish-produced waste bacteria and convert it into nutrients for plants, they’ve come across a challenge with their filtration system, which they seek to overcome using their mini-grant. West Jackson plans to replace their filter system, purchase new floating foam boards, replace their previously used goldfish with Blue Nile tilapia, and once the system is stable, they will add plants to grow and share with their community.
The grants and scholarships are funded through the White-Reinhardt Fund for Education, which acknowledges communities and educators who are engaging with students on the fundamental role of agriculture in the everyday lives of all Americans.
Grants are awarded twice a year, in the spring and fall. State and county Farm Bureaus may apply for $1,000 grants in support of education programs for grades K-12 in order to create new ag literacy programs or expand existing programs. Organizations and schools can work with their local Farm Bureau to apply for the grants, which are available on a competitive basis.
Additionally, the foundation has awarded scholarships valued at $1,500 each to 10 educators to help offset the cost of attending the National Ag in the Classroom Conference. Among them is Jenny Hendrix, a Science, Technology, Engineering and Math instructor at Stilson Elementary School in Bulloch County. The foundation will also cover the registration cost of attending the conference for the educators selected.
The White-Reinhardt Fund is a project of the foundation that sponsors scholarships and grants in cooperation with the American Farm Bureau Women’s Leadership Committee. The fund is named in honor of Berta White and Linda Reinhardt, two former committee chairwomen.