Foundation News

Local Communities Benefit from Ag Literacy Mini-Grants

WASHINGTON, D.C., July 21, 2014 – The American Farm Bureau Foundation for Agriculture has awarded 11 $500 mini-grants to communities across the nation. The grants are awarded through the Foundation’s White-Reinhardt Fund for Education program.

The grants are allocated through county and state Farm Bureaus and are used to create new agricultural literacy projects or expand on 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.

“The mini-grant program was developed to help Farm Bureau members provide free tools to share with educators in their communities,” said Julie Tesch, executive director of the Foundation. “Our primary overall goal is to help teach young rural and urban students about the importance of agriculture and the vital role it plays in our everyday lives.”

The White-Reinhardt Fund for Education is a project of the Foundation in cooperation with the American Farm Bureau’s 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.

2014 Mini-Grants Awarded to State and County Farm Bureaus:

Chaves County Farm Bureau, New Mexico Educational program that incorporates the poem “Harvest Told” and a “Tracking My Taco” activity to teach students where their food comes from and how markets operate, as well as the importance of sustainable agriculture.
Colorado Farm Bureau A Mobile Ag Trailer to be used at schools, county fairs and other events with five “Educational Barns” that illustrate ag commodities and industries in Colorado.
Cook County Farm Bureau, Illinois Summer library program to introduce urban children to livestock and their uses through literature, learning activities and a craft or snack.
Davison/Hanson County Farm Bureau, South Dakota Creation of a combining DVD and display to teach students about the harvesting process and products made from crops.
Franklin County Farm Bureau, Maine Supplemental agricultural literature for the “Book Nook” that accompanies raised bed gardens, to reinforce the benefits of interdisciplinary teaching.
Franklin County Farm Bureau, Virginia “What’s in the Garden?” project to educate pre—K-5 students on how food grows from soil to table through hands-on activities, interactive labs and age-appropriate printed materials.
Irwin County Farm Bureau, Georgia Creation of an Agriculture Reading corner for the local elementary school that contains accurate ag books to encourage children to explore the world of agriculture through literature.
Kalamazoo County Farm Bureau, Michigan The Barn Library, a traveling library with 20-40 ag books to teach students the importance of farming and agriculture to the Michigan economy.
Madison County Farm Bureau, Idaho A greenhouse to be integrated into the junior high school science curriculum. Students will have hands-on opportunities to see plant growth and plant structure.
Monroe County Farm Bureau, Illinois Agriculture Book of the Month Club where 3rd grade classrooms in the Columbia School District will receive books each month.
Wexford County Farm Bureau, Michigan Expand the current Book Barn by purchasing books on Michigan food products, expanding reading level to 4th grade and replacing worn out books.

The Foundation will announce a second mini-grant application process in fall 2014. Applications will be available online at www.agfoundation.org under What We Support – Mini-Grants.

 

My American Farm App Update – Fall 2014

WASHINGTON, D.C., May 29, 2014 – In Fall 2014, we plan to release an updated My American Farm app! The “PowerUp” energy game will be added as well as a new pre-K level for the “In My Barn” game. The home screen will also have a new eye-catching design to entice players. The rewards “passport” will also be updated with new badges for students to add to indicate that they did something to connect with agriculture. These badges include “I Met a Farmer”, “I Planted a Seed”, and “I Went to the Farmer’s Market.”

My American Farm is an online educational game that allows students to have fun while learning about agriculture. The game was launched in 2011 and the site is made possible by the support of our generous title sponsor, DuPont Pioneer. Check out the free games, resources and activities at www.myamericanfarm.org!

 

My American Farm Releases Global Agriculture Game

WASHINGTON, D.C., January 2, 2014 – The American Farm Bureau Foundation for Agriculture has released a new educational game entitled “The Great Seed Search” that gives learners the opportunity to experience the global nature of the agriculture industry.

In this simulation game, players enter coordinates and pilot a plane around the world collecting important seeds. Through challenges in the game, players learn about other cultures, geography and agricultural products. The game and supporting educational resources can be found at http://www.myamericanfarm.org/games/great_seed_search/.

This game was developed with guidance from The Asia Society and The Longview Foundation, who served as global literacy subject matter experts. Technical experts volunteered their time to support content development, research and review. “Agriculture is global. Exposing our students to this fact at a young age is imperative both for their education as well as for the success of the industry. Asia Society is proud to partner with American Farm Bureau and Longview Foundation on this important initiative,” shares Heather Singmaster, Assistant Director of Education for The Asia Society.

My American Farm is an educational game platform launched in 2011 to engage pre-K through fifth grade learners in the discovery of relevant agricultural issues. Today the free site offers 19 agriculturally-themed games and more than 100 free educator resources such as lesson plans, activity sheets and comics.

The My American Farm educational resource is a special project of the Foundation. The site and resources are made possible through the generous support of title sponsor, DuPont Pioneer. To take advantage of the free My American Farm resources, games and activities, visit www.myamericanfarm.org.

 

My American Farm Releases New Energy Game

WASHINGTON, D.C., November 6, 2013 – The American Farm Bureau Foundation for Agriculture has released a new educational game entitled “Power Up” that helps young learners discover the importance of energy in agriculture.

In this comic book-style game, players will visit regions facing energy crises, review each situation and fire up the “Energy Expert 5,000” to keep Energy Land running. The game offers a whole new experience for My American Farm users, as they adjust a virtual energy meter to designate energy sources for a region in need. After playing the game, learners will understand the importance of having a balanced energy plan and discover energy as an important sector in the agriculture industry.

Accompanying the game is a new eComic, “Lights Out,” which invites learners to join Benjamin P. Farmington as he travels in time with his great-grandfather to learn how energy has changed. The new game and resources can be found at www.myamericanfarm.org/games/power_up.

This game and related resources were developed through a special partnership with Tri State Generation and Transmission Association. The game release kicks off a three-year partnership between Tri State and the American Farm Bureau Foundation for Agriculture. State Farm Bureau leaders will have the opportunity to nominate state representatives to attend an energy-focused agricultural literacy symposium in Denver to be held in late Spring 2014.

My American Farm is an educational game platform launched in 2011 to engage pre-K through fifth-grade learners in the discovery of relevant agricultural issues. Today the free site offers 18 agriculturally themed games and more than 100 free educator resources such as lesson plans, activity sheets and comics. One additional game will be released later this year.

The My American Farm educational resource is a special project of the Foundation. The site and resources are made possible through the generous support of title sponsor, DuPont Pioneer. To take advantage of free My American Farm resources, games and activities, visit www.myamericanfarm.org.