The American Farm Bureau Foundation for Agriculture has awarded more than $9,000 in mini-grants to communities across the nation through the White-Reinhardt Fund for Education program. 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.
“It’s exciting to help creative agricultural literacy efforts get off the ground through the mini-grant program,” said Christy Lilja, executive director of 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.
2019 Spring Mini-Grants Awarded
Cherokee County Farm Bureau, Georgia ($1,000)
Elevated beds to make a school sensory garden wheelchair accessible. Hanging planters will incorporate vertical gardening and a composting bin will teach students about decomposers and the food web.
Edwards County Farm Bureau, Illinois ($1,000)
Creation of a school container garden at two elementary schools. This collaborative effort includes the local ag literacy program, local ag education/FFA program and teachers.
Hampshire County Farm Bureau, West Virginia ($1,000)
A grant will fund the purchase of books and educator guides for seven book barns in elementary schools. These books will further expand on existing options, increasing diversity and understanding of agriculture through literacy.
Richland County Farm Bureau, Illinois ($400)
Creation of a model milking cow and egg-collecting station to use at the county fair and other local events. These new resources will complement barns filled with real farm animals and enhance learners’ visiting experiences, prompting children to make the connection between food and the farm.
Moore County Farm Bureau, Texas ($1,000)
A community garden project will expose students to the various elements of agriculture, providing an enrichment opportunity for students at all levels of learning. Students will use skills learned in the classroom to plan and build aquaponics systems and worm composting systems.
Walworth County Farm Bureau, Wisconsin ($750)
Grant to enhance the grain bin learning center, an agriculture education component of “Barnyard Adventure” at the Walworth County Fair. Improvements include raised crop garden beds and takeaway educational cards.
Multi-County Collaborative, Iowa ($4,088)
North Central Iowa Ag in the Classroom is bringing together several counties for a project that will reach elementary school students across the state. A grant will fund the purchase of chick incubation kits and incorporation of embryology lessons in partner schools. Collaborating counties are Cerro Gordo, Emmet, Franklin, Hancock, Hardin, Kossuth, Winnebago and Worth.
Applications for a second round of mini-grants will be accepted in the spring with recipients announced in the fall.