February 3, 2023

The American Farm Bureau Foundation for Agriculture has awarded $10,000 in grants to recognize the exceptional efforts of 10 agricultural bureaus and their agricultural education programs. In addition, the foundation has awarded $15,000 in grants to 10 educators who are exemplary in encouraging students to learn where their food comes from.

The grants and scholarships are funded by the White-Reinhardt Fund for Education, which recognizes communities and educators who engage with students about the fundamental role of agriculture in the everyday life of all Americans.

“Educating the next generation of learners about where their food comes from is a tremendous responsibility, and these programs and educators are doing a tremendous job in such an important task,” said Daniel Meloy, executive director of the foundation. “I’m honored that the foundation can recognize their impressive commitment to making sure children across the country know the impact farming has on each and every one of us.”

The scholarships are awarded twice a year in spring and autumn. State and regional agricultural bureaus are eligible to apply for $1,000 in grants to support educational programs for grades K-12 to create new agricultural literacy programs or to 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.

In addition, the foundation has awarded grants of $1,500 each to 10 educators to help offset the cost of attending the National Ag in the Classroom Conference. The Foundation will also cover the registration costs for participating in the conference for the selected educators.

The White-Reinhardt Fund is a foundation project that provides scholarships and grants in partnership with the American Farm Bureau Women’s Leadership Committee. The fund is named in honor of Berta White and Linda Reinhardt, two past committee chairs.

Spring 2023 White Reinhardt Fellows

Banks County Farm Bureau, Georgia

Banks County Elementary is one of 25 schools in the state of Georgia participating in a three-year pilot program that allows students to participate in a gardening learning experience. A challenge the school faces is timing and students cannot see the result of their planting before school starts for the summer. To expedite the plant growth process, the grant funds grow lights for their classrooms and the Ag Lab, small and large seed starter containers for transplanting, and provides them with the opportunity to plant seeds and monitor growth in the classrooms.

Bond County, Illinois Farm Bureau

The Bond County Farm Bureau will use the grant funds to engage students in a three-week project that will teach them the life cycle of a chicken. In this project, students will observe eggs during an incubation process, read books, and perform activities that will help them gain information about the different parts of an egg and their purpose.

Barrow County Farm Bureau, Georgia

In accordance with The Pillars of Ag Literacy—A Planning Tool, A Framework for Learning, A Starting Point, and A Guide to Measure Success—students at Kennedy Elementary School in Barrow County, Georgia learn how farmers raise and care for chickens. Kennedy Elementary’s goal, using the grant funds, is to involve all eight of its kindergarten classes in hatching and raising chicks, learning the business of selling eggs, and being introduced to various jobs involving the raising of poultry and its importance going in the community.

Carroll County, Virginia Farm Bureau

In Carroll County, Virginia, the White-Reinhardt Mini-Scholarship will be used to provide access to Carroll County’s Selected State Book and ABC Book for 60 homeschooled students, 30 children along with their parents and families, and 70 additional classrooms. This program will enhance students’ and families’ understanding of the relationship between agriculture and food, fiber and energy through reading and an interactive farm display. This program is presented by the Carroll County Farm Bureau Women’s Committee and its FFA chapter.

Jackson County Farm Bureau, Georgia

West Jackson Elementary School developed an innovative aquaponics system to demonstrate environmental responsibility and sustainability in their community. While their system is designed to take waste bacteria produced by fish and turn them into nutrients for plants, they’ve encountered a challenge with their filtration system that they’re trying to overcome with their mini-grant. West Jackson plans to replace their filtration system, buy new floating foam panels, replace their previously used goldfish with Blue Nile Tilapia, and once the system is stable they will add crops to grow and share with their community.

Kerr County Farm Bureau, Texas

Kerr County, Texas students will use their scholarship funds to create a “learning garden” and “learning pen” and build a fence to protect the youth while they enjoy the great outdoors. Through the Kerr 4-H Live, Learn, and Grow outdoor educational program, students can learn how to prepare soil, plant seeds, harvest, and overall learn where food comes from, how to market and sell it to make a living, and how to provide for their families.

Muskegon County Farm Bureau, Michigan

Muskegon County is hosting a Career Ag Exploration event in 2023 and is seeking to use its grant funds to connect students and their families with employers in Muskegon County to learn more about the agribusiness. They will be buying 15 Michigan Commodity Facts, promoting their partnership with the Agribusiness Talent Council and giving away books like How Did That Get In My Lunchbox?, Full of Beans: Henry Ford Grows a Car and The Beeman to the top four schools participating in the Career Ag-xploration event.

Marion County, South Carolina Agriculture Bureau

Pee Dee Academy’s farm in Marion County, South Carolina is in its second year of its farming program and has its reach of 11th and 12th Graders for all high school students and sixth Students interested in agriculture and animal husbandry. Pee Dee Academy has six raised beds sponsored by Clemson Extension and has two pot-bellied pigs, a donkey, four boar goats and five breeds of chickens. They will use their grant funds to buy signs for the plants and animals. The signage explains the different plants in their respective seasons and provides information about animal breeds and their care.

Buffalo County Farm Bureau, Wisconsin

The Buffalo County Farm Bureau of Wisconsin is working with the Independence School District to convert the school’s adjacent farmland into wetlands and drylands for outdoor educational areas. They want to use their grant to purchase high-quality signage to be placed in high-traffic areas to provide students and communities with awareness and knowledge of the symbiotic relationship between local agriculture and local ecosystems.

Vermilion Parish Farm Bureau, Louisiana

The Vermilion Parish of Louisiana will use their grant funds to purchase a hydroponics kit for each elementary school in the community, 11 schools in total, and they also hope to provide a small cart for each growing system to take from classroom to classroom. The aim of their project is not only to introduce students to other methods of farming and how these methods and technologies can have a positive impact on production, but also to create a strong relationship between all elementary school teachers and the Ag in the County to create in the classroom program.

Contact:

Mike Tomko
Director, Communications
(202) 406-3642
[email protected]

Bailey Corwine
Media work specialist
(202) 406-3643
[email protected]

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