Helping the public learn about agriculture is a key component of Indiana Farm Bureau’s mission, which is why the organization is making big plans for the 2018 INFB Agricultural Literacy Week, Sept. 9-15.
The week has three purposes, said INFB education coordinator Julie Taylor. Those purposes are to help the general public:
- Understand how food, fiber and renewable resource products are produced and by whom.
- Realize that science plays an important role in our food supply and that the scientific advancements in food production are important, safe, proven and necessary.
- Acknowledge and consider career opportunities in the agriculture, food, fiber and renewable resource industries.
Agricultural Literacy Week is a time to educate people of all ages and backgrounds with information about the importance of farming and agriculture in individual counties and in the state of Indiana, Taylor explained.
“We’re planning a range of activities that can be used by county Farm Bureaus, individual farms or individual members,” Taylor said. She added that this might be a great opportunity for county Farm Bureaus to recruit help from people who may not be members of their county boards or who are agribusiness professionals rather than farmers.
Each day of Agricultural Literacy Week has a separate theme, including “Make a Donation Monday,” “Share the Facts Tuesday,” “Get Your Wheels Spinning Wednesday,” “People Love Pizza Thursday” and “Profile Ag Careers Friday.” Counties and individuals have a lot of flexibility in how to use these specific ideas, Taylor added, and they can pick and choose what days they want to participate in and what form that participation will take based on needs, accessibility, manpower and available funding.
For example, “Get Your Wheels Spinning Wednesday” is an opportunity for counties to use their prize wheel and set up a consumer outreach station in a local supermarket or restaurant. This could be combined with a donation to a local food pantry or of school supplies. Alternatively, the "Ag Fact Trivia Wheel Answer Key," available in the “County Marketing Toolkits and Webinars" page of the "Volunteer Center” can be turned into a trivia game. Members will need to be logged in to their INFB account to access it and other resources in the online Volunteer Center.But counties and individuals can participate just by reading an ag-related book (such as INFB’s 2018 Book of the Year, John Deere, That's Who!, by Tracy Nelson Maurer) to a class, making a donation of money or resources to a local school or posting to social media.
More information on the 2018 Indiana Agricultural Literacy Week is available on INFB’s website in the Agriculture in the Classroom section under “Classroom Center.”