Indiana Farm Bureau selects “Compost Stew” as 2019 Book of the Year

Molly Zentz

(Fort Wayne, Ind.) – December 7, 2018 – The 2019 Indiana Farm Bureau Book of the Year is "Compost Stew: An A to Z Recipe for the Earth,” written by Mary McKenna Siddals and illustrated by Ashley Wolff. The annual Book of the Year selection is a part of INFB’s Agriculture in the Classroom program, a grassroots, agricultural outreach program for school children in Indiana.         

Farm Bureau staff and professional educators selected this year’s book to increase understanding, build awareness and develop a positive public perception of Indiana agriculture through education. A statewide campaign, led by the INFB Women’s Leadership Committee, to promote the book in every county in 2019 is underway.

“Compost Stew” is an alphabet-based story detailing a recipe for making rich, earth-friendly compost. The book, intended for grade-school children, is an introduction to composting and serves as an educational tool to reinforce the importance of soil enrichment. Copies of the book can be ordered from the INFB Promotional Products Catalog in the Volunteer Center.

The book’s author, Siddals, has published a number of picture books, including “Millions of Snowflakes,” “Shivery Shades of Halloween” and “Bringing the Outside In.” She is a former teacher who lives in British Columbia, Canada. You can learn more about Siddals and “Compost Stew” on her website.

Throughout the year, representatives from county Farm Bureaus across the state will visit schools and libraries in their area to read the book aloud and donate it for future use. INFB representatives also use this opportunity to answer any questions the students have about modern farming in Indiana.

INFB launched the Book of the Year program in 2017 with “The Kid Who Changed the World” by Andy Andrews, a children’s book about Norman Borlaug, who grew up and used his knowledge of agriculture to create “super plants” that saved the lives of two billion people. The 2018 Book of the Year was “John Deere, That’s Who!” by Tracy Maurer, which focuses on the life of John Deere and his journey from a young blacksmith in Vermont to the household name who changed the farming industry forever.

If you’re involved in education and are interested in learning more about how you can incorporate INFB’s 2019 Book of the Year into your curriculum or student programming, contact your county Farm Bureau or check out the Compost Stew Educator Guide in the Classroom Center.


About Indiana Farm Bureau: Since 1919, Indiana Farm Bureau (INFB) has protected the livelihood, land, equipment, animals and crops of Hoosier farmers. It is the state’s largest general farm organization and a farmer’s strongest advocate. INFB works diligently to ensure a farmer’s very right to farm, because agriculture is so vital to Indiana’s economy.  Learn more at