Brown County area elementary schools have a new addition to their libraries thanks to local farmers.
With children becoming more removed from the farm, it has become increasingly important to educate kids about where their food comes from.
The Brown County Corn and Soybean Growers Association and their checkoffs are helping to close the gap between the farm and city by donating educational books on agricultural commodities to every elementary library in Brown County. The books feature soybeans, corn and pork.
They teach a basic understanding of the industry – from how the products are produced to how they reach the dinner table.
“As kids are becoming more removed from the farm, ag education is a crucial component in our schools. Our goal is to cultivate an understanding and appreciation of the food and fiber system that we all rely on everyday,” said Chair Richard Trebesch.
It wasn’t that long ago that a majority of the population lived in rural areas and was involved in farming. Today, only 17 percent of Americans live in rural areas, and fewer than two percent of Americans actively farm for a living. Due to increased budget cuts, agricultural programs have been eliminated over recent years in many school systems.
Programs like FFA (formerly Future Farmers of America) and 4-H encourage youth to participate in agriculture education and leadership development in and outside of school.
“We’re a grassroots organization,” said Trebesch, “We support ag programs and encourage those involved in agriculture to speak out and inform others about what we do. With so many people disconnected from production agriculture, we need to be involved in the conversation to start understanding one another.”
The Brown County Corn and Soybean Growers Association wants to encourage youth to take part in the conversation and learn about where their food and fiber comes from. The books will be on display in the school libraries and will be available to all students.
The Brown County Corn and Soybean Growers Association is affiliated with the Minnesota Soybean Research & Promotion Council (MSR&PC), a non-profit organization controlled by a board of elected soybean producers from across the state who direct the investments of the state’s soybean checkoff dollars into programs designed to increase the profitability of Minnesota’s soybean farmers.