Six Oklahoma teachers were presented with a basket of agriculture books during the OKFB Annual Meeting Nov. 11 in Norman, Oklahoma.
The Oklahoma Farm Bureau Women’s Leadership Committee partnered with the Oklahoma Farming and Ranching Foundation to sponsor this year’s Bushels for Books program, which donates a bushel basket of accurate agriculture books to teachers and schools across the state.
“The Foundation is dedicated to educating others about our state’s farming and ranching community,” said Jeramy Rich, president of the Oklahoma Farming and Ranching Foundation. “We’re proud to support teachers across the state in educating the future of Oklahoma.”
Applications were accepted from teachers across the state, and winners were chosen by the WLC state board. The books cover various agriculture topics and were picked from the American Farm Bureau Foundation for Agriculture‘s list.
“As farmers and ranchers, we long for today’s students to be informed and excited about agriculture,” said Kitty Beavers, OKFB WLC chairman. “We hope that providing these books to teachers and students will play a small part in fulfilling that goal.”
A library media specialist at Lone Star Public Schools, Kala Butler will supply the books in her elementary library which serves students from preschool through fourth grade. Teachers at the school also will use the books to supplement curriculum covering science, geography, nutrition and more. Butler hopes that by understanding how food is produced, her students will better appreciate the food they eat.
Though many students in her school live on a farm or have parents involved in agriculture, Vanessa Champion, an early childhood teacher at Big Pasture Public Schools, hopes the accurate agriculture books will inspire students to one day pursue a career in agriculture. She plans to use the books to teach students about food production from seed to store.
Cheyenne Dickerson, a second-grade teacher at Waurika Elementary School, hopes the agriculture books from the OKFB WLC and the Foundation will diversify her students’ learning experiences and deepen their understanding of agriculture. She anticipates using the books to help her students learn more about the farmers and ranchers in their community.
Eager to help her students fall in love with reading, Lana Farney of Muldrow Public Schools will use the agriculture books to teach reading skills. The books will serve as a tool to increase vocabulary and listening skills and foster good conversations.
A reading specialist at Asher Public Schools, Kim Holman is excited to welcome new agricultural books to the small, rural school’s library. She aims to create education agricultural activities alongside the books like planting a garden or touring a local farm.
Debbie Shelton, Ponca City High School’s head librarian, will use the books to provide accurate and up-to-date information for students to use in research projects. The donated books will be available in the school library for ninth through 12th grade students interested in agriculture.
The Bushels for Books program takes donated bushels of any commodity crop as well as monetary donations from Oklahoma farmers and provides accurate agriculture books to Oklahoma elementary schools. For more information on the program, please visit www.okfarmingandranchingfoundation.org.