MAHS celebrates Ag Literacy Week

Meyersdale Area School District  |  Posted on

Members of the Meyersdale Area High School Chapter of FFA, including Bailey Knotts and Bridgette Beal, participated in a special program for this year’s Ag Literacy Week. Students visited classrooms in kindergarten through second grade, reading the book “My Family’s Soybean Farm.”

In celebration of Ag Literacy Week, March 14-18, members of the Meyersdale Chapter of Future Farmers of America (FFA) visited elementary classrooms to “Share the Story of Agriculture.” The goal of “Share the Story of Agriculture” is to have FFA members read a book in person with younger students and share their own story about farming and agriculture programs.

This year’s book is entitled My Family’s Soybean Farm, by Katie Olthoff and illustrated by Joe Hox. My Family’s Soybean Farm details the day-to-day activities of a farming family through the eyes of young Alexander who lives on his family’s farm. Throughout the book, readers will learn about how plants grow, the nutrients they need to grow and how they are harvested. The book highlights how farmers care for their land and how farming practices have changed over the years using modern technology. My Family’s Soybean Farm showcases the importance of agriculture in our daily lives.

Student readers included: Alexia Laws, Christine Wise, Karaha Snyder, Georgia Mazzaferro, Jesse Miller, Alexis Mostoller, Addisyn Hetz, Bridgette Beal, Trevor Donaldson, Jimmy Kretchman, Caleb Snyder, Bailey Knotts, Maddie Engle, Carrie Engle, Ella Brant, Autumn Baker and Estella Friend.

Doreen Jamison, FFA Advisor, said the students are excited to be able to return to classrooms and share this story with younger students. “The FFA members are excited to be able to go back into the classroom to read the book and do a short activity with the elementary students. Each classroom will be given a copy to keep for their classroom library,” she explained. “This project is headed up by the Farm Bureau and is a great way to teach younger students about agriculture and the importance of reading books to gain knowledge about agriculture.”

Jesse Miller said presenting this story to students in the lower grades builds a strong foundation for a better understanding of agriculture. “When something is important you’ll learn it young. Farming can be for everyone if you make it,” he explained.

Bridgette Beal echoed those sentiments, adding she enjoys spending time with the youngsters and teaching them about something that she personally treasures. “I like to do it because I love to be around little kids and spend my time teaching them new things about farming,” Beal said.

The Pennsylvania Farm Bureau spearheads this project each year. Estella Friend said she believes the program helps highlight the importance of agriculture in our lives and the need to understand its important impact. “I wanted to first do this just for fun, then I realized that educating younger students is more important than having fun. This is important because I feel like everyone needs to be able to know where their food comes from,” Friend said. “It doesn’t just show up inside of stores. It goes through a process and this process is crucial to our everyday lives.”

“It is important to educate young children about the agriculture industry. The industry is essential for society to thrive. They are the next generation to run the agriculture industry,” added Karaha Snyder, FFA chapter secretary.