“Wyoming Agricultural Literacy Week” is February 28-March 5

The importance of reading and agriculture are highlighted when we celebrate “Wyoming Agricultural Literacy Week” February 28-March 5, 2022. Wyoming Governor Mark Gordon has issued an official proclamation declaring the week of February 28 as “Wyoming Agricultural Literacy Week.” While we recognize the value of reading and agriculture during this designated week it goes without saying that each of these are vital every day of the year.

Educating Wyoming elementary school children about agriculture and the role Wyoming farmers and ranchers play in keeping Wyoming strong is critical. The Wyoming Farm Bureau Federation (WyFB) Young Farmer and Rancher (YF&R) Committee started the “Ag Books for Kids” project in 2005 with a goal of building the collection of accurate agriculture reading materials in our state’s elementary schools.

The grassroots strength of the Farm Bureau Federation enables the “Ag Books for Kids” project to reach across the great state of Wyoming. Each year the county Farm Bureau Federations purchase nearly 800 books to donate to Wyoming elementary schools. Farmer and rancher volunteer members many times conduct classroom book readings and activities to help students meet an actual farmer or rancher and learn directly from them about the food they grow.

The proclamation reads in part: “Wyoming is rich in agricultural history, and farming and ranching is an important part of Wyoming’s economy, contributing nearly two billion dollars annually; and many aspects of our daily lives, including the food we eat, clothes we wear, and medicine we depend on, are made possible because of agriculture; and literacy is a top priority for school children and non-fiction books are an important tool in teaching children about the world around them.”

“Declaring a week to Wyoming Agricultural Literacy truly helps us as farmers and ranchers to spread the importance of children learning and reading about accurate agricultural books,” said Raenell Taylor, Crook County Rancher and WyFB YF&R Promotions Sub-Committee Chair. “After all, these children are the future of agriculture. Our goal is to provide them with accurate reading materials and information at a young age.”

Wyoming students and teachers are encouraged to visit their school’s elementary library to check out the 2022 book “My Family’s Soybean Farm” by Katie Olthoff.  You may also visit www.wyfb.org and click on the education tab for a virtual reading video.

Three contests are offered for Wyoming students to encourage use of the book and provide application opportunities for what is learned.  The 2022 contests are:  Coloring Contest for kindergarten and first graders; Poster Contest for second and third graders; and a Marketing Ad Contest for fourth and fifth graders.  Contest deadline is April 1, 2022 and rules/details are available at www.wyfb.org.

The Wyoming Farm Bureau Federation is the state’s largest general agriculture organization. The WyFB Mission: To represent the voices of Wyoming farmers and ranchers through grassroots policy development while focusing on protecting private property rights, strengthening agriculture, and supporting farm and ranch families through advocacy, education, and leadership development. Visit www.wyfb.org.

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