JAMESTOWN, NEW YORK (February 11, 2021) – Though the pandemic created a snag in this annual event, Ag Literacy is back with new options for Chautauqua County! During the week of March 15 – 19, area schools can participate by registering for a virtual book reading through Cornell Cooperative Extension Chautauqua County. Molly Brown, 4-H Educator with CCE Chautauqua, coordinates this event with area schools.
“In addition to a virtual book reading, this year there is also a virtual farm tour,” Molly shares. “Ice cream-making kits are available to be delivered to schools, so each class that participates will also be able to make ice cream.” Molly noted adapting the event to fit the COVID protocols of area schools has created opportunities for teachers to choose what amount of participation works for their class. “A pre-recorded reading is also available, so any amount of participation a teacher is interested in is possible,” Molly remarked.
Ag Literacy Week is designed to reach students in PreK through fourth grade. This year’s book will take students on an explorative journey to learn about dairy and to trace the food on their plate back to its source – the farmer. “Chuck’s Ice Cream Wish (Tales of the Dairy Godmother)” connects the delicious treat to the work farmers do to grow, raise and produce our food. With more than 4,000 dairy farms and ranking fourth nationally as the largest producer of milk, dairy is vital to New York State. The dairy community in New York includes both large dairy operations and small, family-run farms, and is the largest producer of yogurt, cottage cheese and sour cream in the nation.
“We are excited to feature a book that displays the unique markets and diversity that encompasses many aspects of New York’s dairy industry while also focusing on processing and how consumers contribute to agriculture,” Molly shares.
Previous years have found farmers, FFA and 4-H members, or adults engaged in a career in agriculture, volunteering throughout the state to read the annual selection to students. The reading is paired with an activity, such as this year’s virtual farm tour and ice cream-making kit. The book is then donated to the school or classroom library with a bookplate recognizing the donor and commemorating the celebration of New York Agricultural Literacy Week. 2,300 books were donated last year while 75,000 elementary students participated in an experiential learning activity.
“Based on previous years, start to finish, the program takes approximately 40 minutes per classroom,” Molly remarked. “Interested schools should register by February 28. Though we sadly won’t need volunteers to read in the classroom this year, we could still use financial contributions to help with supplies and delivery expenses.”
To register for Ag Literacy Week or to make a donation to help further the project, contact Molly Brown firstname.lastname@example.org or call 716-664-9502 ext. 216
Caption: How often do we think about how ice cream is made? “Chuck’s Ice Cream Wish” takes readers on a journey from farm to table.
The Agricultural Literacy Program is one of many programs offered by Cornell Cooperative Extension of Chautauqua County (CCE-Chautauqua). CCE-Chautauqua is a subordinate governmental agency with an educational mission that operates under a form of organization and administration approved by Cornell University as agent for the State of New York. It is tax-exempt under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. The association is part of the national cooperative extension system, an educational partnership between County, State, and Federal governments. As New York’s land grant university Cornell administers the system in this state. Each Cornell Cooperative Extension association is an independent employer that is governed by an elected Board of Directors with general oversight from Cornell. All associations work to meet the needs of the counties in which they are located as well as state and national goals. For more information, call 716-664-9502 or visit our website at www.cce.cornell.edu/chautauqua. Cornell University Cooperative Extension provides equal program and employment opportunities.
Last updated February 11, 2021