A volunteer reads to a group of 2nd graders in Tompkins County during Ag Literacy Week 2006. Ag-in-the-Classroom
Image by Sandy Repp

A volunteer reads to 2nd graders during Ag Literacy Week 2006.

Ag-in-the-Classroom

Established in 1985, New York Agriculture in the Classroom (NYAITC) is a partnership of Cornell University, the NYS Department of Ag & Markets, the NYS Education Department, Cornell Cooperative Extension, and the New York Farm Bureau. Its mission is to foster awareness, understanding, and appreciation of how we produce food and fiber, what we eat, and how we live, by helping educators, students, and their communities learn about and engage with agriculture and food systems.

NY Ag Literacy Week: March 21-25, 2022

New York Ag-in-the-Classroom and the Cornell Cooperative Extension 4-H program invite you to be a reader for the annual Agriculture Literacy Week to be held March 21 to 25, 2022. Last year, 2000 books were donated to school or classroom libraries and books were read by volunteers to thousands of second graders throughout New York State.

The selected book for 2022 is "Farmer Will Allen and the Growing Table written by Jacqueline Briggs Martin with art by Eric-Shabazz Larkin, this book highlights agriculture as a unifying factor for communities all over. Whether you have 100 acres or a rooftop, there are opportunities for growing food and sharing the journey from soil to table with those around, as illustrated in Farmer Will Allen and the Growing Table. This book will take students on an explorative journey learn about community gardens and inspire them to build communities through food, even if they only have a pot on their porch to cultivate.

Will Allen is no ordinary farmer. A former basketball star, he's as tall as his truck, and he can hold a cabbage, or a basketball, in one hand. But what is most special about Farmer Will is that he can see what others can't see. When he looked at an abandoned city lot he saw a huge table, big enough to feed the whole world. No space, no problem. Poor soil, there's a solution. Need help, found it. Farmer Will is a genius in solving problems. Jacqueline Briggs Martin tells the inspiring story of an innovator, educator, and community builder. Combined with artist Eric-Shabazz Larkin's striking artwork, readers will share Will Allen's optimism and determination to bring good food to every table. This story also showcases the unique diversity of agricultural operations that is especially applicable to New York's combination of rural, suburban, and urban landscapes.

Contributing nearly $2.4 billion to the state gross domestic product and covering approximately 7.3 million acres, agriculture is vital to New York State. The New York Agriculture in the Classroom Program is excited to feature a book that displays the unique markets and diversity that encompasses many aspects of New York's agriculture while also focusing on food production and how consumers contribute to agriculture.

Volunteer

Volunteers will visit local elementary schools during Ag Literacy Week to read and talk to children about New York's agriculture industry. At the conclusion of the day's activities, the book will be donated to the school library for students and teachers to use throughout the school year. 2nd grade teachers and volunteers who are interested in participating in NY Ag Literacy Week should call or email the contact for this page. Visit the New York State Ag in the Classroom website to learn more about statewide activities and to learn about agriculture-themed books that have been featured in other years.

Last updated March 15, 2022