An agriculture education resource created by the South Dakota Farm Bureau (SDFB) Women’s Leadership Team has won a national award from the American Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF). The “Book in a Bucket” education kit was one of three “Our Food Link” program winners nationally at the AFBF annual meeting held recently in Orlando.
“The goal of the Our Food Link program is to share with consumers the message that farmers and ranchers provide a safe, healthy and affordable food supply. There’s no better place to talk about the positive story of agriculture than with kids, and this Book in a Bucket program allows us to do that in a fun and interactive way,” said Cindy Foster, farmer from the Fulton, S.D. area and chair of the SDFB Women’s Leadership Team. “We’ve had a lot of fun creating these kits and taking them out to classrooms, and we are truly honored by this award from AFBF.”
The “Book in a Bucket” concept was created by SDFB’s Women’s Leadership Team as a hands-on ag education kit. The kit is convenient for teachers because it delivers a self-contained ag lesson – complete with core standards curriculum and corresponding props – all in one five-gallon bucket with a lid. For example, the beef-themed bucket contains the book “Our Star Goes West” with stories about growing up on a cattle ranch, plus an ear of corn, mineral, milk replacer, a calf bottle, matching cow and calf ear tags, coloring pages and activities. The beef curriculum included in the kit is applicable to preschool through 6th grade.
In addition to Farm Bureau volunteers presenting the “bucket” lessons in local elementary classrooms, kits have been donated to or purchased by teachers, after-school programs, libraries, FFA chapters and 4-H clubs. Farm Bureau estimates that in 2015, more than 15,000 students have been reached with accurate agriculture information through the Book in a Bucket project.
“This award is an honor for our Farm Bureau volunteers who have worked so hard on this project. The quality of outreach programming coming from South Dakota Farm Bureau speaks to the dedication of our farm and ranch members who want to see agriculture succeed through increased understanding by the public,” said Krystil Smit, SDFB Executive Director.
Foster, along with SDFB Women’s Leadership Team vice chair Janet Hurlbert of Clark, S.D., had the opportunity to make a presentation of their award-winning project on the IDEAg trade show stage during the AFBF annual meeting. For more information about how to use the Book in a Bucket for ag education in your community, contact South Dakota Farm Bureau at (605) 353-8050 or visit the “Get Involved” tab on www.sdfbf.org.