Baltimore County Farm Bureau was among 10 communities selected by the American Farm Bureau Foundation for Agriculture (AFBFA) to receive a $1,000 White-Reinhardt mini-grant. The grant will be used by the county Farm Bureau for an “Ag Literacy in the Middle Grades” program.
The county Farm Bureau will be expanding an existing program that currently serves elementary schoolers in Baltimore County and Baltimore City. Working with the University of Maryland Extension/Baltimore County 4-H program, the grant will fund work with schools in under-represented areas to increase awareness of the agricultural industry.
“Agriculture education is vital in our school systems,” says Jo-Ann Chason, Baltimore County Farm Bureau President. “Agriculture is the largest industry in our state, and is full of opportunities for young minds to get involved. We’re very excited for the expansion of this program to the middle school level.”
The program aims to build a deeper understanding of the importance of agriculture in our society. The county’s middle school program will focus specifically on how agriculture affects the food system, environment, and technology.
Students will have the opportunity to plan, install, and maintain a school greenspace using knowledge gained from their Farm Bureau mentors and project resources. Through related professional development, teachers will also have the chance to learn from University of Maryland Extension faculty.
Baltimore County Farm Bureau plans to use the grant to purchase a composting starter kit that will be distributed to two pilot schools. The composter will be used in lessons related to agriculture and the environment to help students see the impact of sustainable gardening practices on greenspace. An open house for the project is expected to be held in June 2020.