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Ag Literacy teaches second-graders about food, farming

Staff Reports Posted 23 March 2018 at 4:41 pm

Provided photos from Cornell Cooperative Extension in Orleans County

This week has been Agricultural Literacy Week across New York State and 2nd graders around Orleans County have been reading “Before We Eat, From Farm To Table” by Pat Brisson, illustrated by Mary Azarian, to learn more about agriculture and the food system in New York State.

Molly Kotarski, the Orleans County Ag in the Classroom Educator, visited second graders in Lyndonville today. She brought along items which allowed the students to “dress up” as different workers and parts of the local food system – including the cows which provide milk for the making of yogurt.

Other workers include farmers/growers, truck drivers (including a milk truck driver), processing plant worker, grocery store worker. Students discussed what careers are available within the local food system.

The book teaches students how fruit and vegetable crops as well as dairy products are grown, stored, processed and sold to consumers.

Kotarski is shown on Wednesday when she visited Kendall students. Kristina Gabalski, the 4-H program coordinator for the Cooperative Extension, read to Holley students on Tuesday. The Extension provided books and lesson plans to the Albion and Medina FFA for those chapters to reach out to second-graders in their schools.

According to New York Agriculture in the Classroom, understanding not only how food grows, but the systems in place to safely move that food to our plates is powerful. Through building student awareness and understanding of local food systems, we are empowering them to choose a career that will directly impact their local economies and health of their communities.

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