Ag in the Classroom Awards Grants to Fund Ag Literacy Projects

The Wisconsin Farm Bureau Foundation’s Ag in the Classroom program has awarded $6,898 to schools and organizations to expand agricultural literacy. Groups, schools and organizations can apply for up to $500 as part of the Ag in the Classroom’s matching grant program to support a project, provided they have a source of matching funds.

2021 Recipients

Bonduel Agriculture Department and FFA, Bonduel – Bonduel Chicken Coop: $500

The chicken coop will be used to raise broiler chickens in order that middle school students can see firsthand how animal agriculture works. The goal is to raise 25 broiler chickens at regular intervals during the school year and hopefully have the chicken served during school lunch.

Building a Food Forest, Independence – Deep Mulch Gardening and Sunflower Fort: $500

‘Building a Food Forest’ is an education and active learning program for 4K-12th grade students in the Independence School District. This program will create meaningful agricultural experiences to help improve the understanding of agricultural education.

Career and Technical Education Agricultural Academy at Amery High School, Amery – Microgreens: Locally Grown and Marketed: $500

The Amery Student Assisted Education Program has expanded and has set a goal to repurpose the science departments unused science greenhouse for growing, harvesting and marketing microgreens. Four years ago, a business was started by a motivated student and kept up by inspired students since. What started out as a passion for growing local microgreens for the school nutrition program, has grown to marketing at local farmers markets and restaurants.

DCE 4K at St. John Lutheran School, Wausau – The Garden Outside Our Window: $500

The DC Everest 4K classroom at St. John Lutheran School will acquire an outdoor wooden garden table with the grant funds. Students will start vegetable plants that will be transferred to the garden table outside the classroom. Funds also will be used to provide the class with children’s gardening books.

Easter Seals Wisconsin, Madison – ESW FARM Agricultural Career Exploration: $500

Easter Seals Wisconsin’s Exploring Job Options in Rural Wisconsin Program will allow students to think outside the box. Our mission is to educate students with disabilities, about the vast agricultural career opportunities in Wisconsin. These classes will encourage students to see how their own interests could potentially fit in the agricultural industry. An education in agriculture fuels Wisconsin’s biggest employer and largest industry.

Envision Greater Fond du Lac Agri-Business Council, Fond du Lac – Day on the Farm: $500

In May 2021, hundreds of kindergarten and first-grade students from Fond du Lac County will experience what happens on a Wisconsin farm. Kindergarten and first-grade students will interact virtually with high school students and will have access to farm animals, view what the animals eat and see how animals are cared for. As a token for participating in Virtual Day on the Farm, students will receive packets to share with others.

Fond du Lac County Agricultural Society, Fond du Lac – Fond du Lac County Fair’s Farm to Table Exhibit: $500

Fairgoers at the 2021 Fond du Lac County Fair will experience first-hand how agriculture is a part of their everyday lives. Attendees will participate in various activities that give them a closer look at agriculture. They will have access to farm animals, view how animals are cared for, see what the animals eat, learn what crops are grown in Wisconsin, how crops are grown and what crops are made into.

House in the Wood, Delavan – Raised Garden Beds: $500

House in the Wood is building durable raised beds for a gardening project allowing inner-city children to experience this activity for the first time. Many children who come to the center are from areas described as food deserts with limited fresh produce. The children will maintain the garden, harvest the vegetables and then make a pizza, salad or stir-fry from what they have gathered to complete the full cycle from farm to table.

Lake Geneva Middle School – 7 Olympus Science, Lake Geneva – Lettuce Grow Farm Stand Expansion: $166.50

Lake Geneva Middle School’s Olympus Science Classroom was nominated to receive a hydroponic farm stand from the Lettuce Grow Company. The Parent-Teacher Organization provided an expansion of the stand for a total of 36 plants and six lights. Science students are learning about hydroponic farming, benefits of distributed agriculture, the plants themselves and measurement, data and statistics.

Parkview and Brodhead FFA Chapters, Orfordville and Brodhead – Food for America: $500

Parkview and Brodhead FFA will immerse local elementary students in the agriculture industry. Food for America will teach fourth-grade students about the many facets of agriculture, specifically where food comes from. Students will have the opportunity to visit and tour a local dairy, participate in interactive stations based around different agriculture products grown in Wisconsin and meet local industry leaders.

Rock County Farm Bureau Ag in the Classroom, Janesville – Farmers Grow: ‘Food Brings Everyone to the Table’ Virtual Scavenger Hunt: $500

‘Farmers Grow: Food Brings Everyone to the Table’ virtual scavenger hunt is a free, educational, fun, socially-distanced family activity that highlights the importance of Wisconsin agriculture. The program uses agricultural literacy focusing on Wisconsin’s top 24 agricultural commodities in partnership with local FFA members. While participating, people will snap a selfie at each community location and post to the Rock County Farm Bureau Facebook page.

St. Boniface Catholic School, Waumandee – Greenhouse and Garden: $500

The greenhouse and garden bed project will provide Pre-K-8th grade students the opportunity to learn about Wisconsin agriculture by growing their own fruits and vegetables to be used in the school food program. The greenhouse allows for earlier season planting and transplanting to the garden beds. Along with classroom lessons, the students will be responsible for maintaining the gardens and greenhouse. A rainwater collection system will be set up to supply the greenhouse and gardens.

St. John Lutheran School, Wausau – Green Thumbed Drums and Music: $500

St. John’s music class received initial funding for music items from the Community Foundation of North Central Wisconsin. The grant will be used to purchase assorted drums and xylophones. An experiment will be conducted with the music instruments to see if there is a connection between plant growth and music. Students will combine the study of science with music, along with terminology.

St. Mary School Garden, Muscoda – Soil Advocate Training: $500

The St. Mary School Garden is going to teach students about soil advocacy and about the importance of healthy soil and methods to increase soil fertility and carbon sequestration. Students will learn about soil, what a soil sponge is and how to conduct Slate Tests and Water Infiltration Tests.

Walworth County Fair Barnyard Adventure, Elkhorn – ‘Butterflies, Bugs & Bees’: $500

The 172nd Walworth County Fair in Elkorn in early September is ‘ag-cited’ to present its award-winning agriculture education program, Barnyard Adventure, highlighting its new feature, ‘Butterflies, Bugs & Bees’ in the Barnyard Adventure Barn. Fair guests will marvel at a variety of displays that include hatching butterflies, a working worm farm, observation beehive, as well as a beneficial insect display.

Farm Bureau’s Ag in the Classroom program provides teachers and K-12 students with an understanding of how their food is produced. The program seeks to work within existing curricula to provide basic information on our nation’s largest industry, agriculture. Wisconsin’s Ag in the Classroom program is carried out by a network of local educators, volunteers and representatives from agricultural organizations and businesses. The goal of the program is to help students gain a greater awareness of the role agriculture plays in the economy and society, so that they may become citizens who support wise agricultural policies.