Ag Literacy Week Provides Opportunity for Primary Grades

Submitted by Assemblyman Will Barclay

New York Agriculture in the Classroom will sponsor Ag Literacy Week March 21-25. Second grade classrooms are encouraged to participate.

Ag Literacy Week provides an opportunity for someone from the local ag community to visit an elementary school to teach kids about where our food comes from. Visitors are encouraged to read “Chicks and Chickens” by Gail Gibbons. This year’s theme focuses on the poultry industry. Gibbons has written and illustrated more than 135 books and is known for her non-fiction geared for young readers.

“New York Ag in the Classroom is a great way for our youth to learn about the importance of our ag industry. About 25 percent of the state’s land area, or 7.55 million acres, are used by the 35,600 farms to produce a very diverse array of food products,” said Barclay. “It’s important for kids to learn where our food comes from. Those children become the buying public who can support the local growers and keep local farmers in business.”

“Chicks and Chickens” follows the life of chickens from embryos to hatchlings, and finally to adults. The book is also appropriate for first and third graders as well. Teachers can sign up to take advantage of the opportunity by having a volunteer read in the classroom. Readers can volunteer to go into a local school and read and talk to students about the importance of New York agriculture in their daily lives.

New York Agriculture in the Classroom is also sponsoring a contest called Be Aware of Agriculture Contest. For more information on this contest for grades K-6 or to sign up to participate in New York Ag Literacy Week, people may call representatives in their respective counties. In Oswego County, those interested may call Deb Holliday at Cornell Cooperative Extension at (315) 963-7286 or email her at [email protected] In Onondaga County, people may call Derek Hill at (315) 696-6235 or email him at [email protected] For more information on the contest, visit or call Heather Davis at (607) 255-9253. New York Ag in the Classroom is a partnership of Cornell University, New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets, New York State Education Department and New York Farm Bureau.