Florida Commissioner of Agriculture Adam H. Putnam helped celebrated Florida Agriculture Literacy Day by reading a new book on Florida farming to second graders from Florida A&M Developmental Research School in the historic Senate Chambers of the Old Capitol in Tallahassee.
“Florida Ag Literacy Day is a wonderful opportunity to teach our next generation about the Floridians who provide the food and fiber to meet the needs of the world’s growing population,” Commissioner Putnam says.
Commissioner Putnam read the book as the children followed along with their own copies. The kids talked about their favorite foods and where they came from. Afterwards, the kids sampled Fresh From Florida fruit and vegetables and roasted peanuts.
For the 11th Annual Florida Agriculture Literacy Day, Commissioner Putnam joined more than 2,000 others, including Florida farmers, growers, ranchers, FFA and 4-H students and teachers, extension agents, master gardeners and agriculture industry representatives who read in honor of the event.
This year’s Ag Literacy book, Florida Farms at School, highlights the agricultural programs already in schools, such as Agriculture in the Classroom, 4-H, FFA, Farm to School and others. Volunteers visited more than 3,600 elementary classrooms, reaching more than 72,000 Florida students in 60 counties around the state with the message of the importance of Florida agriculture.
“Florida Agriculture Literacy Day has become a very popular program in our industry because it gives farmers and others involved in agriculture a chance to step into the classroom and educate students about the important role agriculture plays in students’ daily lives,” says Ken Barton, chairman of the Florida Agriculture in the Classroom board of directors and executive director of the Florida Peanut Producers Association.
Florida Ag Literacy Day is sponsored by Florida Agriculture in the Classroom Inc., a nonprofit organization that develops and trains teachers and agriculture industry volunteers in agriculture curriculum in order to educate students on the importance of agriculture in Florida. The nonprofit is funded by sales of the specialty agricultural license plate known as the Ag Tag.