Comment Column: The Importance of Ag Literacy

Posted on Mar 21, 2019

Things sure have changed a lot since I was a kid.

As I was growing up, we always had a few milk cows. To buy milk at the grocery store was laughable, we had our own! Most families grew their own food, as everyone had a garden.  Fresh produce was as close as our own back yard, and many summer hours were spent breaking beans or gathering tomatoes to can. Corn was cut off the cob and put in the freezer. We always dug enough potatoes to get us through the year, even though they were a little shriveled by the time spring rolled around.

Vickie Bryant, Chair, KFB State Women's Committee.

We never ate a lot of beef at our house in those days, but I certainly knew where a hamburger came from. Almost everyone “processed” a hog, and a “mess” of squirrel or rabbit was always a welcome change. 

We also raised chickens, paving the way for a platter of fried chicken that would make even the Colonel envious. Without anybody actually telling me, I knew the exact origins of my food.

Things are different today. With most folks being three or four generations removed from the farm, many really don’t know where their food comes from, they just expect it to be on the shelves of their local grocery market. They have no idea of the connection between the agricultural source and products they are familiar with and consume or use every day.

The Kentucky Farm Bureau Women’s Program has several significant areas of engagement to help bridge that gap, one of which is agriculture literacy. Every year during Kentucky Ag Literacy Week in March, countless KFB volunteers go into their local schools to share information about our farms and rural communities as a way to strengthen the student’s agricultural knowledge.  

Many of our volunteer leaders will read an accurate ag book, going into detail from when the seed is first planted, to being harvested, and finally how it gets on the grocery shelf.

We love seeing the bright faces of our youth as they learn where their food comes from and all about our strong agriculture industry.

We also like to educate students as to the value of local farmers, and the fact that we care deeply about our land, our animals, and our communities. Kentucky Ag Literacy Week is one of our favorite times of the year! 

Kentucky Farm Bureau clearly sees the importance of Ag Literacy. We believe the future of our industry directly depends on our ability to educate and demonstrate the true value of American agriculture to the next generation.

Making them aware of how Kentucky agriculture impacts their lives and personal well-being every day is essential in accomplishing this goal and, as an organization, we have the boots on the ground to make this happen.

 

Vickie Bryant, Chair
KFB State Women's Committee