Investing in Education is Vital to Kentucky's Youth and Our Commonwealth's Future

Posted on Mar 5, 2018

By Vickie Bryant

When you think of Kentucky, many things come to mind from beautiful horses to endless acres of some of the best farmland anywhere. But for those of us who live here and are members of Kentucky Farm Bureau (KFB), we know that educating our young people is the most important thing we can do. The education of the next generation is of the greatest value, and KFB wholeheartedly believes it can make all the difference in their lives and in the livelihood of the state.

Those of us here at KFB don’t just believe in the idea of getting this next generation properly educated; we believe we have to contribute to their success. That’s why we invest time and money into college and agriculture education opportunities.

Last year, the Kentucky Farm Bureau Education Foundation, in partnership with county Farm Bureaus across the state, awarded 431 college scholarships totaling more than half a million dollars to high school seniors. Scholarships are awarded to recipients who display academic excellence, involvement in extracurricular activities, leadership abilities, and are in financial need.

The education of the next generation is of the greatest value, and KFB wholeheartedly believes it can make all the difference in their lives and in the livelihood of the state.

We believe there is no better investment in the future than to help our young people in their educational endeavors. But we know this investment in education doesn’t begin once a student is ready for college; it starts at the primary and secondary levels.

Every year in March, countless county KFB members spend a week at their local elementary, middle and high schools across the Commonwealth to share information about our farms and rural communities with students as a way to strengthen their agriculture knowledge.

“Ag Literacy Week” is one of our favorite times of the year. We love to see the bright faces of our youth as they learn where their food comes from and all about our strong agriculture industry.

Agriculture is one of Kentucky’s largest industries and a significant economic generator. It’s important that our children are well-versed in it and all of the great qualities and opportunities our state has to offer.

Agriculture literacy is beyond recognizing a fruit or vegetable, but outside of the can or frozen bag, what does it look like “whole”? How does it grow? Does it come from Kentucky? We want our children to know how food gets on their table, from the first seed planted to the infrastructure that got it to their house. And most importantly, we want a healthy generation ready to lead. A generation that knows our food and the important role Kentucky plays in feeding the world.

KFB also offers learning opportunities to teachers through our annual Teacher Workshops. These professional development events have been held for the past 20 years and are designed to help teachers incorporate agriculture into their curriculum. About 400 teachers attend the free workshops every year in various locations throughout the state.

You may have seen that we are currently accepting applications for college scholarships. As post-secondary costs continue to rise, it is challenging for hard-working Kentucky families to send their child to college and we want to help.

I hope you’ll take this opportunity to apply if you have a high school senior who could benefit from one of these scholarships. We are proud to help our members fulfill the dream of college, while bettering the overall education environment in Kentucky.

Education is key to a better tomorrow for our youth. At Kentucky Farm Bureau, we are proud to do our part in educating, supporting and providing opportunities for our children to have better futures through a quality education.

Vickie Bryant is Chair of Kentucky Farm Bureau Women’s Committee.