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Division of Marketing and Development
Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services
Mayo Building, M-9
407 South Calhoun Street
Tallahassee, FL 32399-0800
(850) 617-7300

Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services
Adam H. Putnam, Commissioner

March 23, 2010

Bronson reads to students for Agriculture Literacy Day

Florida Agriculture and Consumer Services Commissioner Charles H. Bronson today read to two fourth-grade classes from Astoria Park Elementary School in Tallahassee to kick off Florida Agriculture Literacy Day.

He joined more than 1,500 farmers, ranchers, growers, University of Florida extension and 4-H agents, FFA teachers, students and other agriculture industry representatives around the state who visited more than 2,500 elementary school classrooms and read a children’s book about agriculture in honor of the event. In addition, the Florida Cabinet adopted a resolution introduced by Commissioner Bronson declaring March 23 Florida Agriculture Literacy Day.

“Florida Agriculture Literacy Day is a great way to educate students about the importance of agriculture beginning at a young age,” Bronson said. “The rhyming book ‘Green Florida Farms’ makes agriculture come alive and educates students about how Florida farmers continue to develop ‘green’ environmental practices that conserve the state’s natural resources.”

“Green Florida Farms” was written by Gary Seamans and illustrated by Mike Wright of the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services.  It is a sequel to last year’s Agriculture Literacy Day book “These Florida Farms!” which they created as well.

“Florida Agriculture Literacy Day has become a popular event in our industry and agriculture volunteers in over 61 counties, across the state, enjoyed going into classrooms to read.   It gives agriculture volunteers a chance to educate students about what they do for a living,” said Vina Jean Banks, chairman of Florida Agriculture in the Classroom and a representative of the Florida Beef Council.

Florida Agriculture in the Classroom is a non-profit organization based in Gainesville charged with educating Florida students and teachers about the importance of agriculture.  It provides the books to industry volunteers free of charge, and asks that they donate the books to teachers and school libraries after their readings. In addition to the books, Florida Agriculture in the Classroom provides volunteers with a pre- and post-test, activities designed for the book for teachers, and a classroom set of bookmarks that educate students about environmental farming terms in the book. In addition to Florida Agriculture Literacy Day, Florida Agriculture in the Classroom, , provides curricula, materials, workshops, grant money and other programs to teachers and agriculture industry volunteers.   Florida Agriculture in the Classroom is able to offer the books and materials free of charge to industry volunteers because of the funding it receives from sales of the agriculture specialty license plate also known as the “Ag Tag.”

For more information:
Lisa Gaskalla
(352) 846-1391

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