Innovative programs earn honors for two county Farm Bureaus
» November 8, 2010 «
Two county Farm Bureaus in California have earned national recognition for innovative programs that help people learn about farming and ranching. The Kings County Farm Bureau and the Santa Cruz County Farm Bureau won County Activities of Excellence Awards, presented by the American Farm Bureau Federation.
They will be among 15 county Farm Bureaus from throughout the nation that will be showcased during the AFBF Annual Meeting next January in Atlanta, Ga.
The Kings County Farm Bureau earned recognition for a distance-learning project that teaches elementary school students about agriculture. Noting that children today “are technologically savvy and derive much of the information they receive from websites,” the county Farm Bureau created a lesson on cotton production that takes students on a “virtual field trip.” Through video conferencing technology, a presenter from the county Farm Bureau interacts with the students, using videos, photos and graphics to show them how their cotton t-shirts came to be.
Using the technology, the Kings County Farm Bureau has educated students both within the county and in locations as distant as Kentucky and Virginia. The Farm Bureau mails cotton packets in advance to the classrooms, so students can participate in a hands-on ginning exercise that requires them to remove the seeds from the cotton. The lessons have proven popular with students and teachers alike.
The Santa Cruz County Farm Bureau earned an activity of excellence award for its grassroots Focus Agriculture program. The program seeks to bridge the gap between rural and urban communities by educating 20 local elected officials and community leaders. Participants learn about Santa Cruz County agriculture during an intensive, nine-month program composed of daylong, once-a-month seminars.
Now in its 21st year, the Focus Agriculture program includes farm tours and other experiences aimed at showing participants the issues affecting farms and ranches. The Santa Cruz County Farm Bureau says it has a waiting list of more than 200 community leaders who hope to be chosen for the program, and notes that “building relationships with local leaders early in their political careers is critical to establishing a long-standing support system for farmers and ranchers.”
“These two county Farm Bureau programs are examples of the creative, successful approaches that county Farm Bureaus throughout California use to represent family farmers and ranchers,” California Farm Bureau Federation President Paul Wenger said, “and we congratulate the Kings County and Santa Cruz County Farm Bureaus on this well-deserved recognition.”
The California Farm Bureau Federation works to protect family farms and ranches on behalf of 81,000 members statewide and as part of a nationwide network of more than 6.2 million Farm Bureau members.
Permission for use is granted, however, credit must be made to the California Farm Bureau Federation when reprinting this item.Top