Cass County Farm Bureau seeks teacher nominations

CASSOPOLIS — One regional business is looking to give back to teachers by bringing the outdoors in.

Cass County Farm Bureau is currently accepting nominations of K-5 teachers in Cass County to receive a four-month FARM Crate subscription, which contains agricultural-accurate books, ag-themed lesson plans, teacher guides, hands-on student activities and Michigan farmer videos for the teacher to use in their classroom.

Nominations are due by Jan. 18 via email to pharris@ctyfb.com. Once the nomination period has closed, seven teachers will be chosen to receive the box subscription.

FARM Crates were created by Michigan Farm Bureau nonprofit Agriculture in the Classroom in August when COVID-19 procedures meant that schools could no longer welcome one of the Michigan Farm Bureau FARM Science Labs, 40-foot mobile classrooms equipped with learning stations and STEM lessons to increase agricultural awareness or host a Project Rural Education Day with county farm bureaus.

To continue to bring agricultural education to Michigan students, FARM Crate subscription boxes use a different theme each month to create lesson plans and activities that teachers can utilize in their classrooms, whether in-person learning or online.

“We want to get more involved in our local schools in our county to show that agriculture in education is important,” said Cass County Farm Bureau Board President Daryl Griner. “A lot of kids don’t know where their food source comes from. We really want to teach them about agriculture and all of the opportunities that are in agriculture. This is another way to get agriculture in the classroom.”

Outside of a donation from a local farm bureau, the subscription costs $35 per month. To date, Michigan Farm Bureau has delivered more than 500 boxes around the state.

In the fall, Cass County Farm Bureau awarded seven teachers, one from each elementary school in Cass County, a FARM Crate subscription. According to Pauline Harris, county administrative manager for Cass County Farm Bureau, those teachers were chosen at random.

For the second round of FARM Crate donations, both Harris and Griner said they wanted to get the community involved by allowing nominations.

Griner said he would encourage the community to nominate a teacher who they believe would utilize the program and hopes that the program can help instill a love of agriculture in some of the county’s youngest students.

‘This is a start to getting agriculture in the classroom and teaching kids where their food comes from,” Griner said.

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