Farm Bureau Celebrates Virginia Agriculture Week and Ag Literacy Week

Lindsay Reames, assistant director of Governmental Relations, reads to ABC
Preschool for Ag Literacy Week
Happy National Ag Day and happy Virginia Agriculture Week! Thank you to all our producer members:
  • for persevering despite drought and flood, freezing temperatures, parching sun, fluctuating prices and constantly changing markets;
  • for seeking better ways to do their jobs – using new techniques and advances in technology to simplify tasks, increase yields and lower prices;
  • for feeding the world – in the 1960s, one farmer supplied food for about 25 people in the U.S. and abroad; today, the number has increased to 155 people;
  • for their spirit of innovation – always looking for new products and changes that increase the quality and add value to the products they produce;
  • for valuing our land and water resources and for making their preservation and enhancement top priorities;
  • for adapting to change – expanding to meet the demands of a global marketplace while still satisfying consumers’ shifting tastes and desire for low fat, high nutrition products at home and abroad, in 2014, exports from Virginia set a record of more than $3 billion;
  • for supplying Americans with an abundant and safe food supply at a low price, enabling U.S. consumers to spend less than 7 percent of their income on food compared with more than 9 percent in Canada, 25 percent in Brazil, 28 percent in Russia and 45 percent in Kenya*;
  • for providing the basis for numerous products including medicines, cosmetics, printing supplies, fuel, lubricants, lumber, paints and sports equipment;
  • for enduring; on March 1 this year, 1,312 Virginia farms have been recognized as Virginia Century Farms, which means they have been owned by the same families for one hundred years or more.

To mark the occasion, employees at Virginia Farm Bureau’s home office collected food all week to mark National Ag Week. The food will go to the Food Bank of Wise County. The food bank’s roof collapsed in late February after a snow storm. More than $30,000 worth of food was inside, and none of it was salvageable. Employees from county Farm Bureau offices and Farm Bureau volunteers also donated to their local food banks.

We are also celebrating the Virginia Agriculture in the Classroom program’s fifth annual Agriculture Literacy Week.

Volunteers from county Farm Bureaus, the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, Farm Credit of the Virginias, Colonial Farm Credit, Southern States, Tyson Foods, James River Equipment and several 4-H and FFA chapters, along with AITC board members and staff and Virginia Farm Bureau Federation board members and staff, will mark the week by reading books about agriculture to children across the state. Each year more than 50,000 children learn about agriculture, food and where their basic needs come from through the Agriculture Literacy Week initiative.

Many volunteers read the 2015 Virginia AITC Book of the Year, My Virginia Plate, written by Tammy Maxey and illustrated by Greg Cravens and Kevin Pitts, and donated copies to school and classroom libraries. My Virginia Plate is a story of students learning about nutrition through preparing a Virginia-grown meal as part of a classroom assignment.

The children’s book was written to teach readers about nutrition and show how Virginia farmers produce a wide variety of foods that are a part of a healthy diet.

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