FarmAmerica joins over a dozen schools in winning a 2023 Agricultural Literacy grant

KEYC News Now at 6 Recording
Published: Jan. 31, 2023 at 8:43 PM CST
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MANKATO, Minn. (KEYC) - When the 2023 winners of the agricultural literacy grants were announced by the state, FarmAmerica stood out as the only non-school winner.

“We applied for this grant with ‘ag in the classroom’ to cover the transportation costs of bringing those students here because it can often be a really big hindrance for schools to be able to participate in offsite programs,” said Jenny Delaney, FarmAmerica program director.

Last year, the interpretive center hosted over 500 students between eight different school, transporting them all for nearly $2,000. They partner with schools every spring in their Agriculture Career Exploration program, where they take primarily seventh and eighth graders to FarmAmerica and show them different careers in agriculture.

“At that key point where they’re starting to think about careers, but they haven’t fully made up their minds yet,” explained Delaney, “and so we get them here we get them to do a hands-on activity in six different job fields and they get to see and start to understand what a job could potentially be and if that’s something they’re interested in.”

With this grant, they can keep offering transportation to schools that want to take part, and once a school registers, the cost of the field trip is completely covered.

“Then the cost of the busing is also covered by grants, including our Ag Literacy grant from ‘Ag in the Classroom’,” explained Delaney.

All the schools need to do is pay for the bus unit up front and send the invoice to be covered afterward. Registration is still open for this year.

“We’re just trying to open up kids’ minds to the possibility of a career in agriculture that’s more than just standing in a field as a farmer,” said Delaney.