March is my favorite month of the year. I love to see everything come to life after it’s long winter rest. I love seeing new life on the farm. I also love seeing my family and other farmer friends prepare for the planting season. To me, January is not for new beginnings, March is.
I also love the month of March because it’s Agriculture Appreciation Month and there is nothing I enjoy more than educating, promoting, AGvocating, and appreciating farmers and all their hard work they do for me.
This year to celebrate those hands that feed us, my sister, mother, and I donated books about agriculture to all of the elementary school libraries in our home county of Morgan County. We donated them in memory of my father, Tim Thomas, who passed away in a farming accident 6 years ago. Our hope is for the librarians, teachers, and students to use these books to help educate their students and/or themselves about the importance of agriculture and farmers. I enjoyed picking out the books and educator guides we donated. It was so hard to only donate a couple! So, my sister, mom, and I decided we will continue to donate and grow the ag book bundles for each library in Morgan County in the years to come.
As a teacher I have many opportunities to teach my students about agriculture. Throughout “Ag Week” (March 14-18) I read many books about farmers, farming, and ag products to help my students understand what farmers do for them and how they get their food and other products they need to live. After we read the books and watched MANY Peterson Farm Brothers videos we brainstormed and wrote down facts about farmers and farming on our planning sheets. Then, my students took their notes to write sentences about farmers. After their writing was complete I let them create their own farmers. My students had so much fun doing this!
I did a lesson on seeds and plants with my kindergarten class. We read books about what all seeds need to grow for them to turn into the plants we eat. Then we made seed necklaces. This was a fun way for them to learn about seeds and then take their seed home and plant it if they wish.
As a member of the Morgan County Young Farmers I helped some of our young farmers go into classrooms in our county to read agriculture books to students. Our president, Patrick Maxwell, visited a school in Mooseville’s school district. He read to his cousin’s students. Our secretary, Maggie Voyles, visited South Elementary, a school in Martinsville’s school district. Joe Cleveland, our treasurer visited Monrovia Elementary school and member, Wayne Vaught, visited Eminence Elementary. Together our young farmer group reached every school district in our county to help educate students about ag. I was so proud of our young farmers for doing this and I hope to plan more visits to schools in our county for our members.
At my school, Monrovia Elementary School, I planned an Agriculture Appreciation convocation. All of the students in my school building came to the gym. There I gave a quick little speech about famers and farming and why it is important we know what they do and to thank them every chance we get. Then, my principal, Mrs. York, read How Did That Get in my LunchBox? This book was one of the books we donated in honor of my Dad. I also made a power point of the pages so our students could see the colorful book pages as Mrs. York read aloud. When she finished reading I played the Peterson Farm Brothers’ video, I’m so Farmer. The students and staff absolutely loved the songs and message!
This month I also cowrote an article with my sister, Katie, about women in agriculture that was published in our local newspaper. I love writing with my sister. Agriculture has connected us in such a unique way and we love sharing our writing on our blogs and in our hometown publication.
To sum it up, March provides opporutinties for me to share the story of agriculture. Please say a prayer for farmers as the prepare for the busy planting season. Pray for safe travel to and from the fields. Pray for good weather to get the crop in the ground. And always, always praise and be thankful for their hard work. Do your part to appreciate agriculture and thank a farmer.