Dr. Seuss once said, “You can find magic wherever you look. Sit back and relax all you need is a book!” However, with the correct book you can find magic while you learn where your food and fiber come from as well. That was the goal of the Fayette County, Kentucky, Farm Bureau when they recently donated a book barn to a local school library in Lexington, Kentucky.
“The premise was to get kids interested to read and learn something about agriculture and learning more about where their food comes from and farm animals,” said Carrie McIntosh, the Fayette County Farm Bureau Executive Director.
McIntosh said last year while home more during COVID, one of the Farm Bureau board members, Tanya Dvorak, and her husband went to work building and painting the book barn, a shelf that resembles a barn complete with a silo on the side. They found the plans online and painted it red. Then came time to fill it.
The Farm Bureau Women’s Committee donated $1,000 of agriculturally accurate books to go in the barn-shaped shelf for kids to check out and read. Thanks to a list created and vetted by the American Farm Bureau Federation, McIntosh was able to select books across various grade and reading levels that portray the agriculture message in a positive light.
“We want to make sure kids are reading things that are accurate. There is a lot of misinformation out there, so we work with the list that American Farm Bureau has deemed accurate,” McIntosh said.
She went through that list, reviewing the books herself and ordered the books from either Farm Bureau or Amazon to fill the book barn. Once the book barn was filled, Fayette County Farm Bureau was hoping to donate it to a local public library. However, with several challenges, they found a local public school that was willing to take their barn.
With at least 33 public elementary schools in Lexington, a very urban area, McIntosh wished they could make this kind of donation to every single school. However, she is excited the Veterans Park Elementary was willing to accept the book barn filled with books. And the library had a perfect place for the donation.
“When we were looking at plans online, there were all kinds and sizes. The Dvoraks chose a fairly simple plan. The librarian had an empty nook in the library, and it fit perfectly in there,” she said.
The librarian was excited for the donation, according to McIntosh. This is the same school that the Dvoraks’ children attended. Children can learn from the books; teachers can read the books to classes or incorporate them into their lessons.
With just 1% of the U.S. population living on farms or ranches, it is of upmost importance for the next generation to learn where their food and fiber is coming from. Thank you to the Fayette County Kentucky Farm Bureau for making us #AgProud with your unique donation to educate the next generation.