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Elementary students participate in NY Agricultural Literacy Week

March 24, 2016
Westfield Republican

JAMESTOWN - In celebration of National Agriculture Week (March 14-20), area elementary students were able to participate in the 11th annual New York Agricultural Literacy Week, coordinated locally by Cornell Cooperative Extension of Chautauqua County. This year, over 2,500 first, second, and third graders at 28 different schools and locations in Chautauqua County participated, a 20 percent increase from 2015.

This year's signature book was "The Apple Orchard Riddle" by Margaret McNamara and featured highlights the apple industry in New York which is economically and nutritionally essential. This story helps students learn about the many jobs and processes of an apple orchard. An accompanying activity also allows the students to learn about the science behind apple oxidation.

Students and teachers benefited not only from the book reading and activity, but also from hearing about the personal agricultural experiences of volunteers. Following the reading, the books were donated to the school's library with a bookplate recognizing the donor and NY Agricultural Literacy Week. Agricultural literacy is the basic knowledge about agriculture that all citizens need to make informed decisions impacting careers, health, and public policy. Over 20 percent of our nation's workforce is in some way involved in food processing, marketing, distribution, and sales. In Chautauqua County, agriculture is the number one industry, and there is a rich, agricultural heritage that is worth celebrating!

Article Photos

Submitted photo
Assemblyman Andy Goodell and Chautauqua County Dairy Princess Madison Woodis read at C.C. Ring Elementary in Jamestown for Cornell Cooperative Extension of Chautauqua County’s Agricultural Literacy Week Program as part of New York Ag in the Classroom’s celebration of agriculture across the state.

Cornell Cooperative Extension of Chautauqua County coordinated Agriculture Literacy Week across Chautauqua County and regularly extends their services to celebrate and promote agriculture. Donations to cover the cost of the books were provided by local agricultural businesses, organizations, and community members.

Local Coordinator and Farm Business Management Ag Educator for CCE-Chautauqua, Katelyn Walley-Stoll, stated, "This is an amazing program that enables area volunteers to reach out to students to promote agriculture and the many roles it plays in our lives. This year was incredibly successful as we continue to reach growing numbers of students, and have incredible volunteers that are more than willing to share their agricultural experiences! We would like to thank our sponsors, volunteers, and schools for this opportunity to talk about agriculture with our children."

Donors that made this event possible were: Cargill Animal Nutrition of Kennedy, Pierre and Judy Chagnon in memory of Marv Zahm, Cassadaga Farm Supply, The Hardenburg Family, JM Joy Farms - Jim and Rosie Joy, Green Banks Farm, Richard and Janice Jozwiak, Philip and Carol Baideme, M.J. Fletcher PTA, Chautauqua County Farm Bureau, Mary Dorman an the Stockton Panthers 4-H Club, Dr. M. William and Donna Eskeli, Chautauqua County 4-H, Chautauqua County 4-H Dog Program, Patricia Martonis, "A Friend of Ag Literacy," Miller's Dairy Farm, Matt Overfield, The Pakulski Family, Doug and Sue Seamans, Greg and Stephanie White, Bush School PTA, Farm Credit East, and Farm Family Insurance - George Haffenden.

Readers included Assemblyman Andy Goodell, County Executive Vince Horrigan, Corinne and Lydia Covert, Danielle DeJoy, Janet Forbes, Rebecca and Maggie King, Iris Ruiz, County Legislator David Wilfong, Beth Hadley, Sara and Heidi Moss, Heather Woodis, Chautauqua County Dairy Princess Madison Woodis, Mary Dorman, Kendra Dorman, and Jared Dorman, Kate Ewer, Clymer FFA, Cassadaga Valley FFA, Sherman FFA, Patricia Martonis, Jennifer and Katelyn Miller, Matt Overfield, Marcy Pakulski, Danielle Reuther, Shelly Wells, Erin Haffenden, Jenn Smith, Breanna Waild-Halla, Sue Harper, Dennis Webster, Jacqueline Phelps (a representative from Congressman Reed's office) and Falconer students Steven Overend, Dexter Ormond and Billy Eskeli.

The Agricultural Literacy Week Program is one of many programs offered by Cornell Cooperative Extension of Chautauqua County (CCE-Chautauqua) in line with the county's 20/20 comprehensive plan. CCE-Chautauqua is a community based educational organization, affiliated with Cornell University, Chautauqua County Government, the NYS SUNY system, and the federal government through the United States Department of Agriculture's National Institute of Food and Agriculture. For more information, call 716-664-9502 or visit our website at Cornell University Cooperative Extension provides equal program and employment opportunities.



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