23 is the magic number: Agricultural-related books donated to local religious schoolsWORTHINGTON — Students at St. Mary’s Catholic School and Worthington Christian School were wide-eyed with mouths open when they saw their new stash of colorful books Wednesday morning. The books — 23 for each school — were donated by Nobles County Farm Bureau.
By: Julie Buntjer, Worthington Daily Globe
WORTHINGTON — Students at St. Mary’s Catholic School and Worthington Christian School were wide-eyed with mouths open when they saw their new stash of colorful books Wednesday morning. The books — 23 for each school — were donated by Nobles County Farm Bureau.
Tim Hansberger, county Farm Bureau president, presented the books to classrooms in each school Wednesday as part of National Agriculture Week.
Each of the books helps tell the story of agriculture, from crop production to milking cows, raising honey bees and turning wheat into bread.
With book titles ranging from “Extra Cheese, Please,” “Hot to Raise a Raisin,” “Plant Plumbing” and a Dr. Seuss book, “Oh Say Can You Seed,” the books appeal to the full range of age levels at St. Mary’s, which has 118 students in kindergarten through sixth grade, and Worthington Christian School, with 57 students in kindergarten through eighth grade.
St. Mary’s School Librarian Barb Stirn said all but one of the books are brand new offerings for their students.
“I think the kids will enjoy them,” she said. “They really do like going back and pulling books out about plants and birds.”
St. Mary’s Principal Brittany Larson planned to take time Wednesday to read one of the new books to each of the classrooms in the school to introduce them to the students and encourage them to look for the books in the school library in the coming days.
“It’s a tremendous blessing, especially for kids that are English language learners,” Larson said of the books. “When we talk about farming, and we talk about tractors, and we talk about the connection, they need to see it, they need to read about it, they need to hear about it.”
“I’m just thinking about a lot of the kids we have in this school whose parents are connected with agriculture in some way, whether they live on farms or their jobs are connected to it,” she added. “It will be a good way, especially for those kids who do have the background, to share with other kids as we start talking about (the books).”
At Worthington Christian School, Principal Lori Eekhoff shared that same sentiment. Many of the students there also have an agricultural background.
“It’s just great now to have resources we can share in the classrooms — great, colorful books that will help teach other students more about agriculture and farming,” she said.
Each book bundle is valued at nearly $300 and is packaged for county Farm Bureaus by the Minnesota Farm Bureau Foundation. Hansberger said the county raises its funds to be able to do these types of agriculture promotions and education from Farm Bureau membership dues.
“We know how much books cost,” said Larson. “That Farm Bureau has stepped up and done something for the community … this is really nice.”
Hansberger said it is important for Farm Bureau to promote agriculture, and the book bundles are just one way to tell the story of agriculture.
“Those of us involved in farming are focused on what we do on our farms and maybe don’t realize all the different facets of agriculture that are involved in food production and having the healthy abundant food supply that we have in our country,” he said. “In Worthington, there’s a lot of people who don’t have a direct connection to production agriculture. These books will help educate the kids so they can learn about agriculture and get excited about the opportunities there are in agriculture.”
“It’s just a good way to plant a seed in them. You don’t have to be raised on a farm to be interested in a career in agriculture,” summed up Larson.
Daily Globe Reporter Julie Buntjer may be reached at 376-7330