The American Farm Bureau Foundation for Agriculture (AFBFA) and Pennsylvania Friends of Agriculture Foundation were able to provide important information about where food comes from to approximately 9,000 students and families through their booth at this year’s USA Science & Engineering Festival. The festival, held every two years, is the nation’s largest STEM education event of its kind, with total attendance of 365,000.
“Creatively bringing the farm to students and teachers at outreach events like the USA Science & Engineering Festival is critically important as we work to rebuild the bonds of trust between American consumers and the people who proudly grow their food, fiber and energy,” said AFBF President and AFBFA Chairman Zippy Duvall.
Booth visitors participated in several hands-on activities, including building DNA molecules from edible ingredients, playing online games related to agriculture, and taking on the role of animal nutritionist to complete mathematical challenges. A scavenger hunt and special “make & take” activity allowed students to further discover the importance of agriculture in their lives.
Two children’s book authors who previously participated in AFBFA’s 2016 On the Farm Author Experience funded by the Beef Checkoff were also present at the event. Lela Nargi, author of The Honeybee Man, and Lizzy Rockwell, author of Plants Feed Me and Good Enough to Eat, engaged with students and encouraged them to write their own stories about why agriculture is important.
“Bringing the basics of agriculture to the public is important,” said AFBFA Executive Director Julie Tesch. “Agriculture is the perfect context for the application of STEM concepts. We are especially grateful to our donors. Thanks to their support, we were able to exhibit at the festival and reach thousands of students and families with information about agriculture and food.”