Florida students will develop biofuels, learn about local commodities and participate in a statewide Arbor Day program, among other programs, as part of 23 volunteer grant projects that Gainesville-based Florida Agriculture in the Classroom Inc. has selected for 2008 funding.
The non-profit association approved grant projects around the state, many to be carried out by University of Florida/IFAS Extension and 4-H programs, county farm bureaus, local fair organizations, middle school and high school agriscience programs and other non-profit organizations.
The projects will cost more than $24,000 and organizers estimate they will reach more than 63,000 students statewide, according to a news release.
"This hard-working group of agriculture industry volunteers helps Florida Ag in the Classroom reach even more students and teachers with the message of the importance of agriculture," says Cara Martin, chairman of Florida Ag in the Classroom and assistant director of government and community affairs for Florida Farm Bureau, in the release. "By providing them with grant money, these volunteers can tailor agriculture-related educational programs to the needs of their schools and communities."
Florida Ag in the Classroom uses proceeds from the sale of the agriculture specialty license plate, or the “Ag Tag,” to fund its teacher and volunteer grants programs, among other Florida Ag in the Classroom programs.
The organization is now accepting applications for Teacher Grants for the 2008-09 school year. The application and guidelines are available on Florida Ag in the Classroom's Web site at www.agtag.org, with an Oct. 1 deadline.
The 2008 Volunteer Grant projects are as follows:
Egg’citing experiments in chicken embryology
Baker County 4-H will educate elementary and middle school students about an aspect of Florida agriculture by studying the science of embryology.
Clay County Agventures 2008
Clay County Extension will teach third graders about the commodities produced in their area by allowing them to visit stations featuring dairy, eggs, citrus and poultry, and other commodities as part of an AgVenture field trip.
Clay County 4-H embryology program
Clay County 4-H will teach second graders about animal life cycles by having FFA middle school and high school students present lessons on quail production and embryology.
A day in the life: Duval County farmers