Each year, the Wisconsin Ag in the Classroom program holds an essay contest in conjunction with the Book of the Year for fourth- and fifth-grade students throughout the state. This year’s essay contest topic is “How have Wisconsin soybean farmers fueled Wisconsin’s economy?”
Ag in the Classroom has announced the 2020 Book of the Year is “Full of Beans: Henry Ford Grows a Car,” written by Peggy Thomas.
Thomas’ book also is the American Farm Bureau Foundation for Agriculture’s Book of the Year and has an educators’ guide developed for it. Accompanying lessons aligned to educational standards and Wisconsin educational resources are available online for teachers, students and volunteers to use in promoting and preparing essays. This topic will enable teachers and students to use the Soybean Science Kits to learn about how soybeans grow and connect to science.
“There is so much behind the Henry Ford story and his connection to agriculture,” says Wisconsin Ag in the Classroom Coordinator Darlene Arneson. “The book looks at how Henry Ford grew up on a farm and searched for ways to use soybeans in the car plant, in his diet and in other ways. The essay contest focuses on how soybeans continue to be used and how they impact Wisconsin’s economy.”
Essay submissions must be 100 to 300 words in length and will be judged on content, grammar, spelling and neatness. The essay contest rules, lesson plans and sample classroom activities are at wisagclassroom.org. Essays are due April 1.
The contest is sponsored by Wisconsin Soybean Association, We Energies, Wisconsin Soybean Marketing Board and Wisconsin Farm Bureau Foundation.
Nine district winners will be selected, with one being chosen as the state winner in May. Each district winner will receive a classroom presentation for his or her class. Last year, more than 1,500 students participated in the contest.
Questions about the book or essay contest can be directed to Arneson at email@example.com.
Ag in the Classroom is designed to help students from kindergarten through high school to understand the importance of agriculture. It is coordinated by the Wisconsin Farm Bureau Foundation in cooperation with USDA and by a grant from the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection.