Agricultural Commissioner Reads to Students

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Florida’s Agriculture and Consumer Services Commissioner Charles Bronson stopped at Roberts Elementary School in Tallahassee Wednesday morning to read to a group of kindergartners.

“Literacy Day along with Agriculture in the Classroom helps all these younger children who don’t necessarily get a chance to grow up on a farm understand what happens when you plant large fields of fruits and vegetables, cattle, pigs, chicken and what it means to the food supply," he said.

Florida Agriculture Literacy Day is scheduled for Thursday, March 16 this year. In honor of that day more than 1,000 farmers, ranchers and agriculture industry volunteers are reading one of two designated children's books about agriculture.

“The whole point of our program is to help teachers teach them where the source of these things come from and why agriculture is so important in Florida because it is still our second largest industry," said Lisa Gaskalla, Executive Director of Florida Agriculture in the Classroom.

After reading Pig and Crow, Commissioner Bronson stepped outside the classroom to visit the students’ garden. The students showed the commissioner how inch by inch, they're using what they've learned in the classroom to make their garden grow.

“We measure, we do the rain gage to see how much rain has been out here. We measure how far to put the plants in the ground, how far they grow, and there’s just so much math that you can do out here with the garden," said kindergarten teacher Kimberly McKiernan.

Bronson says hands-on learning is the best way for these students to learn.

“I think this is a great learning science and history experiment for them as they’re in kindergarten now. By the time they get through with high school, they’re gonna see things that we have never seen in our lifetime until now.”

Right now they’re learning crops make food, but the commissioner points out crops will soon make fuel and it’s the students of today that’ll be the ones to use it in the future.