Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried joined a group of second grade students from Pineview Elementary School on Tuesday to celebrate National Agriculture Literacy Day.
Fried used the Historic Florida Capitol for the event, reading a children’s book developed in partnership by Florida Agriculture in the Classroom, Inc. and the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services to help highlight agriculture in the classroom. She also spoke with students about Florida’s farmers, ranchers, and foresters.
“Today's students are the future of Florida agriculture and ag education -- they are tomorrow’s leaders on farms, ranches, and in classrooms," she said. "On National Agriculture Literacy Day, I was thrilled to spend time with students discussing the important role of our state’s farmers and ranchers. By continuing to educate on where our food comes from, we can support our agriculture community, and increase access to Fresh From Florida products.”
This year’s book, Forever There’s a Forest, was written in conjunction with the Florida Forest Service. Today’s event coincides with National Working Forests Week, which Fried commemorated with a proclamation at the morning meeting of the Florida Cabinet. The students also were treated to a visit from Smokey the Bear, celebrating 75 years of educating about wildfires.
“There’s no better way to celebrate Working Forests Week than to introduce the next generation to Florida’s top agricultural commodity, and the countless future opportunities available to them,” said Jim Karels, state forester and director of the Florida Forest Service. “We are proud to partner with Florida Agriculture in the Classroom to celebrate National Agriculture Literacy Day and reach students across the state.”
It was an event celebrated across the state Tuesday. Florida agriculture stakeholders including University of Florida IFAS Extension Agents, 4-H Agents and Master Gardeners, Florida Farm Bureau members, Florida Cattlemen and Cattlewomen members, Future Farmers of America, the Florida Forest Service, teachers, and other agriculture industry representatives visited with students to read this year’s agriculture literacy day book and speak with them about agriculture in Florida.