Chenango County Celebrates Agricultural Literacy Week
Published: March 22nd, 2023
By: Kelli Miller

Chenango County celebrates Agricultural Literacy Week Students in Sherburne Earlville school are participating in their Ag in the Classroom lesson. (submitted photo)

CHENANGO COUNTY — New York Agriculture in the Classroom is coordinating with Chenango County Cornell Cooperative Extension for the 19th annual New York Agricultural Literacy Week. This year’s program is being held from March 20 to 24.

NYS Ag in the Classroom Program Leader Katie Carpenter said, “Community members around the state will be volunteering to read Tomatoes for Neela by Padma Lakshmi to elementary classrooms, with a focus on second grade. The book will take students on an intergenerational journey full of delicious flavors to learn how we can connect to other cultures and build communities through food.”

In Chenango County, books and supplies from plant basil to tomatoes have been delivered to Otselic Valley, Greene, Sherburne, Earlville, Unadilla Valley, Holy Family, Oxford Academy, Bainbridge Guilford, Norwich City Schools, and Calvary Church School.

Story Continues Below Adverts

Carpenter said, “Agricultural literacy is about understanding and being able to communicate the source and value of agriculture and how it effects our daily lives. Over 20 percent of our nation's workforce is in some way involved in food processing, marketing, distribution, and sales — and all of us eat.

“New York Agriculture in the Classroom envisions a day when all students have the opportunity to understand the economic, social, historical, and scientific significance of agriculture to our society; explore food system career opportunities; and recognizes the connection between agricultural production and the daily need for food and fiber products,” Carpenter said.

“The literacy activity will help teachers address learning standards in the following areas: ELA (Language for Literacy Response & Expression), Science (Living Environment, Systems Thinking, Technology), Career Development (knowledge about different careers), the Arts (Knowing & Using Arts Materials & Resources), and Social Studies (Geography and Economics).”

4-H Youth, Families, and Communities Issue Leader Craig Brown said, “CCE Chenango 4-H Agriculture in the Classroom Educator Kristi Gorrell has been essential to the programs success and will be reading and planting with over 30 classrooms as part of the new 4-H Agriculture in the Classroom program.

“In total, we anticipate over 1,200 youth will be engaging in this Ag Literacy Week initiative in Chenango County alone,” Brown added.

Retired Morrisville Eaton Elementary Principal Debra Dushk said that 4-H Leader Brown was involved in bringing Ag in the Classroom to the school. He supported the Ag Club which involved intermediate grades. The combined involvement from both Cornell Cooperative Extensions from Madison and Chenango enriched the students understanding of agriculture, nutrition, and the community. Financial support helps CCE continue these programs that connect youth to the world around them.

“Cornell Cooperative Extension of Chenango County would like to extend our appreciation to Deb Dushko and Kate Cirello for the donations they provided so that each participating district incurred no cost by participating. We appreciate everything you do for our community.” Brown said.

Story Continues Below Adverts

For more information visit the website at Any questions about the program can be directed to the Chenango County Agriculture Literacy Week Coordinator Craig Brown at email or by phone at 1-607-334-5841 ext 1112.

For additional program opportunities you can find Cornell Cooperative Extension of Chenango County and Chenango County 4-H on Facebook.