Whether you’re a farmer or not, we’re all impacted by agriculture in Iowa. That’s why it’s important to learn about the job these hard working Iowans do every day. Find out how the Iowa Agriculture Literacy Foundation is teaching children about farms across Iowa.
The my family’s farm books were started by the Iowa Turkey Federation. It followed author Katie Olthoff around her family’s turkey farm to teach kids what modern livestock farms are like. The Iowa Agriculture Literacy Foundation loved the idea of these books and decided to expand on it.
“Our first book project was the My Family’s Beef Farm book, highlighting everything that goes into producing beef cattle here in Iowa. We were able to tap the original author, Katie Otlhoff, to write that book and then the series just grew from there.”
There are eight books in the my family’s farm series with a ninth one in production. They’re based at a third grade reading level but there is some additional text for those at a higher reading level.
“The reason that we chose third grade is because we saw a need for nonfiction texts to be highlighted at that reading level, and to continue. Students interest in engagement in topics of agriculture or science or other applicable areas like social studies and math concepts that are involved in these books.”
Because Iowa’s fields support diversity, the my family’s farm books feature stories from all types of farms. So when you think of Iowa, you may think of corn and beef, but in the book series you’ll also learn about egg, wind, and apple farms in Iowa. ITe best part of these books? They’re all available for free online.
“We just want more people to learn about agriculture and get excited about knowing about the food and fiber system.”
You can access the digital books for free at iowaagliteracy.org. Click resources, then publications.
The Iowa Ag Literacy Foundation’s resources are also available to teachers for free. Each book is paired with two lesson plans that are aligned with Iowa’s core standards.