FEEDSTUFFS is pleased to announce the release of The ABCs of Farming line of children's books written especially for students, parents and educators.
Authored by Feedstuffs Editor Sarah Muirhead and sixth-generation farmer/rancher Trent Loos and illustrated by Feedstuffs production artist Jessi Brummer, the books are designed to help readers better understand and appreciate the modern food production system.
"I grew up hearing the tales about how farming used to be, and I've seen firsthand the benefits of technology adoption on the farm. To me, modern agriculture is a miracle in and of itself. It gives me great pride to dedicate this effort to all of the U.S. farmers and ranchers who provide for our great nation and the world each and every day," said Muirhead, who is a farm girl from northern Illinois.
"I've always understood the value of farm products in feeding our nation, but it wasn't until I became a father that I realized the benefit of teaching kids about the cycle of life. That is something one can only learn by playing in the dirt," said Loos, who grew up on a diversified farm near Quincy, Ill., and now ranches with his wife and three daughters in central Nebraska, where they raise beef cattle, pigs, goats, horses and chickens.
In addition to ranching, Loos produces and hosts several radio shows, including "Loos Tales," and is a nationally known public speaker to agricultural and non-agricultural groups alike. Over the past five years, he has worked extensively with the team at Feedstuffs to tell the story of modern food production.
The ABCs of Farming takes readers on an A to Z journey through agriculture and farming. In the fall, Feedstuffs released a coloring book version by the same name, and already, it has been well received in several classrooms in Wisconsin and Illinois, according to Muirhead. Since mid-2010, some 21,000 coloring books have been handed out to school children in the Midwest.
The books are now available to the general public at retail prices, but for groups with a shared educational mission, wholesale pricing is available for orders of more than 50 copies. Customized versions with corporate or association logos are available for orders of 1,000 or more.
Feedstuffs also has created a new web site, ConnectingFarmToFork.com, that is focused around The ABCs of Farming books. Kids and their parents can visit the site for fun farm-related activities, including an online coloring module, an interactive version of The ABCs of Farming book and a number of puzzles and word challenge-type games.
The site also highlights a number of top resources for educators and parents who are looking for ideas of how best to teach kids about and explore the concepts of food, farming and more.
Coming soon to ConnectingFarmToFork.com will be a collective blog where interested parties can submit posts about what it was like when they grew up on the farm in the 1930s, '40s and '50s.
A virtual farm tour section will be added over the coming months as well, along with other fun new activities and educational tools.
Additional books also are in the works.