Ag Literacy week attracts 2,800 participants

Submitted Photo: Ag Literacy Week Volunteer, Sue Harper, read “The Grapes Grow Sweet” to students at Chautauqua Lake.

Submitted Photo: Ag Literacy Week Volunteer, Sue Harper, read “The Grapes Grow Sweet” to students at Chautauqua Lake.

JAMESTOWN — Cornell Cooperative Extension of Chautauqua County’s Agriculture Program is continually working to increase public awareness of the great things happening in agriculture. In celebration of National Agriculture Week, area elementary students were able to participate in the New York Agricultural Literacy Week, locally coordinated by Cornell Cooperative Extension of Chautauqua County.

This year, 2,800 elementary aged students at 25 different locations in Chautauqua County enjoyed hearing a book entitled “The Grapes Grow Sweet” by Lynne Tuft and Tessa DeCarlo.

This year’s signature book celebrated New York’s booming grape industry and included a taste-testing activity featuring Welch’s grape juice. Following the reading, the books were donated to the school’s library with a bookplate recognizing the donor and NY Agricultural Literacy Week. Agricultural literacy is the basic knowledge about agriculture that all citizens need to make informed decisions impacting careers, health and public policy.

Cornell Cooperative Extension of Chautauqua County coordinated Agricultural Literacy Week across Chautauqua County and regularly extends their services to celebrate and promote agriculture. Local Coordinator and Farm Business Management Educator for CCE-Chautauqua, Katelyn Walley-Stoll, thanked local volunteers and donors. “This is an amazing program that enables area volunteers to reach out to students to promote agriculture and the many roles it plays in our lives. This year was a unique opportunity to celebrate the tremendous grape industry that were are so lucky to have right in our backyard. We would like to express our sincere gratitude to all of the area volunteer readers and donors that make this program possible.”

Donors that made this event possible were: Cargill Animal Nutrition — Kennedy; A Friend of Ag Literacy; 2017 Chautauqua County Dairy Princess — Joyce Wiltsie; Andy Dufresne; Andy, Jaimee, Emma, and Alivia Knight; Chautauqua County Farm Bureau; County Legislator John Hemmer; Doug and Sue Harper; Frontier Brook Farm; Haffenden Insurance Agency; Janet Center; JM Joy Farms — Jim and Rosie Joy; John and Carol Hardenburg; John Hemmer; Kate Ewer; Knight Vineyards, LLC; Matt Overfield; Pat Martonis; Peterson Farm; Phil and Patty Knight; Pierre and Judy Chagnon; Stockton Panthers Paws 4-H Club; Stoll Family Farm; The Hardenburg Family; The King and Miller Families; and Philip Baideme.

Volunteer readers that shared their agricultural experiences with the area’s students were: Assemblyman Andy Goodell; Ben Wolcott; Cathy Abers-Kimball; Chautauqua County Dairy Princess Joyce Wiltsie; Cheryl Burns and the Cassadaga Valley FFA; Cheryl Wahlstrom; County Legislator Christine Starks; County Legislator Dave Wilfong; County Legislator John Hemmer; Danielle Moss; Danielle Reuther; Dick and Joan Kimball; Emily Reynolds; Eric Vanstrom; Erin Haffenden; Ginny Carlberg; Heidi Moss; Jacqueline Phelps; Janet Centner; Janet Forbes; Jen Estrabrook; Jennifer and Katelyn Miller; Kate Ewer; Kate Robinson; Kelly Maleski and the Sherman FFA; Lindsay Eckman; Lucia Conti; Maggie King; Mary and Jared Dorman; Matt Overfield; Michele Harrington; Pat Martonis; Peg Hite; Scott Aikens and the Clymer FFA; Steve Kimball; and Sue Harper.

Ag Literacy Week is one of many programs offered by Cornell Cooperative Extension of Chautauqua County (CCE-Chautauqua) in line with the County’s 20/20 Comprehensive Plan. CCE-Chautauqua is a community-based educational organization, affiliated with Cornell University, Chautauqua County Government, the NYS SUNY system, and the federal government through the United States Department of Agriculture’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture. For more information, call 664-9502 or visit our website at www.cce.cornell.edu/chautauqua. Cornell University Cooperative Extension provides equal program and employment opportunities.

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