Ag Literacy Week Underway in Chautauqua County

Article Contributed by
Cornell Cooperative Extension of Chautauqua County

Cornell Cooperative Extension of Chautauqua County’s Agriculture Program is continually working to increase public awareness of the great things happening in agriculture. As part of this effort, CCE-Chautauqua is proud to facilitate the Agricultural Literacy Week initiative for Chautauqua County.

In celebration of National Agriculture Week (March 20th – March 24th), area elementary students are able to participate in the New York Agricultural Literacy Week, locally coordinated by Cornell Cooperative Extension of Chautauqua County. This year, over 2800 kindergarten, first, second, and third graders at 26 different locations in Chautauqua County will enjoy learning more about apple production in New York State.

This year’s book selection features “The Grapes Grow Sweet” by Lynne Tuft and Tessa DeCarlo. This wonderful story celebrates New York’s booming grape industry and captures the way of life for over 1,600 family-owned vineyards in our state. STEM careers and post-secondary opportunities related to the grape industry are also growing in our state – from grape production, research, crop management, processing, tourism, and hospitality.

“We are so excited that this year’s Ag Literacy Week book hits so close to home and gives us a chance to increase Agricultural Literacy while celebrating our county’s rich agricultural heritage,” said Katelyn Walley-Stoll, Farm Business Management Educator with Cornell Cooperative Extension of Chautauqua County. “Chautauqua County’s number one industry is Agriculture, and our local farmers work hard to produce safe, wholesome products for us all to enjoy all year long! Chautauqua County remains the #1 county in New York State for processing grape juice, and is home to 250 grape growers that produce 90,000 tons or more of grapes each year with a total farm gate value of $22 million. Our volunteers will be busy reading across the county, and we look forward to another successful week.”

Ag Literacy Week is promoted and organized by staff at Cornell Cooperative Extension of Chautauqua County. Local businesses, farmers, and community members donate the necessary funds to purchase books and materials for the program. They also volunteer their time as readers, providing agriculturally involved readers for students across the county. For more information about Ag Literacy Week, please contact Katelyn Walley-Stoll at 716-664-9502 ext. 202 or kaw249@cornell.edu.

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 716-664-9502 or visit our website at www.cce.cornell.edu/chautauqua. Cornell University Cooperative Extension provides equal program and employment opportunities.