Perdue Farms, through a $20,000 grant funded by the Arthur W. Perdue Foundation, is helping support the Pennsylvania Farm Bureau’s Friends of Agriculture Foundation new “Ag on the Go” program, which targets students attending inner city schools in Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Harrisburg and York during the 2015-2016 school year.
“We created Ag on the Go in order to provide fun, hands-on, science-based experiments focusing on food nutrition, farming and the environment to inner city schools that typically are not served by our Mobile Agriculture Education Science Labs,” said Pennsylvania Farm Bureau (PFB) President Rick Ebert, who serves as chairman of the Friends of Agriculture Foundation. “A huge benefit of the new program is that it can be especially helpful to school districts struggling with tight budgets.”
Thanks to a substantial contribution from the American Agriculturalist Foundation (AAF), the PFB-supported Pennsylvania Friends of Agriculture Foundation (PFAF) was able to kick-start the program with the purchase of a new sports utility vehicle, school supplies and other necessities.
“At Perdue Farms, we believe in the power of education and in the value of children knowing where their food comes from. This program brings these ideals together to reach students who may not otherwise be able to learn these things,” said Kim Nechay, executive director of the Arthur W. Perdue Foundation. “We are proud to partner with Pennsylvania Friends of Agriculture to make this happen in a region so important to the future growth of our company.”
Support from AAF, Perdue, the Pennsylvania Beef Council and Pennsylvania Pork Producers allow the Friends of Agriculture Foundation to provide this unique educational experience to schools for a minimal daily fee of $100. A three-day minimum booking is required by the school.
Another bonus of the program, which is targeted at students in grades 3 to 5, is that the lesson plans are aligned with the Pennsylvania Department of Education standards for Science & Technology and Environment & Ecology.
The Ag on the Go program is available to Philadelphia city schools from September to November 2015, in Harrisburg and York city schools from December 2015 to February 2016 and in Pittsburgh city schools from March to May 2016.